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Jo Fitzsimons is a freelance travel writer who has visited over 50 countries. www.indianajo.com is the place where she shares destination details, travel itineraries, planning and booking tips and trip tales. Her aim: to help you plan your travel adventure on your terms and to your budget.

78 Responses

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  4. K U
    K U at | | Reply

    Good day, I realize that I am responding much later than this article is written. Thank you for a great article. I have been reading about the nuclear waste issue in Naples and the “triangle of death.” Is that a concern to others?

  5. Is Detroit Safe? The Answer From Someone Who's Been | Indiana Jo

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  6. Namrata
    Namrata at | | Reply

    Completely agree with you! I am in Naples after a lot of contemplation. Staying at the Hostel of the Sun!

    The city has a character of its own and must be experienced by all who can.

  7. Amjen
    Amjen at | | Reply

    They made a huge survey a few years ago about safety in Europe. Irish were the ones feeling the most unsafe. Why? Because at that time, when spitting on the floor in continental Europe was unfortunately seen as a normal behaviour, it has only started in Dublin.

    When I was in San Francisco, people told me not to go next to the civic center, it was dodgy (people told people who told people who… and then they missed a beautiful place). I went there. No trouble. Only homeless everywhere. I was attacked near the Painted Ladies, in a very touristy spot. I was the only one with a dslr and I did not listen to my little voice telling me to be careful as I passed next to robbed cars. Well, I kept the camera, they took the bag. Police found the bag 20min later with everything in it but 2 empty memory cards and 15$. The point being, if I had listened to me, my camera would have been hidden and I would have changed course.

    Never had any trouble other than there, never, and I am the kind of explorer getting lost in dodgy districts because I am stubborn…

  8. Naples: Faith, Food and Further Thoughts – michwanderlust

    […] it from me – for insight from the perspective of a solo female traveller in Naples, check out this great post by Indiana […]

  9. Maria K
    Maria K at | | Reply

    Great blog post!

    I’m going to Naples in just over three weeks. I have my qualms about it from things I’ve read and such but I think it’s mainly nervousness for my first solo holiday. But the more research I do into it, (inc. checking google earth to familiarise myself somewhat) of where to go and what to see I feel reassured. I have already booked day trips to Amalfi coast and Pompeii & Vesuvius which eases the nervousness and overrides that with excitement! And let’s not forget about the food!! Oh the food, I can’t wait!

    I will have small carry on suitcase with me but I’m also thinking of a small backpack. Would a backpack be preferable to let’s say an over the shoulder little bag would you say? I can use the backpack for the day trips?

    Also, lastly, do you have any tips to not stick out like a touristy sore thunb?

    Loving this blog post – great info.

    Thanks

    Maria

  10. Joe
    Joe at | | Reply

    Hi, I am Joe, planning to visit Naples in coming August for only a day trip for Capri. Please advise, is it safe for me with my wife and little son? We planned to come Naples in early morning by train from Rome, then avail the Capri ferry service from Molo Beverello or Calata Porta di Massa to see Capri, back to train station to catch return train to Rome before evening. Is it the right plan for my family? Is it safe at all? what are your travel tips for our plan? Is it safe to carry expensive camera, cell phones, watches and some money with us? Regards,

  11. Gwen
    Gwen at | | Reply

    I’m happy I found this blog as I’ve been questioning whether to visit Naples or not. It will only be for one night in August. My 14 year old daughter and I will be ending our self-guided tour of Europe either in Rome or, perhaps now, Naples. The plan is to leave Rome in the A.M. & head to Pompeii on the train, then back to Naples to stay the night and fly back to Canada the next morning. We will both have 60 litre backpacks and now I’m wondering if we should carry these in our hands or just on our backs when we are in the Naples train station. Also, any suggestions on a place to stay that will be easy to get to the airport in the wee hours? I would appreciate any tips!!
    Gwen in New Brunswick, Canada

  12. Corina
    Corina at | | Reply

    Hello there! Would you consider Naples a student friendly location? I’m taking this option into account for studying one semester abroad. I’ve always heard of the southern area as being “the dark side of Italy” but is it really that bad? I mean, robbery happens everywhere, people fight, even get shot, etc, but I’d rather get stabbed in my hometown than somewhere 2000 km away from anyone and anything I know. Don’t get me wrong, I would really like to go but I also want to enjoy my time without being afraid of getting spotted as an easy to rob foreigner while taking pictures in the street or shopping for groceries 🙁

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  15. Michael
    Michael at | | Reply

    Hi there…..love this blog and the great info about Naples. I will be visiting in April and just booked Hotel Piazza Bellini in Spaccanapoli (near Dante metro station). Any comments about staying in this part of the city? And what is the best/safest way to get from the station to my hotel with luggage?

