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naples italy Along with our slideshow of the 11 Best Italy Experiences, this post is part of an ongoing effort to help independent travelers make unique memories in both popular and undiscovered destinations around the world.

For Italian politicians, Naples sometimes seems like a problem that’s best left alone. It’s a tangled ball of social inequalities — a wriggling can of economic worms that, once opened, threatens to squirm out, all over one’s pristine Armani chinos.

For travelers, as well, Naples can seem like a place that’s better avoided than engaged with. Even we’re guilty of it. On IndependentTraveler.com’s recent roundup of 11 Unforgettable Italy Experiences, Naples lost out to neighbouring Sorrento, which offers a small slice of southern Italy without the bad attitude that Naples has (perhaps unfairly) become associated with.

But sometimes the most rewarding relationships are the ones that require the most work — and with this in mind, my travel companion and I set off for the south.

We boarded the high-speed train from Rome to Naples and sat down across from a surly-looking rail worker in mucky orange overalls who pretended to be asleep for most of the journey. We had plenty of time, while watching little terra cotta villages and impossible-to-reach green mountains fly past the window, to think about everything we knew about Naples.

Our guidebook was hysterical. Everyone we met in Naples, we were advised, was out to rob or shoot us. We should treat anyone approaching us as either a “hood” or a “swindler.” I think our guidebook had been written by a 1950’s cardsharp. I pictured him sweating in his zoot suit at the very thought of the mean Neapolitan streets, battering away at a typewriter in a dimly lit tenement building, waiting for the call from Bugsy.

Unfortunately, this seems to be where many people’s perceptions of Naples are stuck. But what else did I know about Naples?

It’s the third largest city in Italy — after Rome and Milan. It is also one of the poorest places in Europe, with an unemployment rate of almost 11 percent. Its Italian name, Napoli, is derived from the Greek Neapolis, meaning “New City.” Its historic city center, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, has long been renowned for its beauty, with generations of poets and artists coming from all over the world for inspiration. It also has an enduring and unfortunate association with organized crime.

Money Safety Tips for Travelers

One of my brother’s friends claims that upon visiting Naples for the first time, he witnessed a fatal shooting before he’d even left the train station.

This kind of thing has shaped Naples’ reputation — a reputation that gives visitors a kind of thrill. Naples has a sheen of danger that reassures travelers that here they are experiencing something real, something that hasn’t been laid on for them by the tourist board.

So what was Naples actually like?

The first thing we noticed was not the danger but the heat. Naples is definitely hotter than other major Italian cities like Rome. The streets seemed more humid, and despite the sun, there were fewer people wearing sunglasses. Everything, even the escalators, seemed to move at a slightly different pace.

We enjoyed the ramshackle mix of architecture and the blue sea in the bay. It is often said that Rome is Italy’s heart and that Naples is its soul. I can’t say whether you should be frightened of Naples or not, but I do know that you should visit it if you can. Keep an eye out, of course — as you would anywhere — but don’t go expecting trouble.

Trip Review: Naples

The guy in the orange overalls that had been sharing our table got his things together in a rucksack and made his way off the train into the crowded streets. He looked as though he was on his way home, along with the hundreds of other people who had made the hourlong commute from Rome. The city is eminently accessible — there really is no reason to be put off visiting.

Naples has a charm of its own, completely separate from that of bustling Rome and cosmopolitan Milan. Despite its distinct character, and despite what our guidebook may have had us believe, Naples is not so alien as to be impossible to negotiate. It is not, as it may sometimes feel when reading about it, a whole world apart.

For more trip ideas, see our 11 Best Italy Experiences.

— written by Josh Thomas

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113 Responses to “Naples: Italy’s Scariest City?”

  1. Tom Woodward says:

    This is absolutely true!!! A huge public works truck ran a stop sign when I was there in 2010 and just crushed the little Fiat Panda I was driving. The driver came out and as soon as he found out I was an American, he got back into his truck and simply drove away.

    I tried to call their emergency number because I was hurt and the car was destroyed. I tried 3 times and let the phone ring until it just stopped ringing with NO ONE ever answering. Even the people standing around in front of a large church wouldn’t help me. I gave a kid 50 euro’s to watch my stuff and he pointed me in the direction of a hospital. Which I had to very painfully walk to.

    It ended up with me having to come back for medical treatment. The only good thing that happened was the kid did his job and none of my stuff was stolen. And the car rental company picked the car up with no charges to my account for anything other than the two week rental on the vehical.

  2. Roseli D'Agostino says:

    Unfortunately the reputation may be deserved!
    Two years ago arriving at Naples train station, my suitcase was grabbed out of my hands as I exited the train. I pulled it back very forcefully and yelled no uncertain tone of voice that I did not need the help! Yes, they “help” you than demand whatever they want from you, but I seriously doubt they would try to rob anybody’s luggage.
    After a few days in paradise,Positano/Sorrento/Ravello we returned to the train station to board our train to Rome. As the train pulled out of the train station – at 10AM! – we witnessed a very well groomed young man laying alongside one of the tracks, face up,obviously fainted, as another young man, disheveled, dirty-looking clothes, both hands firmly digging in his pants’ pockets slowly walked away.
    I immediately went to the conductor to report the sighting and was appalled when he shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes like “lady, this happens every day”. I asked him to call the police since the young man was too close to the rails and he finally said he would – perhaps just to get rid of me.
    Until this time I discounted all the reports, now I am a believer. I do not avoid going there, however, one must be aware of one’s surroundings at all times not only there but really anywhere!

  3. Roseli D'Agostino says:

    So sorry for the typos. Did not see an Edit box!

  4. Joanne G says:

    Too true. A month ago I was enjoying the architecture and old residential streets of Naples. Got some wonderful photos but when I went to open my backpack I discovered it already open and my wallet gone. Cash, credit cards, license and worst of all anirreplaceable photo of my dad. As a travel agent I will never send anyone to Naples willingly. Too bad the reputation is all too well deserved.

  5. Angela bray says:

    Myself, my husband and our four children have just returned from a two week italy holiday. One week in Rome and the second week in Naples. I feel naive now but Naples was not what we were expecting. Not because I ever felt threatened but because it is filthy. The people have no respect for their city or each other. They are lazy, even the police lent on a wall smoking watching a mother get on her scooter with TWO young children, one in front, one behind none wearing helmets and did nothing. Lanes of roads were cordoned off because there was so much rubbish piled up on them. Please YouTube Naples rubbish problem. I cannot stress enough how disgusting the place was. We all thought it smelled ‘fart’ like and put it down to Mount Vesuvuis 20 mins drive away. It wasn’t!! Iwas just Naples. My husband regularly works in third world countries but he thought Naples was among the worst places he has ever been (Angola, Afghanistan, Lao, C.A.R all came above). We feel cheated and cannot recommend Naples to anyone. Yes Pompeii etc was fantastic but even that has not been sympathetically restored. Just rebuilt in places, drain pipes shoved through original walls and we left there feeling despondent. I would never ever go back. It was awful!

  6. Richard I says:

    I’ve visited 5 times and love it more than anywhere else in Italy, beautiful buildings and surrounding areas, the best Italian food, a real buzz and simply very unique. I would recommend it to anyone.

  7. Chipshot says:

    I am in Naples right now, and thank good my wife and are leaving tomorrow. the city is loud, but not as loud as the people. they seem like your wasting their time by eating at their restaurants, and shopping in their stores. As for the reputation, it is well deserved, the metro line 1 IS filled with thieves, I saw it today on the way back to the hotel. This city is dirty, urban, and not worth a travelers time! I love Italy, and have enjoyed my trip, this part will be the black eye of it. P.S. As posted by others, the scooters and cars have no boundaries, hold your loved ones hands and run as fast as you can.

