The inevitable Worker Strike
Workers in Naples are, for one, lucky to have jobs, as unemployment here is one of the highest in the country, but this doesn't appease them. There has been more than a handful of strikes since I've been going to Naples for the past three years. They are useless, and cause nothing but difficulties for the citizens. I've seen strikes from the train workers, Tangenziale (freeway) toll booth workers, Bus drivers, Gas station attendants, and I'm sure there are more.
Be warned, and just hope you aren't trying to get from A to B when there is a bus or train strike.
Don't park illegally or argue with the police
These two guys were parked here for a few minutes when the polizei approached and started "convincing" them to move. This discussion went on for a good ten minutes and they finally moved the vehicle. They were trying to unload some clothes to a nearby store.
The market near Piazza Garibaldi
Beware in the area of people trying to sell you anything in passing by. On my latest trip I was approached by no less than four individuals trying to sell cell phones and video cameras. If you buy one you will end up with a fake, or even worse, an bag full of rocks.
This is not a dangerous city!!!
Naples gets a bad rap for being a dangerous, crime ridden city, while there may be some merit to that assertion its also fair to say that Naples is really no different then Rome from a crime perspective. Before I visited Naples for the first time I read several tips from people claiming that they felt unsafe in Naples. I have visited Naples twice and have walked all over the city during the day and late at night and have never once felt unsafe. I'm sure there are some bad areas of Naples but its unlikely those areas are tourist attractions. The city of Naples does have a rundown look to it that adds to the negative perception, but don't let that prevent you from visiting a wonderful city that is a gateway to Pompeii, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast.
Crime - Like every city!
Mixed views on the crime in Naples! Anyone in the world can be a victim of crime - just the wrong place at the wrong time! Naples is no different and the Neaopolitan people are lovely. Obviously if you're walking around looking like an obvious tourist (and how many do!!!!) then you're going to be a target like you would in any city at home.
To the guy who had his car stereo pinched - yeah me too - outside my house! - (And I dont live in Naples!)
Oh and dont wear your bag across your shoulder - theives now know you're a tourist - Italian women dont do it!
Dont accept help if you're unsure/buy from street traders or immigrants or feel sorry for the gypsies etc - Sounds harsh - but you have to be sensible - like in any other city!!!
Additionally, I live in the UK and have travelled to London many times. As an example, I've heard many reviews on the dangers of London for people travelling from abroad and I think "Wow - is that what your impression is? It's not like that at all! It's not that bad!" Same goes in Naples - majority of locals think different, yet there's crime everywhere and it's a small minority thats targeted
- Women's Travel
The not so helpful helper!
If, when you're getting off a train in Naples, a friendly old gentlemen says he works for the station and offers to carry your bags to your connecting train, don't say, gee, isn't he sweet, and hand him your bags. Even if the man at the ticket counter vouches for him, and even if he says, hurry! the last train to Sorrento is about to leave!, really, don't give him your bags. Unless of course you were wanting to pay him a hefty sum for his services. I'm sure there are many wonderful, upstanding, trustworthy people in Naples, however they do not spend their time hanging out in train stations. In the train stations there are no favors, only scams, so be aware. I'd be 20 Euros richer if my traveling companion had been. (At least we left with our suitcases though!)
Accomodation near Garibaldi station
Plenty of accomodation there and convenient cos right next to train station but....
the whole place looks like one big rubbish dump.
when we step out from our accomodation, full of Africans selling cheap, plastic, fake stuff on streets
many suspicious looking groups of men around this area all the time, day or night
we were so frightened that we went to bed at 6 pm the first day we arrived in Naples
- Budget Travel
Make sure which day is "closing day"
Don't rely on your guide book to tell you which day is closing day for Naples' wonderful museums - I did, and I regret it!
My guide book said that the Capodimonte Museum was closed on Mondays, open the rest of the week. So - I thought it would be safe to delay going there until Wednesday - my last day in Naples. I would save it to the end, like a treat. Information I picked up in Naples confirmed that Monday was closing day at Capodimonte, and I triple-checked the information by asking the helpful clerk at the Archaelogical Museum. BUT nooooooo! I took the streetcar up to Capodimonte on Wednesday, and -- Lo and Behold, the doors were locked shut. It just shows to go you.
Anyhow, it just gives me an excuse to come back to Naples at some point in the future to resume my acquaintance with this fascinating city. And I would have missed out on some of the museum's greatest treasures anyway - their horde of Caravaggios were on tour in London while I was in Naples.
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
Don't do it!
No matter how tempted you might be, don't put your credit card into the tollway pay machine. Get a prepaid card, use coins, or one of those little things you attatch to the window that will alert someone to automatically deduct the money from your bank account. The machines often malfunction and keep cards... Then the gates will come down and alarms and bells will start ringing... Then there will be a flash of light as they take a picture of you, your car, and license plate... And then you will sit there while the workers try to figure out how to open the gate again...
- Road Trip
WATCH your pocketts & street vendors
It takes statisically 10sec to have your wallet stolen. Make sure you carry a money belt or carry you wallet in front pocket. Women make sure you zip your purse and keep it close by.
Buy from the street vendors at your own risk as there are no refunds...even if you didn't get what you thought you paid for.
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
Bogus station porter - Piazza Garibaldi.