  16. joeaverager
    joeaverager at | | Reply

    I lived in Naples ’91 through ’94. I was stationed there with the US Navy and worked as Military Police. We seemed to see it all on our shifts. My lasting memories of the place are of the crazy traffic (red lights are only a suggestion) and petting crime (pickpockets and theft mostly).

    I was in the city day and night at all hours. We went into sketchy bars and nightclubs. Sometimes on duty, sometimes not. In short if you look like a naive tourist someone will be glad to steal your wallet or jewelry or smash your car window to grab your bags. This might happen parked at a hotel or sitting in gridlock traffic.

    For a tourist who has never been far from home, it’s quite a shock. For a well traveled explorer it’s typical of a chaotic big city anywhere and easily anticipated.

    It wasn’t until I read Robert Saviano’s “Gomorrah” that I realized several of the places I was frequenting day and night with local Italian friends were the very towns Mr. Saviano pegged as the hotbed of Camorra activity. These villages were quiet and subdued as I came and went. Even a dog won’t soil it’s own bed so I suspect that’s why these towns were relatively quiet and safe. I can’t count the number of times I drove home after midnight by myself from these areas.

    Unemployment is quite high among the youth and migrants. They are going to earn a living one way or another.

    Other’s here have pointed out the common sense strategies of being left alone. Don’t be flashy. Don’t show your whole roll of cash – just pay for bills from a small stash in your pocket. Maybe carry two wallets, and only draw off of the little cash. Put that flashy camera away and the same probably goes for the $650 cellphones. A few times I was moving around with large sums of cash (like buying a car), I put the money in my boot!

    When my parents came over they were nearly robbed by two 20-something men near the Colosseum in Rome b/c my parents were not aware of their surroundings. It would have been a snatch and grab purse theft. My friend and I were walking 15-20 ft behind them and saw what was about to happen and surprised the thieves and yelled at them. They fled. They were neatly dressed to blend. I watched from an overlook near the Colosseum in Rome another time and watched what i believe were two pickpockets casing tourists. They were watching each other and the people more than the ancient architecture. One grabs the wallet and passes it off to the second, they both leave the area separately. Was “swarmed” by a Gypsy lady and a half dozen kids once. They had a piece of cardboard that they shoved into my belly under which I suspect the theft would occur. I simply distanced myself with a stern “NO”. My naive American buddy questioned why I was so rude to them. I explained the possible scheme and he got the picture quickly. Another scheme was a gypsy lady who hands you a baby which you of course don’t want to drop – and then she has your attention and you “can’t leave” until she gives up begging for money. Let me say i drove out to a gypsy camp one summer that set up in a field near our rented house. They drove larger cars – some quite nice – and towed caravans. Every summer the neighborhood theft rate would go up sharply but I can’t only blame this on the gypsies as the highs chool kids were also out of school. Same thing happens here in my American small town to a certain extent. Unemployed youth… The gypsies that camped near us might have been doing seasonal work. Who knows.

    We constantly wrote mil.police reports on thefts in Napoli. Very, very rarely did we write any assault reports. I felt safer in Napoli than I’ve felt in Atlanta, NYC, Philly, and parts of Nashville for example.

    We wrote reports on guys who put branded speakers on the package shelf in the their car’s back window only to get them stolen. The brand logo would light up at night and shout “STEAL ME”. Folks had their apartments broken into whule they were at work. They were sometimes easy to find b/c they’d have an American brand car parked right outside their Italian residence or they disposed of their new TV/Stereo/computer boxes right outside their gate at the dumpster. They kept a fixed schedule (not easy to alter for some jobs). We were robbed too – I lost $150 worth of gadgets and my roommate lost $2K worth of stereo and TV plus other misc. I didn’t have anything to steal.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to Naples. It was messy and chaotic but also a wonderful place to explore. the people there that I knew best were very generous and warm.

    Sorry for the length of this comment – it’s just not an easy thing for me to sum up in a few sentences.