  8. mary says:

    Me and my family Just got back from a 2 week trip through England, France and Italy. Before heading to Rome we decided to stay 2 nights in Naples so we could visit Pompeii and Capri. Upon entering the city we were all horrified of the condition of this city, that i believe, could be SO beautiful! Our cab driver was a little lost so we were driving around looking for our Hotel, we went around a large round about right near the train station …there were young men and woman completely strung out on drugs! one poor handsome young man was so gone, he was standing in the middle of the street with a window washing device and he was almost hit by a oncoming bus! The bus literally moved for him because he was not of his own mind to move. Then at this same round about, my whole family including young children, witnessed, in broad daylight a woman(prostitute) giving her services to a man as he was parked on the side of the road!! Upon leaving the city we saw a very very fat man, laying asleep on a sidewalk in the middle of the afternoon, this would not have struck me as strange if the man was wearing pants or underwear… but unfortunately HE WAS NOT! Just all his bottom halfness hanging to the wind! So! Naples lived up to its bad rep, and ive lived and seen alot of areas considered “RUFF” or “the worst in the US” Naples is worse then any of them! however i would absolutely go again if it meant getting to see Capri again <3

    • Antonio says:

      I have been to Naples Italy many times and walked the many narrow
      streets from the bay around the train station the hills and etc.
      I don’t recall the same things that you have described.
      The people that you have notice walking and selling Kleenex or try to wash the windshield of cars are not people from Naples.
      Because of pressure from the US as a Nato Allied, Italy was forced to take in people from North Africa and Albania. They don’t have a job so they are left to survive in the city.
      I hope that you also noticed some beauty in the city of Naples.

      • Eleni Dodd says:

        Antonio, My partner & I have just returned from Naples, & We can honestly say we have never been so pleased to get away from somewhere before.Naples is full of rubbish, it smells of toilet waste, there are pick pockets & muggers on scooters everywhere, we were corned by 2 people on scooters & mugged yesterday morning, and on the first day we arrived people tried to pick my partners pockets ….My partner & I are from Albania , and I assure you we are very respectful people, the two people that mugged us were ITALIAN ……

      • Jason says:

        Of course, Antonio, it’s the United States’ fault.

  9. Antonio says:

    Every city in a country has it’s good and bad. I could say the same for some cities that I have visited in the US. The people of the city of Napoli has given thru the centuries a lot. From food to culture, music, poetry beautiful views of the bay and the coast line of the Amalfi coast and about the island of Ischia and Capri. I could go on and on. The city of Napoli is the oldest city in Europe with it’s on beauty and mystery. To me, it is a city that is still in my HEART. Americans that I have seen traveling and behaved during the times that I have and I have been in a lot of countries, made me at that moment change nationality. We need to be more open minded when we visit a country and not to forget that we are the visitors.
    My suggestion, when any one visits Napoli Italy, is to make it’s on opinion and understand that he or she is not back in the US and they don’t do things the same as we are in the US.
    I am planning another trip to Napoli and vicinity and enjoy it’s beauty.

    • Patti says:

      I agree with Antinio. I have been to Naplesa number of times and never encountered anything bad. Bad things happen in the US too (I am an American). I love every place I’ve been to in Italy! People have been very helpful and friendly.

  10. Kara says:

    Amazing pictures! Takes me back to a food tour I took in Naples. It was with foodtoursofnaples.com.. So delicious. They took us around to every authentic eatery I could think of, and we feasted on fish, pasta, pizza, and some amazing desserts. I can’t wait to go back again one day.

  11. rock says:

    Is Naples comparable to a southern Spanish city ? .I’m thinking of going.

  12. Peter says:

    Naples is wonderful. Naples is gritty, it’s not scrubbed, bleached or plasticized, it’s real, it’s alive. Sure it has thieves, pickpockets and hustlers but what city doesn’t. Keep your eyes open, your valuables close and be aware of where you are. Act like you are from Nebraska and visiting New York and you will do fine. In Rome you go to the museums, the Vatican, the ruins, it’s an observational experience. In Naples you walk, you talk, you eat, you become part of the city, it’s an immersion experience. best pastries in Italy, need I say more.

  13. John says:

    I was there last November with my wife and we thought it was OK, we are going again this November. Nicest pizza ever. We stayed along the seafront near Castel del Ovo, a lovely area. Wandered around the city, went to Vomero, Centro Storico, etc, a city full of contrasts. Stay well away from the area around the railway station, also mind youself in La Sanita and the Spanish Quarter and other than that its OK. Its not as touristy as Rome, but as my neighbour in Dublin who is from there says – its the real Italy. I’d feel more unsafe late at night in Dublin than I would in Naples.

  14. Ronald De Cambio says:

    The origine of Naples name is not from Latin but Greek.It was part of Magna Grecia as was most of Southern Italy and Sicilia.Neo is the Greek prefix for new ,and polis is Greek for city.It pre dates the Romans by centuries.It’s amazing the amount of cultural ignorance their is among people who pretend to be experts.As for crime seeing how the murder rate in our country is around 600 in a bad year,for a population of 60,000,000 plus population and in New York it’s over 500 for a pop. of 8,000,000 I think Italy is pretty safe.By the way the Greater Naples area accounts for 10 percent of the total.p.s.for the culturally ignorant Naples vast cultural and artistic heritage is over 2500 years old it has more art in it’s churches alone than most cities have in their museums;but you’d have to know what your looking at or where you are to value it,something wasted on Americans who think the origine of the name comes from ‘latin’.

    • Konstantina says:

      Thanks for the comment Ronald, I was surprised that everyone didn’t know that Napoli, like Syracuse, was originally a Greek settlement! It’s funny because none of the bad reviews really keep me from wanting to visit Naples- I wouldn’t miss the Archaeological Museum and the pizza for any amount of litter or crazy drivers. I am going in February and I intend to hang on to my wallet and have a great time.

  15. Andy says:

    My wife and I are currently in Naples and we have just spent two weeks in Rome,Athens and some of the Greek Islands. The last three days of our trip are here in Naples and it is the most disgusting place I have ever been to in my life. Apart from visiting Pompeii, and the pizzeria known as the place that serves the best pizza in the world, Pizzeria Da Michel. We have not enjoyed any of our time in Naples. You are constantly watching your back and feeling your pockets to see if everything is still there.. there is someone trying to scam you at every corner. You don’t get to take the city in because you are too busy trying to be vigilant. It would take a lot to convince me to come back to this city. This post is not something that I wish to turn everyone against Naples but maybe the Italian government can try and improve the city that many people want to visit because of Pompeii but are too afraid to do so. I come from South Africa which has a bad reputation as being a place of Crime but I would feel safer walking around in the streets of Hilbrow than I do walking around in Naples.

  16. Ray says:

    My family and I just got back from 2 weeks in Italy. 4 of us with adult children. We spent 4 nights in Naples. The hotel was great but that’s all I can say good about our stay in the city. I am not the kind to rush to judgment and no crime was committed against us while there. However, my wife and I both said we won’t recommend Naples to anyone who would ask us about the trip. The place is full of Graffiti. I mean every square inch. I am from LA and I have never seen that before in my life. The place is scary and we decided not to stay in Naples at all and instead either take the boat to Capri or drive to the little towns on Amalfi coast. They were beautiful. I had a rental car and driving and even parking it in the structure with my daughter was scary. I would say it is not a place to go with your family. It is intimating. I didn’t use the car as much as I could have and instead used taxi instead. The taxi drivers were nice. No problems with that. The place is not a war zone but it gives you and uneasy feeling that makes you want to get away from it as soon as you can. When we first got there, we had to drive around a bit to find the hotel. The GPS stopped working. We kept looking at each other, and without words, said why the hell are we here. If you have to go there, get around with taxi and visit the surrounding areas. I don’t recoommend train or subway.