First of all, Napoli Garibaldi train station is undergoing a facelift and is a lot safer than previously stated with police presence and far less hustlers but caution must be paid to one individual... it goes like this, he spots you are a tourist looking around for tickets,circumvesuviana etc and introduces himself as the station porter and will offer to take your bags to the platform and help getting your ticket but once he sets your bags down on that platform he will demand 10 euros for the trouble! the simple solution is do not let your bags out of your hands and simply follow the signs to the circumvesuviana train platforms which are to the right hand side of where the regional trains depart for Rome,Milan etc (You will see the destinations listed on their platforms) and all will become clear from there, just don't forget to run your ticket through the machines before boarding, have fun!
The infamous "Mattonella" tourist rip-off
The following is an infamous naples rip-off.
It occurs in any place the local organized crime and petty criminals think might be frequented by tourists.
I was approached at Garibaldi station , at the port and other such places.
It works like this: A youth or other suspicious looking character runs up to you and shows you something like a rolex, a mobile phone or a car radio or similar and says he'll sell it to you for 100 euro. The implication is that it is stolen goods and he is trying to off-load it quick.
you barter on price and he will try to hurry things along by dropping the price.
He will show you it is working , but these guys are like magicians in that after you hand over the cash, he swaps that great looking stereo , watch, mobile phone or whatever it is for a brick , a mobile phone with no innards or similar and you are left with a brick in a box for your 50 euro !!
Don't say i didn't warn you suckers....
Naples - a beautiful yet very dysfunctional city
After my husband and I arrived at the central train station in Naples to take in the sites we headed for the Tourist Office and after prying the attendant off the lap of his girlfriend was able to get him to go over a basic layout and tourist map of the city (the map provided to us did not list street names). He suggested we head over to the Central Antiqua neighborhood which we were told was the vibrant historical area with lots of twisty windy streets, cafes and shops. After following his directions for several blocks we were taken aback by the garbage strewn streets, graffitied monuments and general unsavory vibe of the area. Everyone we asked told us we were in the "historic area" but after spending 30 more minutes of trying to find this area we gave up and headed back to the station. I've never in my life experienced such a dysfunctional city faced with such an overwhelming challange of processsing their daily trash output. Something told me however, that Naples' problems go much deeper and there seems to be a deep seated apathy and demorilization of its populace. Not clear why Romeo sent us to this crappy neighborhood but I think the Napolitans have honed survival skills where they don't see the city in its true light. We did however head over to the National Museum which houses treasures of the many ancient cultures that have called Napoli their home and most important to me--some of the treasures salvaged from Pompeii and Herculaneum. After seeing the barely visible sign for the musem covered in graffiti and surrouonded by boxes of trash we decided just to split.
Unfortunately we discovered we had to spend a night in Naples since our train left early in the a.m. from the main station for the next leg of our trip. Upon scrupulous internet search for a hotel in a decent safe part of town, all arrows seemed to point to the harbor area where we rented a B and B for just one night.
The hotel was lovely, the staff quite warm and friendly. We decided to take a walk through the beautiful waterfront neighborhood and came upon the Gallerai Umbert--a spectacular Victorian era shopping arcade. After walking around taking in the lovely scenery we sat down at the cafe in the arcade. Long story short, a tag team of gypsies quite stealthfully, I might add, managed to steal my husbands wallet from his front pocket --walking away with $250.00 including his ID and credit cards. The cafe owners were of no use and in fact when the gypsy family initially apppoaced us they were not shooed away but were allowed to accost the cafe's cutstomers. The degree to which the waiters were so eager to turn the other cheek made us think they were somehow involved. Even after I ID'd the young girl who created the distraction that allowed the pickpocketing to happen, the neraby security guards explained that she was just a young girl who meant no harm.
So within 15 minutes of re-arriving in Naples my husand's wallet was gone. We spent the rest of the evening at the Naples Police Station filling out a report--The police did seem very concerned and professional and just seemed overwhelmed with the task at hand.
Watch for run away Vespas........
The streets in the city centre of Naples are a jungle in places and the traffic is horrendous. Consequently tempers get frayed and people on Vespas who find themselves running late because they are stuck in traffic on the road, will quite simply jump their scooters onto the footpath and woe and betide any pedestrian who is not quick enough to get out of their way.
You really need to be aware and keep your wits about you, if you want to stay alive!
- Family Travel
- Travel with Pets
Do *not* believe the horror stories.
I know from answering questions on the forums that Naples has a bad reputation. In my opinion, this is unwarranted.
If, like me, you are visiting for the day there is nothing more about which to be concerned than when visiting any large European city. Take normal city common sense precautions and you will have no problems.
Just because somewhere is a bit grubby, very busy, very noisy and clearly not hugely wealthy does not mean that there are great risks involved in exploring.
I spent several hours walking the Forcella and centro storico areas, exploring the narrow alleyways, the shops, the streetlife and the history. At no time did I feel in any danger whatsoever. I cannot speak for how I would feel walking late at night, but I do not choose to walk alone late at night anywhere: that is not common sense city behaviour for a solo female in any city, anywhere. Imo.
Stay alert for traffic, of course: Naples traffic is frantic and chaotic. Stay alert for the many scooters: not because they will grab your bag (the chances of that happening are tiny, and pretty much non-existent if you wear your bag strap over your body as locals do) but because they appear out of nowhere on the narrowest of streets. Take extra care when crossing roads, and do not dither about doing so...walk confidently, and keep walking. Traffic *will* avoid you.
Naples is a 'dangerous' place to visit during normal hours? No. Absolutely not.
- Family Travel