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  18. guido
    guido at | | Reply

    Naples its an Italian city but completely different, you can find a lot of things on it on The web but The thruth will know it just The People Who lives there everyday. You can be safety and get an amazing experience just if you find The right people…It’s more than Pizza and spaghetti but like in all The world if you are in The bad moment and in a bad place everything could happen but remember that between The most dangerous city in Italy Naples It’s just 36th on The list! First of all Milan so i leave ti you The chance to think about it;)

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  20. DAVID
    DAVID at | | Reply

    Sorry, but to simply dismiss the statements and opinions of those of us who have had negative experiences in Naples is not fair and a bit shortsighted. My wife and I took a day trip from Rome to Naples a few years ago and I have to say that it was an absolutely horrible experience. From the moment we arrived at the central station we knew we had made a mistake in choosing to go there; the staggering amount of garbage and graffiti, the endless requests for handouts…just everything about the place screamed “danger”. The Archaeology Museum was the only saving grace…it was spectacular. I suppose that some folks enjoy the gritty, tattered feel of a place like Naples. I am simply not one of these folks. I have traveled extensively, from London to Mexico City, Quebec to Prague, Paris and Rome; Naples will always be etched on my brain as the very least of these.

    1. pwil1580@gmail.com
      pwil1580@gmail.com at | | Reply

      That’s a disappointing comment David: apparently garbage, graffiti and desperate people asking for money made it an ‘absolutely horrible experience’? For someone who self-identifies as ‘extensively travelled’ you seem to have a startling lack of worldliness. Jo writes about the security risk that tarnishes the city’s reputation being overstated by many, and you’ve only served to confirm it. Look beyond the superficial next time and don’t dismiss a city based on preconceived ideas that fit a narrative of what you expect it to be: ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, as it were.

  21. Francesco
    Francesco at | | Reply

    Hi Jo

    Thank you very much for this article!
    I’m from Napoli, now living in UK – Bristol

    You might already know about the great history of Naples but unfortunatelly, after Italy was created from nothing, the northern rules decided South will never thrive againand this still continues today. The continous disciminatory campaign against my city and the complet lack of investment in infrastructure (I’m sure you find services not adequate to the beautiful places the city is capable to offer) is only a strategical approach to quit any kind of possibility to prosper with turism.
    We are treated as a colony, nothing more than that.

  22. Louis
    Louis at | | Reply

    Sorry, but I think this ‘muri puliti popoli muti’ thing is rubbish. Also southern Italy having been invaded so many times, and people now only being able to communicate by smearing graffiti on walls is just a lame excuse.

    Other regions of Europe (and Italy) have been invaded all the time as well, and yet they are clean and successfull. The country of Italy exists since 1861 and Naples is right in the middle of it. Naples is no more disadvantaged than Milano or Torino. It should be a thriving city.

    As long as people/politicians don’t understand that cleanliness, security and reliabilty are economical assets which will attract investments and hence a better quality of life, nothing will ever change for the better.

    I have close to zero tolerance for littering, nonsense ugly graffitis and petty crime and the people who let it happen or shrug it off. And no, I’m not a conservative or a braindead republican. Actually I’m a progressive, pro equal rights, against racism and rather leftist person. But I believe in respect and positive attitude. And in green energy. All of the formentionned derive from negative attitude and lack of respect.

    Yes, I would (and probably will) visit Naples. Because I also believe that “normal” people get along in almost any city. However, any city which does not care about itself is like a person that has lost its self-esteem. You don’t want to hang around with those people, they depress you and you feel sorry for them. And they attract the weirdest people… Same with cities.

  23. max
    max at | | Reply

    We just got back from a weekend there. The things on the dodgy side I would say are the gypsies on the train to Pompeii, a mum, son and daughter crowded around us, I know my wallet was sticking out like a sore thumb. I live in Prague so am always aware of gypsies on public transport, so we just moved away.

    Secondly as we were looking out of the coffee shop window in the bottom floor of the main train station some African guy smacked an Asian guy in the back of the head for no apparent reason. There could have been something that happened before they arrived in our view, so I cannot say for sure but the Asian guy was with his girlfriend and had a suitcase, so I would say he was a tourist. The funny thing the Asian guy was quite stocky and manned up square to the aggressor and you could see that he was a coward and he ran away.

    That said we had no thieving, nothing nasty happened and had a great time. The streets are like a mixture of Turkey, North Africa and Italy, with all the cubby holes sometimes I even felt like being back in India. definitely worth a visit.

    We took the slow train there from rome for 10 euros and the mega fast 300km train on the way back for 43 euro.

  24. David Whitehill
    David Whitehill at | | Reply

    Just back from a week in Ostuni, followed by a week in Naples; two sides of Italy for sure. The first week was just me and my wife and then we drove to Naples to be joined by our 19 and 22-year old daughters for the week in the city.