    • Tellik says:

      Oh dear lord. “I’ve never seen graffiti before, “GPS didn’t work” – ever thought of using a MAP? “Parking a car is scary.” What kind of problems these even are?

      I really don’t understand how ignorant some Americans can be, if you expect everything to be the same as in home, why the hell do you travel at all? It’s like some Americans have never heard of different cultures and lifestyles and that life everywhere is not always the same as in America.

      Luckily, I’ve met some really cool young Americans traveling in Naples and there still might be some hope left.

      Btw, I’m a singe blonde northern european girl, living in Naples and I’ve never had to worry about being safe, I wonder why?

      • Jerry says:

        I agree. These same complainers say the same thing about NYC. They miss so much because they are so damn genteel and threatened by everything. Naples is like NYC. If you really want to experience all the great stuff, you can’t be act like you are a clueless idiot -and you have to have some spine to not be afraid of every shadow.
        I am American but I have lived in real cities with a pulse all my life and have walked through and lived in some not so pretty neighborhoods. A lot of Americans come from white-picket fence places or places where the town closes up at 5pm.
        So many Americans who think that anything that has a strong ordour, garlic, cheeses (because we only eat dead cheese).. any ‘stinks’… it is sad.

        • Tom says:

          “Naples is like NYC?” HA! I was born and raised in NY and have been to Italy well over 120 times. The two cities could not be more different.

      • codymurp says:

        I’m American and I absolutely LOVE Napoli. So much so that I am moving there next week. Yeah, Napoli is gritty and has a passionate heartbeat that not everyone can hear, but it is the most magical city I’ve ever been to. I <3 Napoli!

      • Hayley says:

        If you read this carefully you will find not everyone who commented is from the U.S. seems like you may have an attitude about Americans. Not all Americans live behind white picket fences.

      • Michelangelo says:

        Naples is filthy and disgusting. I’ve travelled the world extensively and have experienced few places nearly as horrid. If the citizens channeled their energies into basic cleanliness, sanitation, and civility rather than defending it online as it rots, it could be an amazing place.

  17. Bill says:

    Naples is a good place to visit if you like history. I am a history professor, so I guess I like it. I will admit that I was scared in the area of the train station, and I took a cab to the Castel Nuovo. I visited the both Castels, the Bourbon Palace, the basilica of San Francesco and then I took a sight seeing bus through the older part of the city.
    It is a dirty city and a place where you have to be careful, but I am glad I came down from Rome to spend a day. I did a nice photo gallery of nearly 100 digitals. I will return. I’m a traveler more than I am a tourist.
    I have been to many Italian cities. I like Florence, Siena, Assisi, Perugia, Venice, Milan and Genoa.

  18. Escape Hunter says:

    I can recall my 2011 visit to Naples and some of the nearby islands.
    The city had this old feel with lots of dark alleys, shady streets and shady creeps…
    Naples does indeed feel dangerous, but to me it was the gateway to exhilarating Capri and beautiful Procida.
    Naples can be interesting, just don’t go everywhere, take very good care of yourself, don’t walk outside – even in the evening hours when it starts getting dark.
    Safety comes first, but Naples is nevertheless interesting. It is also the place where pizza comes from.

  19. Mary Collins says:

    They say: “Vedi Napoli e muori.” Something which means like See Naples and die. And it is true in all senses. Because when you get to Naples, you start hating your life! I don’t know how on earth the Neapolitans do not wake up and start treating their city with respect. The city is nice but very dirty and unsafe. Watch out for the people preparing your food – they touch money, their parts and everything else, and then touch your food.

    • simona says:

      Hi Mary,
      I don’t know where did you eat, but this is not true!
      Napolitan food it’s known all over the world!
      Of course the quality depends on the place where you went.

      I travel a lot and everywhere you can find dirty food and good quality restaurants!
      Here we have both of course, and you can also eat with a good quality and a low price!

  20. Giovanni says:

    I’m an Italian guy that lives in Rome. I have been in Naples a lot of times and I would give you my advice. Naples is not a touristic place like Venice or Rome , when you visit Rome you see the best part of the city, clean and perfect, but you don’t see the other dirty and unsafe parts of the city. Naples is real, with her beauty and her problems, you can see wonderful buildings in Streets full of rubbish, meet wonderful people near the rudest men. The biggest problem of Naples is that a lot of people don’t respect it, they write on monuments and throw rubbish everywhere,but there are more thieves in Rome this is sure. If you want to come in Naples come as a traveller, not as a tourist. And remember that you are coming in a poor city, and every poor city of the world have this kind of problems.

    • Konstantina says:

      Thanks Giovanni, I am looking forward to visiting Naples, I don’t care if it’s poor and noisy, I am interested in the history of the city- not everything has to look like a postcard.

  21. Chris says:

    Hi Giovanni. Is there any advice as to where to stay in Naples that would be reasonably safe. Reading all of the above has filled me with anxiety. I have looked forward to this trip for some time as I am writing some stories loosely related to the area. My wife and I are starting in Florence and then Livorno and onto Naples. We intend booking accommodation via AirBNB. Would Chiaia be a good district to stay?

  22. yukim says:

    Naples is becoming very mean to tourists, while the other stopped cities made us feel very welcomed and generous to visitors. For instance, in Naples, sightseeing bus has no deductions to seniors; there is no wifi in the port or public areas; bar and restaurant owners are on conditional friendliness if you want to use toilet; Even the waiter calculated that we had one person taking a seat but didn’t have expense thus even asked her to buy!!! All these are just too much snobbish which lower the reputation of this city.

  23. Candace says:

    I stumbled upon this site while looking for affordable apartments to rent for me and my children if we visit Naples this coming summer. Last year, I spent about 10 days in Naples, alone, as a single, African-American/Swedish woman. I live in Scandinavia and have done so for over 20 years now. I took a neopolitan cooking course in Naples and stayed in Vomero, which is admittedly, one of the more quiet, and rather exclusive parts of the city, if one would compare it to the centro storico, La Sanita, etc. As a former New Yorker, and also one who has lived in Paris for a month ;), I definitely didn’t come to Naples with my eyes closed to all of the media’s propagandizing about the city. But as I have lived in a city like New York, I could approach Naples with the same curiosity, frenetic expectancy, awe and fascination as I did New York while living there. Needless to say, I fell in love with Naples! And even I witnessed a five-man fist fight shortly after my arrival at the Naples train station! However, I was quickly met soon after, by a kind and lively accomodating cab driver (big thank you to Gianni:-)) who, in a fresh, clean cab, took me to where I wanted to go–with lively conversation and verbal suggestions about what to see in Naples while I was visiting.:-) As stated previously, Naples is a real urban city–with cultural and historical gems, urban renewal and urban decay, a strong history, social ills, city corruption, lack of political leadership, economic ills, etc. One cannot approach it as if it were Rome. Roma is Roma and Napoli is Napoli. One has to let the city ‘creep in your system’ and this takes time! Approach it with a tourist’s eyes, especially one who is there to quickly ‘cherry pick’ what is ‘understood to be good about the city’, and you’ll MISS out on so much of what’s hidden from plain view. Approach it as a traveler, especially one who is genuinely curious about the Italian culture, the language, the food, the Italian people, and you’ll learn so much more! I often followed where Neopolitans went, and pretty much threw out my ‘guidebooks'(?)! I befriended (yes, with street-smarts and caution;-))any Neopolitan who showed me kindness, and asked them for their favorite places and tips for great cafes or restaurants. I frequented restaurants, cafes, beaches where Neopolitans went (not Capri or Amalfi, but Procida, Prosillipo, Gaiolo….) , not tourists. But, most importantly, I took the TIME (which undoubtedly one must have:-)), to listen and speak with the Italian people and all sorts of Neopolitans- not just ones meant to serve tourists! It’s not everyday that a woman like me can say this about travelling throughout Europe alone, especially here in northern Europe, but Naples was one of the most welcoming cities which I have visited in all of my years of travelling in Italy and living in Europe. It will always hold a special place in my heart. Not only is it the city of my favorite coffee break (a macchiato and a babá´), but it is a city that opened its heart to me when I really needed it;-). So…if you are a traveler, and you are ‘open’ for travelling to a real ‘city’, Naples is a must on your list, most definitely. The food experience there is just not even really necessary to mention because for me, the Naples kitchen is at the core of Italian soul food- rich and made with love! Dare to visit this ‘wild card’ of a city! You won’t be disappointed if you arrive with street smarts and an open heart. Be aware, be safe and happy travels!

    • Debruska says:

      Dear Candace,
      I, too, am hoping to visit Naples this year.
      After reading so many jarring accounts on the web of tourist experiences in Napoli,
      it was a delight to read your honest and heartfelt impression of the city. You have confirmed that my initial decision to visit Naples (in all its “good, bad and ugly” glory) is the right one.
      Grazie, Candace, for your post.

  24. Jan Harvey says:

    I was there Sunday 20th September 2015.

    Filthy, dirty, mean, scary, ugly, frightening, lazy, smelly, claustrophobic, shambolic.

    And they are just the good points.

    It lives in its own filth. Rubbish is piled high in the streets.

    Hell on earth.

    • Jerry says:

      O. I thought you were talking about NYC.

    • simona says:

      Have you at least visited something?
      Or you looked just the rubbish?
      Once I went to Barcelona and the streets smelled badly, but I would like to come back because there where a lots of positive things there!

      In Madrid they tried to take my friend’s wallet, in Milano it’s fool of strange people near the central station.
      Glasgow is scary, in London I saw two woman fighting in the subway, in Lisbon they tried to sell me drugs down the street…
      I think that bigger a city is more dangerous it will be.

  25. Kristina says:

    We have just returned from our honeymoon in Italy and were unfortunate enough to encounter Naples 4 times, once when we landed and made our way to stay in Pompeii, then travelling to Sorrento and back through when changing location to mid Italy and most unfortunately for 1 night before flying back to the UK. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Naples is not what we expected. It is a dirty, vile place full of people who drive like complete morons with no regard whatsoever for their fellow humans. Dogs are barking constantly and the owners do not pick up the mess left by them…sadly the latter (dogs) seems to be the norm in every part of Italy that we visited. Rubbish is piled up at nearly every turn and it looks like a Favela as you drive along the highways. Berlusconi needs to pay back the millions that he stole and someone needs to nuke the mafia then perhaps things will improve….I am doubtful though.

    • simona says:

      Hi Kristina,
      I’m sorry that you had this impression.
      The reality is that here in Naples we have a lot of problems that comes from bad management and bad people that leaves here.
      But I assure you that not all of us are like this!
      I’m Napolitan and I’m very respectful of my city. As me also other people!
      In this last years we are trying to rise from the bottom: there are associations that clean the city for free, the new management is trying to make the city better and I think this process is going pretty well!
      Napoli is not a normal city, you have to get used to it before you star seeing the good stuff!
      Napoli is not Pompei, Capri or Sorrento. We have a lots of things to do and visit here in the city: piazza plebiscito, posillipo, castel dell’ovo, centro storico…
      I don’t know if you were luky enough to see some of these, I’m very luky: I can be a tourist in my city everyday.
      I’m a traveler, I visited a lots of cities and I think that the warm and the atmosphere that we have in Napoli is not comparable with other cities!

  26. Andrea says:

    If you want to visit Naples, you have to do it without any prejudices. Media always attack Naples… and I wonder why. Maybe because until 1861 (Italian unification) it was the capital of one of the richest kingdom’s of Europe (Kingdom of the Two Sicilies)? You all have to know that in 1861, people coming from northern Italy stole all our goodnesses and money, saying that they did it for Italian unification… liars! But nobody talks about it… maybe because it’s not advantageous to them? People who talk in a bad way about Naples are just envious. It’s true, there are some problems, but you can find them in every big city you visit. Naples is a real city. You can breath art, culture, history etc. everywhere. You can go there as a traveller, not as just a ordinary and banal tourist. People say that in Naples you can get robbed… but they don’t know that in other touristy city you get robbed everyday by shop keepers, restaurant owners etc. who give to tourists a higher bill than the one they give to Italians! I suggest you to search the Internet about “Mafia Capitale”: you will understand that mafia is more common in other cities than in Naples, even where you don’t expect. But unfortunately, these other cities are defended from Italian government, which, on the other side, treats Naples as an armpit. Luckly, thanks to the new administration of the city, Naples is on the rise and it is becoming gradually much cleaner and safer than the past years. So, it’s up to you: if you want to be a tourist and see just fake clean things go to Italy; if you want to see a real city and breath a glorious past and a lively present being a real traveller, then visit Naples!

    • Michelangelo says:

      If you want to visit Naples abandon all notions of safety, hygiene, and civilized society. I’m here now. It’s by far the worst of the nearly 90 world cities I’ve been to.

  27. kevin mitchell says:

    I have been to Naples today.boy what a dump and at the station within 30 minutes,not one but two nasty beings tired to rob me.the first a young mother baby in arms wrappend in a shawl pushed up against me and Tried to rob me. I shouted you thrashing b… take your hand off me people nearby shouted praise to my quick thinking.myself 10 out of 10 the few mail no points and willing to use her baby..the second time an AFrican malt started to run his hand up my Trouser leg To witch I to led him to b…off soo people beware

  28. Davd Spiller says:

    I’m an Australian and I have been living in Naples for the last 4 months (and will continue to for quite a while longer).
    In that time, yes I have been robbed, had to deal with obnoxious locals and anyone who hears me speak English/broken Italian try to sell me something. HOWEVER, there is a lot more to this city than that. It’s a beautiful place and in my opinion, has the most authentic Italian culture of the entire country. It was definitely and adjustment but I have no regrets and I would highly recommend it every tourist that comes to Italy, provide they simply exercise some patience and a degree of caution.

  29. Jane Stephens says:

    If Italy didn’t have the ancient treasures of which she is endowed, it would be hard to find a reason to visit. Italians have taken the lack of general maintenance and the filth and turned them into an art form. Laziness and a poor attitude to the very tourists who support the country abound. Service is not a word that comes easily into the general vocabulary. The lack of variety in food is appalling. Take away pasta, pizza and their derivatives and you are left eating at McDonalds. Marco Polo had to go to China to bring home the idea of cheap noodles tand Italy has turned them into a national dish. They would have you believe that they invented tomatoes. By the way, try and find a turkey dinner at Xmas in Rome (I was told to catch a plane to New York).

    What an oxymoron to have italian and cuisine in the same sentence.

    o I have a low opinion of Italy. No I do not. It is full of wonders for which the rest of the planet is grateful. They haven’t been added to for 500 years but this is the nature of the inhabitants. Do I generally like Italians and their food? No, I do not.