    We stayed in a beautiful, private rental apartment in Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, in the very heart of historic, old town Naples. A great location for exploring all the most interesting parts of this amazing city but not for the faint-hearted; it’s very lively, very, very noisy but it is the real deal.

    So, as a 50-year old dad with his young daughters, how did I feel about their security, as well as my wife’s and my own? To be honest, not much different to how I felt in most of the places I have visited, including: Mexico DF, Ulaanbaatar, Sao Paolo, Hong Kong, Yerevan, Ho Chi Minh City, New York, Las Vegas, Almaty, Tashkent, Beirut, Rome, Milan, London, Bucharest, Liverpool, Glasgow etc. (not trying to show off, I’ve been lucky with my job; just demonstrating that I am speaking from experience). As others have already stated, just be sensible, positive, confident and a little streetwise and you won’t go far wrong.

    It’s a city you will never forget and I know we would definitely return, as a year would probably not allow enough time to experience everything it has to offer.

    BUT….

    It is a disgrace that the city fathers have allowed this international heritage site to be so disfigured by litter and graffiti and shame on those Italians who have been party to this mass act of wilfull vandalism. Most walls are daubed with pathetic tags and pointless slogans (ACAB), even including memorials to those who died in combat.

    The steps of the church beneath our balcony were a favoured meeting point for a small group of what we guessed were homeless alcoholics, who would sit there most of the day drinking cheap booze. But on more than one occasion I saw one or more of them trekking across the square to deposit their empty bottles into the recycling bins and clearing up their litter. Only to witness minutes later a group of young, well-dressed local youths crossing the square and tossing their cigarette packets, empty cans and bottles into flower beds or anywhere else that was not a bin. This of course is not unique to Naples or even Italy. As anyone who has ever traveled can testify, many other countries’ citizens passionately declare a love of their country whilst happily chucking their crap wherever’s easiest. But in Naples I picked up the strong feeling that, as the authorities had allowed it to be defaced to such an extent, how could young people be expected to show the ancient city much respect.

    So, don’t listen to the scare stories, get on the plane and visit – you won’t regret it. But it may make you angry/depressed.

  25. Musement
    Musement at | | Reply

    A must for your next trip to Naples: book cultural tours and art experiences with Musement! You’ll get interesting insider knowledge and skip the line for many museums and attractions, saving more time to explore the city http://www.musement.com/en/naples

  26. Bob
    Bob at | | Reply

    Hi Jo!

    Great article, great blog…as for Naples. I love it and I hate it. I lived in Naples from 1978-1980 then again from 1985-1988 in the Navy. Then I lived there again from 1988-1995 as a civilian worker. I learned Neapolitan and Italian. I married there. I left.

    My last trip was in 2003 from London.

    Something I read from an English writer was quoted as Naples being “a dung hill studded with Diamonds”.

    The good things:
    Naples has so much to see: walk on a Roman road (a block) beneath the church of San Lorenzo. See Naples underground. Visit Virgil’s tomb a short walk from the metropolitan stop at Mergellina, there’s a great photo of the bay from there. Visit the Palazzo Reale (Royal palace) at Piazza Plebiscito. Castel’Sant’ Elmo on top of the hill. Parts of the Greek ruins of Paleopolis and Neopolis exposed in several areas. The San Severo chapel “Cappello San Severo” with the Fisherman and Veiled Christ statues…
    The story of the 1799 revolution and the tragedy that followed. The heroic Neapolitans of the Fortress of Vigliena – a national monument in ruins. The National Museum…and so much more…

    And the food in Naples – Pizzeria Brandi which invented the Pizza Margheritta’. La Scimietta for Neapolitan ice cream off of Via Roma (now via Toledo). A fantastic pizza place in an alley off the Metropolitana stop of Montesanto. Café at Gambrinus near Piazza Plebiscito. My all time café espresso favorite is around the corner near the byzantine tower. Al Frustino d”oro restaurant behind the Hippodrome. Sitting at Piazza Bellini.

    The not so good:
    And then there is the other side of Naples, the micro – criminality of the small gangs that pick-pocket. Those unfortunate to be injured in a “Scippo” when those on a motorbike grabs a woman’s purse or a mans watch in broad daylight.(On 27 May 2011, a Puerto Rican man died after having his watch pulled from his arm; on April 14th 2014, a man was injured in a similar attack in front of his wife being hospitalized)

    The prostitutes along the via Domiziana burning tires. Then there are also the gypsies that wander the train station and bus station. All criminal involvement.

    There are bombings at businesses in areas that many Americans don’t go, announcements to who must pay to keep their businesses open. There are shootings that occur between the Camorra criminal kings (Read Gomorra by Roberto Saviano). I saw the bloodshed of the Saint Valentines Day massacre in Afragola outside Naples at the Barber shop. There are Camorra clan shootings monthly in the periphery towns as well as downtown (several in April 2014 and again in May).

    I too saw the aftermath of the bombing of the Naples USO (United Serviceman’s Organization) at 8:05 PM on Calata San Marco on 14 April 1988, if you look up – the bomb shrapnel still marks the 4th, 5th, and sixth floors…it killed 5 and wounded 17 (one who I knew).

    The Military police used to say in the welcome aboard briefing “one out of every five of you will file a police report the first year you are here”. The window smashed in on moving cars to be able to snatch the purse or suitcase or briefcase. Houses burglarized. And car accidents.

    Its not horrible, but be careful. Wear loose clothing, don’t take the Rolex. Don’t carry a purse. Put money of different amounts in different pockets. Use your camera wisely and keep it put away. Keep your wits about you and look.

  27. Mike
    Mike at | | Reply

    Hi Jo,

    Great blog.

    I’ve done a lot of travelling around the world over the past few years, but have largely ignored Europe for no obvious reason. I’m heading to Florence this September for a friend’s wedding, and thought it was a perfect opportunity to explore Italy. I was planning on heading to Rome and then further south afterwards and, like yourself, had heard a few scare stories about Naples.

    Rest assured it is now on my list after reading this.

    Looking forward to exploring the rest of your site.

  28. Lily
    Lily at | | Reply

    I really enjoyed reading this, thank you! My husband and I recently dropped everything and moved all of our belongings into a tiny storage unit in Southern California and bought one-way tickets to Europe. We’ve only been over here since March 26, but it feels like months. We have done so much in such a short amount of time, I feel like we are actually living, as opposed to sitting in an office watching the months go by doing the same thing day in and day out. It’s so freeing! Anyways, we are looking for a month-long accommodation on Airbnb in Italy. There is one option in Naples, which is what led me to search online for safety, since like many others, I have heard that it’s unsafe. But it looks beautiful, and the pizza delicious. Just one question, have you spent much time in Pitigliano? There is also an apartment option there. We don’t have a car, so I worry about getting to the smaller towns and things like that. Any advice would be appreciated!! Thank you!

  29. Michelle
    Michelle at | | Reply

    I wanted to share my positive opinion of Naples! I went last weekend, and was nervous about going alone as a solo female traveller, even though as an Aussie in London – 12 years and counting – I’ve travelled to some dicey places (such as Sierra Leone!). It was the negative online reviews about Naples that had me worried. If only I had found your post in advance of the trip, to set my mind at rest 🙂

    Naples is wonderful, and very safe for tourists. I had no hassle from men as I’ve had in other European (and Italian!) cities. I confidently pulled out my map and looked lost all day long, and no one bothered me. I strapped my big DSLR camera to my wrist and snapped away everywhere, and no-one bothered me. There’s little point in trying not to look like a tourist when you’re a tall, naturally blonde female. Prices are so cheap for food and wine compared to elsewhere in Europe. Everyone is lovely. I stayed in a local AirBnB house with a lovely Napoli couple, right next door to the Duomo. Picture perfect.

    I’ll be honest – I was pick-pocketed within an hour of arriving and almost cried. Thankfully they didn’t get away with anything: I felt my entire backpack being zipped open and quickly whipped it to safety under my arm. It was my own fault. I was wearing a backpack and carrying a suitcase and camera bag onto the metro, with a huge crush of people around me. I should have simply taken a taxi from the airport to ditch the luggage, and I most definitely shouldn’t have worn a backpack.

    I also got to experience a legendary taxi ride, sideswiping another car down a narrow lane. It was exhilarating!

    My main tip is to hang out at night in Chiaia if you want a more local experience (cleaner and quieter) away from other tourists.

    Naples is chaotic and colourful and unique and full of character. Everyone deserves to experience it.

  30. Jennifer
    Jennifer at | | Reply

    Thanks for this post. I’m in Naples right now (been here for three days, seven more to go) and although I’ve felt quite safe during my stay, I stupidly decided to google “Naples safety” just today (in my defense, was trying to figure out if the flea market “Shoe Alley” was in a decent enough area). Despite my own judgement gleaned from three days of walking the city nonstop, what I read on google nearly convinced me to never leave the apartment again! Goodness – they would have you believe that the city is a cesspool of crime and pollution.