    And if you wonder, I have spent some considerable time travelling through the country. I have even been back on the off chance that I was wrong.

    • Lara says:

      What cities did you visit?
      Did you only go south starting from Rome or did you go north too?
      I live in the North, no garbage on the streets here and the services are quite good.
      Speaking of food, I always thought it was an Italian trait going abroad and pretend to eat Italian food.
      Anyway, pizza, pasta and derivates (whatever they are?!) aren’t the only things you can eat here. Every Region of Italy has its own cuisine, but if you go to a pizzeria what do you think you’re going to find on the menu?

    • Claudio says:

      If it were not for the millenary history, masterpieces the art and a cultural heritage unique in the world, Italy doesn’t deserve to be visited? maybe.

      P.S. Marco Polo and the Chinese have nothing to do to do with the Italian pasta which was eaten in Italy already at the time of the Etruscans. Americans, you read and informed well before spitting stupid judgments.

    • David says:

      “The lack of variety in food is appalling.”
      Are you serious?

  30. Clare says:

    Just got back from a few days in Naples and I loved it. Friendly people, great scenery, fantastic food, fascinating neighbourhoods. Sure in parts it’s crazy and chaotic (oh boy, those scooters) and grungy (the graffiti!!) but we wandered about, two women alone, late at night and never felt unsafe. Even in the main square on New Year’s Eve – it was just full of people of all ages having fun.( Compare with UK city centes on NYR full of drunk people falling over and getting leery.

    Obviously I held my handbag tight and didn’t keep all my valuables in a backpack – but that’s just common sense in any big city. The area near the train station did seem the most chaotic but even there people were friendly, helping me find my bus and the hoardes of street sellers were fun to smile and joke with.

    The Metro was clean and cheap.

    It’s definitely not a sanitised place but Naples has stolen a lttle bit of my heart.

  31. Adam says:

    I have read some of the stories above and I have to say I feel very lucky as I have already spent four 2weeks holiday in Naples with my partner (who is Neapolitan) and I never been robbed or vitnessed anything serious.

    I have a little bit of a different understanding of the city as I went to explore it with a local Neapolitan, and therefore I know awfull lot about it. It is not the cleanliness or organised tourism that makes this place so wonderful, but the fact that is so outstandingly different. Something you can experience nowhere else.
    Food and culture here are something you find nowhere else in Italy.

    Regarding safety, if you are smart you know where to go and where not to go, most of the bad places are located away from tourist areas but thiefs appear everywhere, but it’s the same in any other cities in Europe.

    Regarding driving, if you want to live you don’t drive in Naples if you don’t have to. Signs and lights are just advisory for others and most of the times will not be obeyed, so don’t be surprised if someone next to you passes red light or you find yourself with opposing traffic on a one way street. Also national speed limit does not matter for locals as they will exceed it by at least 30-50 kph.
    I wish to write more but I have to leave now but briefly this is it.

  32. Terrence Lenihan says:

    My wife and I experienced Napoli during our recent travels. The secret is to drive extremely carefully because the thousands of motorcycles,usually with no lights on at night, and cars simply pass at will despite all the double parking, narrow streets and pedestrians who simply walk in front of cars without a glance. Surprisingly, amid the chaos drivers will yield if you advance a few inches in their path because the unwritten rules are evident and the majority are fairly courteous. We also used trains and subway system to get aound and again, despite the huge throng of people, most are patient and a visitor must learn to adapt to a different pace. The rewards of this city are some of the most fabulous food, churches, music and the MANN museum which was spectacular. We enjoyed a free classical orchestra performance with a guest soprano amidst fantastic sculptures and all of the treasures from Pompei. Yes, Napoli is difficult, but it is alive and captivating and is well worth the effort. Travel should be adventurous. Terry L.

  33. adam says:

    Looking forward to visiting soon im going to italy for the first time and feel excited to visit naples and rome I hear that some people have had bad experiances well i wont let that put me off ive been to some very scary places in the world cambodia and the philipines are a couple that can get quite scary wmquite quickly however i think the risk of gaining a life experiance and delving into the absolutly beautiful culture far outways the risk plus i lived in leeds and once you have been to beeston,it cant get much worse :-) yolo

  34. Lynda says:

    My husband and I, in our sixties, have spent 12 days in Naples in October 2015. While at first sight it looks dirty and the trafic dangerous, it is as safe as any big city. It looks dirty outside, but inside court yards, restaurants, apartments, grocery stores, it very clean and orderly! The Napolitans are warm, gentle and helpful if you great them as humans! We have felt in love with the city and its people! Yes, bad luck could happen like everywhere else!

    • Judith Makoff says:

      Lynda, whereabouts did you stay? I and my husband, also in our sixties, are planning to stay in Naples in October and I’m panicking now about what we will find! We can’t locate a good place to stay in a safe part of the city. Can you recommend where you stayed?

  35. Heidi says:

    Thank you for the info, I really enjoyed the article! I felt good about my possible upcoming visit to Naples, but when I read the comments I felt uneasy again! But then I read other comments about how wonderful it is and again I just feel so torn. I would only be there 2 nights and plan to visit Procida, Ercolano and the amalfi coast, mainly just using Naples as a hub to those other destinations. I am just so torn, they are SO many different opinions. :|

  36. Robert says:

    …after having read all these posts I must say there are certainly different perspectives on Naples. I will go to Italy for the first time within a year to visit Rome and the Amalfi coast but may spend some time in Naples as it is the halfway point in between.

    …why I wouldn’t stay in Naples: to beat a dead horse,it has a well-known reputation for being dirty and gritty, even among respected travel authors, not to mention all the unfavorable opinions/experiences of previous posters. It can’t hold a candle to Rome (ha!) in terms of attractions, everything here (catacombs, restaurants, churches) is available everywhere in Italy.

    …and why I’d want to stay in Naples for a day or two: just the challenge of being in a place like that would be exciting. I’ve been in third world countries and have seen some pretty strange and ugly stuff. But to mix in w/it for a short while would be amazing and would complete the picture of how Italy is really put together.

    I will see how it goes and reply here later….

  37. Giuseppe Cinque says:

    Dear American People,
    NAPOLI is the last Paradise for the humanity.
    NAPOLI is too hard for you guys to be understood and appreciated, need to be smart,intelligent,conquer,sensitive in arts,culture and history.
    I read incredible negative comments, from people who live in their little counties with their stereotype monotony and all of sudden
    for few hours or one or two days was catapulted in the crib of humanity , Where everything was born , where the heartbeat feeling so intense and high change life forever, making statement based on common worldwide events and completely avoiding the description of the beauty of Napoli and his people.
    Too much to mention, too many articulated things to see even where the misery reigns , too much dynamic beauty , uncommon for that little people who lives in little towns in homes similar to another, where they put cheese on linguine clams sauce , NAPOLI BECOMES A COMPLICATED UNIVERSE,JUST FOR FEW,GIFTED FROM GOD TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PARADISO “

  38. David says:

    Old, dirty, noisy and chaotic. Nevertheless, it is the most interesting city I have ever visited. Vibrant, art everywhere, rich architecture, amazing churches, spectacular views and a wonderful sea promenade. No surprise it is so controversial. Maybe a notch below the beauty of Rome or Florence, but more genuine, more authentic. As I said, more interesting.

  39. Paul Samengo says:

    I fear Neapolis is Greek…but you are right that Naples is a fantastic city.

  40. Sam says:

    Napoli is fantastic and so are most of the people you come across while exploring the city. Great food and some of the best pastiries on earth. It is a major piece to a very complicated puzzle that is Italy. It is also the sister city of NYC. And more crimes happen to tourists in ny than in Napoli. Just don’t be ignorant. Protect your shit and nobody will mess with you. The Neopaltans are generally very happy pleasant people that look you in the eye and are very genuine when meeting them. They like to tease a lot and joke around but all in good fun. Everyone should see Napoli poi muori. Very beautiful place.

  41. Christina says:

    My experience in Naples was so entirely different from most of the posters on this forum that it almost makes me wonder if I visited a different Naples!

    I’ll start by saying that I am a young American female who was traveling alone; very well traveled generally. Naples felt like any major city I’ve been to in Southern Europe, South/Central America, or Southeast Asia. Admittedly it is not as nice as Northern Europe or Japan/Australia, but few places are.

    I arrived expecting it to feel somewhat dangerous given what I’d read. But every time I turned around, the people in Naples were so kind! I arrived by train into the central station, where a young, rough-ish looking man took my bags – my immediate reaction was “this is a scam” but when I tried to give him a tip, he looked offended and refused. Up to the street where I approached two military officers to ask for directions. They both tried to help me, took my phone to call the hotel for directions info, were very friendly and helped me on my way.

    Ten minutes later, I realized I was lost and popped into a coffee shop. The owner (who didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Italian) was so nice – he went above and beyond to help. He called the hotel again, drew me a map, wrote down the destination and summary directions in Italian in case I had to ask someone else, walked me outside exactly to the bus station I needed, and waited with me until the bus came and he could ask the driver to help me! Meanwhile, while he was on the phone getting the directions, a man who was obviously a regular bought me an espresso and told me to enjoy Naples and make sure I kept my bag zipped for pickpockets. Once on the right bus, an older Italian woman saw my directions/map, took it from me, and literally enlisted half the passengers to collaboratively translate to English and help me figure out where to get off – all of whom smiled and tried to help! To top it off, at my stop, the bus driver turned around to make sure I was getting off because she remembered me. Definitely much better than most experiences I’ve had asking for directions or getting lost in America!

    Later, I went out shopping for a power converter. Hotel was in a gritty neighborhood by the airport so I was vigilant. First shop didn’t have it but gave me advice on where to go down the street. I couldn’t find the shop so popped into an arcade for directions; the three teenage boys running the shop gave me one that they had and refused to take any payment! On the way back, a young kid on a motor scooter held up his hand and stopped the traffic for me so I could get across a particularly busy street. I went for dinner in beautiful old Naples and had wonderful intrtactions with everyone. An older woman asked if I was married and if she could fix me up with her son. The pizza (at Pizzeria Sorbillo) was delicious and the waiter super nice. After, I walked around the area after dark, alone, feeling way safer than I ever have in most American cities.

    So, yes, there’s a bit of trash on the streets but no more than other places outside the wealthiest countries (admittedly I was not there during a trash emergency). And yes, there are definitely some pickpockets around. It’s not Kansas. But the bus was cleaner than any public transport I’ve taken in America. The people are ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL. The architecture and landscape are beautiful. The food was great. I think a lot of the issues are in peoples’ heads, the danger can be easily avoided if you are paying attention, and a lot of the complaints stem from an unwillingness to engage with the locals in the country you’re visiting. If you’ve got a broader perspective, Naples should no doubt be on your list for places to visit in Italy.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Christina,
      I planning on traveling to Naples in September to live there for a month (another month in Rome after Naples). I was born and grew up in Montreal, Quebec, and apart from going to disney world for 1 week almost 20 years ago (when I was 17) , and to a cuban resort in Cayo Santa Maria for one week last January, I have NEVER been able to travel. After reading all of these reviews, I’m really worried about my trip, and mostly that I’ll be there for a month and miserable. Because I’ll be living there, I’ll be bringing my laptop with me so I can work, so I’m a little worried about that possibly getting stolen now. Being a 34 year old female, inexperienced and traveling for the first time (and alone!), do you think it would be a better idea to start in another city in Italy? I am asking you in particular b/c you said you are an American female who traveled there alone, and I really liked the objectivity of your post.

      • Lorenzo says:

        Hi Jennifer, I’m a young Italian boy. I went in Naples last week and I recommend the city. Yes, there still is a little garbage in the streets (I saw it only once in my day trip) but I found it on a rise which has begun with the new mayor. You have to eat pizza (at Sorbillo’s or at Pizzeria da Michele) and its derivates, for example fried pizza with inside pepper and buffalo ricotta, the pastries (which are the best I’ve eaten in Italy) and the buffalo mozzarella. Then you can eat pasta (maccheroni and spaghetti, if you go to Sorrento you have to eat gnocchi). The Centro Storico has been declaired a World Human Heritage from UNESCO (I hope to have written it well) and you have to visit Napoli Sotterranea (Underneath Naples), the S. Januarius Dome, the other churches (some are in a bad condition also because they are a lot). You must visit Castel Nuovo (it s known by the locals as Maschio Angioino), Castel dell’ Ovo, Castel Sant’ Elmo, The Capodimonte palace ( it is a museum which has the biggest Roman Empire’s collection in the world. But if you walk around the city you can discover other beautiful palaces. The safer districts are Chiaia Posillipo Vomero but you mustn’t go to Scampia or Secondigliano, they are quarters where the Camorra is very present (this year there were some murders). However, look for your things, don’t wear some precious objects like those stupid tourists who complain after a robbing. Go into the metro ( the station of Via Toledo is very beautiful, it is near Piazza Plebiscito, San Carlo theatre, Palazzo Reale and the S. Francesco Church which you have to visit absolutely); the Umberto I Gallery is under works, so you lose its beauty. However I found this city as a fantastic city which is rising, with an old story, but also modern parts (Centro Direzionale is the financial centre of the city, with skyscrapers). Its chaos is a signal of movement in my opinion, it is a pulsant city. Be careful at some scooter (I hate them, they don’t care about their city image) and the yellow line (for bikes) was dismissed so don’ t care about cars which go on it. It has captured a part of my heart… goodnight and have a nice holiday in my country;)

  42. Marecki says:

    I have just left Naples after 4 day visit. The city I found exhausting because it is so interesting. Sure, it is not as glitzy and clean as some pockets of Paris or Milan but it is a genuine lived in place. Step away from touristy kitsch and you will find great food, great people and great culture.
    We walked hours through labyrinth of alleys and streets at all times of day and nitht, drank wine in small, dingy bars, had snacks in lost part of town and never, not once felt unsafe. To the contrary, I never hesitated to ask for the assistance even in the most remote alley and found locals happy to assist lost visitors.
    I guess Naples is not for everybody.
    I like and respect it.

    • Michelangelo says:

      “Not as glitzy and clean”? That’s like saying an outhouse is not glitzy and clean, as if it’s ok for a city to be an outhouse.

  43. Rich says:

    I really don’t understand some of the people with there fear of Naples a lot of these people really do live in houses with white picket fences I’m from queens New York born and raised
    And my parents are from Naples I go back to see family in Naples every year. It’s not any different from nyc
    Or any other big city. That has good and bad areas. Naples is as real as it gets and as Giovanni said I to have seen parts of Rome that were worse than Naples.

  44. Naples Visitor says:

    I visited a bit of Naples and it was definitely unlike anything I’ve ever seen. No traffic lights or stop signs – just people driving chaotically in all directions at once. No street signs or any way to figure out where you were. Trash everywhere, dirt everywhere, grime everywhere. A woman squatting in the middle of the sidewalk, urinating, as hundreds of people passed by, acting like this was just a normal thing. I’ve never been to a third world country, but this is how I envisioned it.