    That said, I think something worth mentioning is the importance of looking like you belong. I can pick out tourists half a block away — they’re wearing seasonally inappropriate clothing (natives are wearing winter coats and scarves in early April, tourists are wearing shorts and t-shirts), backpacks and weird waist pouches, and questionable footwear (everyone is wearing boots or sneakers, they’re in flip-flops). They’re dangling cameras from their necks/wrists and have maps sticking out of their pockets.

    Despite being blonde, blue-eyed, and fair-skinned I’ve had a number of people speak to me in Italian … why? I wear sunglasses (gotta hide those eyes), a jacket and scarf, and sensible shoes. I carry a normal bag under my arm. If I want to take a picture, I take my camera out of my purse then put it back inside immediately afterward. Of course, as soon as I open my mouth, my cover is blown. So, if anyone tries to talk to me on the street, I pretend I don’t hear and just keep walking.

    [….. or, maybe the thieves can tell that I beat up a guy who tried to rob me in Chile (true story) and that’s why they decide not to mess with me.]

    Hope I don’t jinx my karma by posting this, here’s to common sense and safety for all in Napoli!

  31. Annie Tran
    Annie Tran at | | Reply

    Dear Indiana,

    I came across your blog while i was searching around for safety informations about traveling to Naples, Italy. First off, thank you for writing such a beautiful piece! I’ve got so inspired after reading. I’m a 28 years old girl from Switzerland who has done quite a few solo trips to Milan, Rome, Florence, Paris,Amsterdam… I love traveling by my own, having the freedome to do things i want. However, i have always seemed to feel lonely whenever it comes to night time or dining alone in restaurants. Would you please give me some tips to cope with this problem?

    I’m planning to attend to a 2 week Italian course in Naples this September. The reason why i chose Naples among other big cities like Rome or Florence, Milan is i have never been to Southern Italy. And because someone told me ” you must go down South to see the real Italy!” The safety reason is not my biggest concern as i’m Vietnamese who emigrated to Switzerland at the age of 15. I travel back to Saigon, Vietnam once a year ever since my parents resided back there.You mentioned previously in this post that you have traveled months in Asia so i bet you surely know what is safety there in the south east country like Vietnam 🙂 i’d be really appreciated if you could give me some more advises about daily local life in Naples, meeting people, making friends etc… ah, someone tried to scare me away by saying” the men in Naples won’t leave you alone as you’re a petie good looking girl and men over there they just love women” To be honest, i don’t really bother about this thing and i’ve experienced it in Rome. They’re just harmless after all. But of course i’d love to hear from you. 🙂

    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Best and warm regards from Switzerland.
    Annie

  32. budgeteurotrip
    budgeteurotrip at | | Reply

    Hi Jo!
    Thanks for your post about my beloved city!
    First thing, I’d like to give my suggestion to Brian too, regarding the best pizza:
    -antica pizzeria da michele, Via Cesare Sersale, 1-3, be prepared for a long queue, you go there, give your name, wait in the street with others and you will be called. Inside is the best way to experience the old real pizzeria. Common tables, no menù, only 2 pizzas that you can choose, either margherita or marinara (no mozzarella, with garlic). Those are the real pizza! any other extra ingredient spoil the pleasure and the taste of the Napoli’s pizza.
    -pizzeria i decumani, Via dei Tribunali 58, open on sunday at luch too. Very good pizza (always talking about margherita), with a small tasty mozzarella di bufala served on the top that makes a difference
    -pizzeria di napoli, Via Marc’Antonio, 31, outside the city centre, nearby fuorigrotta and the football stadium, reachable by metropolitana train.

    Now…regarding the safety, when you asked me ‘is Napoli safe?’ I replied ‘No’ and I’m still sure about it.
    Napoli is not safe for locals too, it’s a jungle, not only petty crime goes on, everyday.
    People and travellers should be awared of it.
    However, by using common sense, avoiding wearing and carrying valuable things, avoiding people offering you ‘great deals’ (especially around the railway station, anyway with the dark it’s really an off limit area!), being careful with your wallet and bags…it’s ok.
    For the 40 years I’ve been living and now visiting my city, it never happened anything to me, however this doesn’t mean it’s a golden rule.
    The beauty of the city will pay back the concentration you have to pay for staying safe, the views and panorama you can admire from the top spots are the most beautiful and incredible for an european city, people are warm and always willing to help, talkative and rich with genuine kindness and hospitality (in the past they would have invited tourists at home for a coffee!).
    Napoli is an extreme city, closer to south america than to europe, you can either find one of the kindest person or the worst criminal (camorra, local mafia, exists for real).
    I was told by many friends visiting south america the same stories, people are so nice that you will forget about hypotetical bad experiences.