    I will say, though, that the people I met were all friendly, though most, even the servers in decent restaurants, had missing teeth or gray/yellow gums. The hotel I was in felt like a fortress or castle where you would hide out, safe in your womb of wealth.

    I did have the best espresso and the best pizza of my life.

    Would I return? I don’t know. There are some who like to romanticize poverty, and are critical of people who like to feel safe. I don’t buy into that. Do you want to be robbed or raped?

    Maybe there are parts of the city that are nicer. I did not have time to visit museums or do much – was just on the way to Pompeii/Amalfi Coast as most people probably are. I would say, if you visit, leave your wallet, watch, passport, everything in the hotel. Wear old worn out clothing with no English lettering. Don’t wear a baseball cap or anything else that looks Western. Just carry 20 or 30 euros in cash to get you through the day. Do not drive. Do not take the train or bus. I would even say hire a guide to get you through the streets as it’s easy to get lost, and whipping out your cellphone to check your GPS instantly makes you a tourist. Walk with determination like you know where you are going, and only check your map inside the safe confines of a store or gelato shop.

    • Massimiliano says:

      I’m from Naples and what is written by you is not only not true but it’s also very offensive

      • LI says:

        I am also from Naples and what you describe is not true. The city has many many tourists now in the centre of naples and it is almost hard to walk through the streets now with the amount of tourists. The city I live in is raw, there are thieves like any other city but just be aware. The city for any foreigner would be an experience of its own. If you come to naples you will experience italy in its rawrest form

  45. Rudy says:

    I’m staying in Rome for a few days and decided to take a day trip to Naples.
    Oh boy what an experience.
    I’ve been all over, including Mexico and South America and I’ve never been as frighten as I was
    When I got off the train.
    People immediately knew I was a turist and it was uncomfortable.
    there are no boundaries between people cars and mopeds.
    I became very aware of the organize crime because I was buying sunglasses and the
    Person who sold them to me told me to hold my backpack tightly.
    Don’t even get me started with the trash all over the city….
    Isn’t Italy a first world country? What is Happening?
    I’ve to raked this the worst city I’ve ever visited. And I’ve been to many contries.

  46. John says:

    Strongly recommend to avoid travelling to Naples by all means

  47. purple star says:

    Very sad to read what has become of Naples. I was there at Christmas 1994 for 2 days, I can’t remember seeing or smelling any rubbish. I do remember a group of dodgy young men lurking at the end of the train platform for the train to Pompeii, and I quickly realised I did not want to get into a deserted train with them. Probably the mafia, local government corruption and the Euro/EU disaster are to blame. I stayed in a very cheap but clean hostel on top of a hill reached by a hill-climbing train. The American girl I was with, a fellow art-history student from London who I had hoped to get to know “a bit better”, dumped me when she met a fellow female traveller and they went off looking for Italian guys. That was a bit of a downer for me! They got back very late and one peed in the potted plant pot in the foyer, she could not wait to get back to her room. Oh, memories, memories! Next door was the best pizza shop ever! Frequented only by locals, mostly young, who all knew each other. The boys kissed each other on both cheeks. It was incredibly glamourous, and as a young straight-laced English chap I felt very embarassed, square and foreign. No one has mentioned all the roadside shrines to saints on many buildings and street corners. I suggest that Neapolitans are dominated by their religion (possibly like Arabs) even the total low-life people, who still think they’re going to Heaven. Possibly that’s why they cross the street without looking, as it’s all in the hands of God, an attitude often shown by muslims too.

  48. Steve says:

    Naples is one of the crappiest cities I have ever visited as a tourist! There is graffiti all over the place on almost every block of the city. There are teams of pickpockets on every mode of public transportation. I had a team of pickpockets try to steal my wallet from my zipped hiking pants, although I realized my zipper pocket was open and punched one of the pieces of human excrement who tried to steal my wallet. Nobody else on the bus did anything, including the driver, as they probably see this type of thing happen every day.

    I have no desire to ever visit Naples again. As others have stated, there is not a whole lot to do in the city as a tourist. Also, hardly anyone, including police, speaks English, which seems odd for a tourist destination.

  49. Sarah says:

    Napoli is my second favourite city in Italy after Milan. As so many others on this thread recognise, it’s real and it has soul. I wrote about my feelings for Naples in my blog:

    Travelling to the City of a Thousand Colours – 2016: The Year of Italy

  50. Jascha says:

    Napoli is definitely one of the best experience during my vacation. I really enjoy my stay. The food are amazing, the streets are enjoyable, and the people are actually nice. I also do believe if you are walking there with a happy face and interest, nobody will bothers you.. It is become one of my top list cities to live !!

  51. Devyn says:

    A few years back I visited Italy with my family and we spent the day in Capri. It was probably the most incredible place I have ever seen. Unfortunately, we did not spend that long in the city of Naples except to try the pizza (it was exceptional). I am looking to go abroad for university and found that my school is associated with a university in Naples! Of course I would do anything to be back in Italy, but from reading some reviews on Naples and not fully remembering the city, I have become quite sceptical on the idea of going especially because I am a young female that is foreign to the language and would be doing this completely on my own. I really would love to be able to choose Naples as the place I can go study abroad in but obviously my safety is more important and I don’t know whether Naples is just a good spot for a vacation or safe enough to live for a few months. Any advice would help.

  52. Richard says:

    I visited Naples for three days and nights this summer with a couple of friends. I just loved it. We stayed in a little hotel up in the hills that you access via very narrow streets. Vespas wiz past very fast on these small streets and laundry is hanging out everywhere. The people are loud which I loved. It seemed at times that the management in the restaurants where we ate would deliberately yell something out really loud just to keep the buzz going. At night I would leave my windows open to hear all the families speaking loudly to each other. They sounded kind of like birds to me. I loved it. The world is getting so generic and standardized. Naples stands out as a truly unique place. I walked about by myself quite a bit and never felt threatened. I lived in NYC in the chaotic 70’s, so I know how to stay aware of my surroundings. The only strange thing I saw was a couple of ten or 11 year old boys who would run down the sidewalk and slap women’s behinds and run off laughing. The women would glare at them, but didn’t act like it was that out of the ordinary. A man saw them doing this and bit his finger at the boys in exasperation. The food was the best I had in Italy, but it was the people I found so interesting. Their dialect is so different, sing song like. I have been to many places in Italy, but Naples lingers with me. I look forward to going back.

  53. Maria says:

    I’ve been in Naples for the last five days with my husband and 2 year old daughter and I’ll say, without any hesitation, that it is one of the best cities we’ve ever visited.

    I’m finding some of the above comments disrespectful and patronising. Naples has poverty, yes. Don’t go around flaunting wealth in the faces of people who don’t have it. That’s disrespectful. And don’t think everyone’s out to rob you, they’re not. If you want luxury and an easy life, maybe Naples isn’t for you. It makes you work but give it a chance and you’ll reap the rewards.

    The people are the friendliest and most charming I’ve ever met. We arrived in the city, immediately got lost, asked an old couple for directions to the street of our appartment. They didn’t recognise the street name but do you know what they did? The old man, on seeing I had a boisterous toddler strapped to my back, bundled us into his car and drove around asking everyone for directions until he finally got us to our destination! Where does that happen?! I’m Irish, living in England, and I’ve never experienced anything like it.

    Sorry for such a long comment but I feel strongly about this. Please give this city a chance. It’s a beautiful place, full of charm, delicious food and exceptional people. Immerse yourself in the culture. And I agree with previous commenters: be a traveller rather than a tourist. You won’t be disappointed. We will return many, many times, I hope.