    One thing about litterieng and graffiti.
    Littering, no excuse, the city is dirty and messy, it’s also this part of our ‘culture’
    Graffiti, many are simple vandalism but there is a deep reason for that.
    In italy we say ‘muri puliti popoli muti’ something like ‘clean walls dumb people’.
    Italy (and especially south, has been colonized and invided so many times, under other countries rule, local people have a chance to express something only by writing on walls (as official media are controlled by power).
    Think about murales in northern ireland.
    The graffiti you will see in Napoli are, most probably, the first attempt of freedom for a teenager that very often will spend his life ‘working’ for a camorra clan, at the same time its also a challange, to break a rule and show how brave he is, in a city (again) where you have to be strong to survive (and it’s not an euphemism…).

    Ok, I’ve just realized that I wrote too much and in a confusing way, after 40 years I’m still struggling to understand my city, I’m always in between ‘hate and love’ feelings.
    That makes Napoli unique!

  33. Brian
    Brian at | | Reply

    Hi Jo,

    This is a question rather than a comment. I’m thinking of going to Naples (on my own) around Easter time. I’m a keen street photographer and want capture the real life in the back streets. What would be the best areas to hang out and can you recommend some good pizza places?

    thanks
    Brian

  34. Vince
    Vince at | | Reply

    Dear Jo,
    I am from Naples. Thank you for your wonderful article!
    I write for a local newspaper. Can I use some bits of your story?
    Thank you very much in advance.
    Vince

  35. Kyne
    Kyne at | | Reply

    Hi Jo,

    I’ve just returned from a 5-week RTW solo adventure inspired by great blogs like yours. Italy was probably my favourite destination and I spent time in Rome, Florence and Naples. I agree with you that getting unsolicited advice from people who have never been out of their home town is unproductive, bizzare and inevitably negative. I went to New York last year, solo, had the time of my life but was ribbed mercilessly beforehand by multiple people telling me how I would be shot, robbed, stabbed and mugged on every corner. When in reality I had an amazing adventure, and talked to friendly, helpful people all the way – while of course remaining alert and aware of my surroundings.

    Similarly in Italy and particularly Naples. Yes, I got a shock walking outside the train station where I was hit up by no less than five gypsies, homeless and lighter/trinket sellers. Then through the gauntlet of dodgy IPad sellers. I noticed the litter and graffitti in some sections. However, what I will remember, is the incredible mix of old city and new city, the amazing National Archaeological Museum of Naples and the food and service I received at every restaurant I visited How can you complain when you get pizza, beer, chocolate covered profiteroles and coffee for less than 15EURO! My accomodation was clean, safe and central, with a terrific balcony which gave me a view across the city. After a day of getting my bearring, I found some really nice areas in Naples and could have stayed longer and explored even more!

    Ahh itchy feet just thinking about it and it’s only my second week back home (Australia).

    My advice, be alert, aware and outwardly confident. Life is an adventure and needs to be experienced. The naysayers can sit back and miss out – I’ll see the world and love every minute of it.

    Cheers,

    Kyne

    1. IndianaJo
      IndianaJo at | | Reply

      “The naysayers can sit back and miss out” – love it! What a great sentiment and you’re absolutely right. I get beyond frustrated at the non-travellers who try to put the rest of us off from doing the things that THEY fear. Glad you had a great experience in New York, I adore that city and have visited 5 times and will continue to return whenever I get a chance. I genuinely believe that if most people’s entry point into Naples was somewhere other than the station, the city wouldn’t have such a bad reputation. I saw a guy selling an iPad and it still had the previous owners family photos on it – seriously! I think you Aussies are a bit like us Brits – can’t keep us tied to the same spot for too long 🙂 Where next?!

      1. Kyne
        Kyne at | | Reply

        Hi Jo, thanks for the reply 🙂

        Why are people so scared? Even now, on return ‘friends’ are telling me how lucky I was not to get stabbed, robbed, scammed – ‘I’m like – no dude – it was fine, I was fine…great people, great food, amazing history, beautiful countries…can’t wait to go aagain’. They almost want me to have a disaster story and look crestfallen when I tell them nothing major went wrong. As you and I have both mentioned – just be aware, alert and confident – I also think when you are solo, you are forced to do this more and it makes for an incredible adventure because you discover more and meet great people and do cool things.