  54. JANIE SEXTON says:


    • Gina says:

      Hi Janie

      I found your response to all the above comments really interesting – and glad you had such a great experience in Naples. We are spending 2 days there in January, 1 of which will be spent in Pompeii – do you have any advice for not to miss things to do the second day?

    • Michelangelo says:


  55. the saint says:

    Visited Naples today arriving at the main railway station. Stinks of raw sewage, litter everywhere, traffic carnage, graffiti on every spare space…..but tucked away amongst the grime, we found the best pizza restaurant /cafe rammed with locals eating lunch. We squeezed in and were served the best pizza we have ever eaten and all for the price of a couple of pints of beer in London. I’ll be back.

  56. Barbara says:

    I just returned from the Amalfi coast finishing my trip in Naples. I was worried about all the things I had heard about Naples. It is filled with graffiti, but the people are helpful and kind. The pizza is amazing. It is just like any big city, be alert and be aware of your surroundings. We enjoyed our time in Naples and the National Archaeological Museum of Naples was worth the visit!

  57. George45 says:

    Are you a masochist? Do you like dirt and pollution? Do you think that graffiti is a great art? Do you often fantasise how great it would be living in a garbage dump site? Would you like to be a victim of a crime? Is traffic noise your favourable sound and would you like to die in traffic accident? Then go to Naples.

  58. Gina says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Very interesting advice above thank you for all of this.

    We will be visiting Naples in January and despite mixed reviews this is high up our list for the authentic feel and the incredible food – we will be spending one day in Pompeii and have only one more day in Naples. Can anyone recommend the absolute best not to be missed sights?

    Thanks so much

  59. Luca says:

    Hello everybody, i’m Luca. I’m italian, and i live in Naples.
    I’m not here to tell how great is my city, neither how it sucks. As any other big city, you may found thief during your journey, caos outside the rail station, and a little of dirty in the street.
    But in my entire life i have never been robbed; people here are very friendly, they’ll do what they can to make you confortable, it’s our culture to do so.
    In the last times we change our mayor, the new one have improved a lots of service for tourists and in general, for the wellness of the city.
    I don’t have to talk about food, it’s well known that it’s the best in the world.
    A famous napolitan song says: “Mme dispiace sulamente ca ll’orgoglio ‘e chesta gente, se murtifica, ogne ghiuorno, pe’ na máneca ‘e fetiente”
    that means. “i’m sorry that the pride of our people is mortified every day by only a bunch of people”
    i hope you’ll come here for your holidays
    ps. sorry for my bad english

  60. I have visited Naples twice: the first time as day visits from Sorrento and the second time staying in Naples. One day whilst visiting a pharmacy (with only access via a small hatch) I saw this girl hovering on her mobile … the next minute there were two men (early twenties) who zoomed in on my husband and me … decided to leave my handbag and camera in tact and ripped my husband’s camera from him. Of course the police could do nothing … where do they start? It’s a shame as we had some lovely ethereal photos from the Phlegrean and some photos from Herculaneum – which we will never get back. I suggest to the Neopolitans that they start policing their City to bring it back up from the pits of hell. In UK we have a thing called Neighbourhood Watch … maybe they could try something similar. As I said … never a bloody again !!!

  61. Michelangelo says:

    I’ve been in Italy now for two weeks. I started in Venice, then on to Florence, followed by Rome, and now Naples. I’ve been to most major cities in northern Europe and in South America, as well as several cities in China. I can honestly say without hyperbole that Naples is the most chaotic, garbage-filled, shabby, uncivil of the many cities I’ve been to. To say it is third-world is an insult to third-world counties. its not acceptable to say “oh but it’s so charming and you just don’t get it”. It’s disgusting and efforts at defending it should be channeled into improving it. If this is anyone’s idea of paradise, apparently wallowing in garbage is heaven.

  62. Lee says:

    I spent a day in Naples two days ago. Loved the city! It’s busy, chaotic and gritty. The Neapolitans I came across were lovely warm people. You can tell it’s poor compared to other Italian cities, but what’s wrong with that? Went to the Spanish Quarter, walked around many of the streets there, I didn’t feel intimidated at all. The folk who slag Naples off on here must live in a cotton filled bubble and have never seen much of the real world. I can’t wait till my next visit! Forza Napoli!!👍

  63. Michael says:

    Neapolis is latin? Obviously Greek, as is the city’s origin. Embarrassing understanding of history for this blogger.

  64. Roberto says:

    I read so many comments of American travelers saying that Naples is dangerous. Please make another article in which you remember everyone that yearly homicide rate in Naples is 3.0 homicides every 100.000 inhabitants. For instance, US have a national rate that is 3.9, (Italy, 0.9). The most dangerous cities in USA have homicide rates that would be scaring even in Latin America: Sant Louis 59.2, Baltimore 55.0, Detroit 43.9. There are 5 US cities in the list of the 50 cities most dangerous in the world, not even a European city. Thanks.


  65. Kathleen Bello says:

    One should definitely visit this place for adventurous purpose, for no doubt it is one of the best city of Italy. Apart from this the place really does have something to suit everyone’s taste. You can even chill out at a diner where you can get to experience mouth-watering delicacies.

  66. Penni Ang says:

    I am planning to take a train from Rome to Naples and then a transfer shuttle to Positano. from reading the above comments, it seems that a lot of the robbery and crime occur in and around the train station. I live in Queens, NYC, so I am hoping being a New yorker puts me at more of an advantage than the average the small town American. I won’t lie I am starting to get worried about my stop in Naples. I guess I just need to be cautious and hold onto my belongings really tight. I am hoping and praying for the best for the short amount of time I will be Naples train station.

  67. Matthew says:

    Folks, I visited Napoli back in April 2016, and unfortunately the city deserves its bad reputation. I would seriously suggest that you don’t wear any flashy jewelery (particularly expensive watches). I was walking through a congested narrow street and some burly dude about twice my size tried to rip my rolex off my wrist (I was very lucky one of my travelling partners and a local came in to help). Now some people say that I’m being some show off with my expensive watch and deserve to be robbed. However, I totally disagree with this and its not like I was being unruly or yelling in public of how much better I was compared to them.

  68. Lucariello says:

    I live in Melbourne Australia (the most liveable city in the world). I have an Neapolitan background and I am here in Napoli right now. I would just like to say that the many comments on here, what I can se are from who are not ready to experience the beauty of Napoli. If you come you have to be ready to experience the rawest most beautiful city in Italy. The crime is not as present as people say. The only thing you have to do to prevent to get robbed is to keep your bags on the front of your chest when stopped and still for a while and when catching public transport. Since my last stay in 2011 the city is now sprawling with tourists in the centre of Napoli, its almost too hard to walk smoothly with the amount of tourists now. There are food shops everywhere now and the city is just utter beauty in my opinion. I am now contemplating coming here to live, and I live in the deemed most liveable city in the world. The city is just so much more freeing and open and I love it. the rubbish is still present to some extent but definitely wont impact your stay. If you decide to come to Napoli come with a ready state of mind, if you do that you will be immersed in the most cultured, purest and rawest city in the world. The Neapolitan people are so funny and every single person jokes and treats you like a family member, they all welcome and greet you with open arms. The city is pure culture and I am almost sure Im moving here

  69. Lucariello says:

    I would also like to addd that I have live in East Timor for 5 months and I cant believe that some people on here have compared Napoli to a Third World country. Napoli is far beyond a 3rd world country. In East Timor there aren’t the cafe’s and pizzerias and scenery there is here. The shops are big here and clean and I just cant fathem people comparing it to 3rd world. it is still in the 1st world and it is such a beautiful city with a political issues but nothing wrong with its culture

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