        As for the people back home, it’s like we are so conditioned to do the same thing, day in day out – that stepping out from that is foreign and scary…But that’s what I love and I’m sure you are the same.

        Next trip? Well I’m planning to move to London to be closer to the action. The travel bug has well and truly got me!

        Cheers,

        Kyne

  36. Kenji
    Kenji at | | Reply

    I’m actually in Naples, Italy right now for the first time. I’d like to qualify the rest my comment with following statement: I’ve spent thousands of nights on the road in hotels, renting rooms, sleeping in cars, and even in the wild outdoors. I’ve been to very poor countries like Vietnam and Mexico and spent time in border towns in Mexico and major metropolitan cities all over the world (New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Bankok, Hanoi, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona).

    Naples is a BEAUTIFUL city but you do have to be careful here. There is a lot of litter and graffiti. The traffic is abominable and people will try to rip you off (as in most big cities). For example, our first taxi driver charged us double the fixed rate (we should have known better). After arriving, my wife and I immediately dressed down and stripped all jewelry (wedding rings, necklaces, watches). Pickpockets and petty theft are your biggest concerns here, not violence.

    This sweet old lady that is staying at our same hotel had her necklace snatched off her neck and robber jumped on the back of a moped and sped away. One night in town.

    Pros: There’s amazing history here, beautiful sites, great food.
    Cons: It’s dirty, littered, graffiti’d, traffic is like east Asia, there’s a lot of pickpockets and scams.

    1. IndianaJo
      IndianaJo at | | Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Kenji. It’s good to have an extra perspective. I didn’t really notice the litter, but perhaps that was because I’d spent the previous months in Asia 🙂 The pickpocketing is unfortunate but, as you say, no different than other cities. Barcelona is particularly rife for it but the Sagrada Familia and beach seem to keep the tourists pouring in. I did notice the graffiti. In fact, I got off at the wrong stop at Herculano because the sign was covered with so much spray paint. If only the culprits could be as talented as the graffiti artists in Latin America. Enjoy your trip through Naples!

  37. The Wanderfull Traveler
    The Wanderfull Traveler at | | Reply

    Good article.
    I was worried about going through Naples to get to Capri. Other than a wild ride in a taxi, a local woman on the boat who warned us of pickpockets and a rat that ran before us on our way into the train station Naples is only dangerous if you don’t use common sense and certain areas to avoid like ANY city in this world.

    Murissa

    1. IndianaJo
      IndianaJo at | | Reply

      Completely agree, Murissa. It’s such a beautiful city with so many lovely locals, great food and amazing buildings that it’s sad people pass it by on the basis of a fear that seems to exist mainly in the minds of strangers or opinionated people who have never visited. Still, the plus side was that with fewer tourists, Naples had a much more natural feel compared to the more touristy alternatives of Rome and Tuscany – every cloud… 🙂

  38. Gary
    Gary at | | Reply

    Actually, the guy concerned was a bit of a pratt. Later on, after the above episode, he when on a wine tasting and buying trip to the Beaujolais. In the hotel restaurant he was boasting about the great deals he had done on wine that day, how he had haggled with the producteurs. The following morning all the wine had disappeared from his car.

    1. IndianaJo
      IndianaJo at | | Reply

      🙂 So he didn’t learn anything about not storing things in his car. That’s some good booty, a stash of Beaujolais. Think I’d take that over a stranger’s luggage!

  39. Gary
    Gary at | | Reply

    When we lived in Switzerland, a friend and his wife drove to Naples for a short break. Now, every Italian knows that cars with Swiss registration plates have gold bullion in their trunks. Sure enough, all his luggage was stolen from the trunk of his car outside the hotel. That evening in the bar, he was lamenting his loss when he was approached by a guy who said that for a reasonable sum in Italian lire, information about his luggage might be available. He payed up, and the luggage turned up, undamaged and unopened in the hotel lobby. He was also given a sticker to put on the windshield of his car, the gist of which, in Italian, was “This guy has paid. Leave this car alone.”

    I will email you two more stories of our own brushes with the Mafia in Southern Italian towns.

    1. IndianaJo
      IndianaJo at | | Reply

      Can I say I love this story without sounding insensitive to the couple who were robbed? 🙂 Glad they got their stuff back even if it was for a price (hopefully less than their insurance excess) – they probably also learned a good lesson about not leaving their stuff in their car! Ooh, do send me the other stories but remember your freedom from self-incrimination ;p

Please comment with your real name using good manners.

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