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Naples is the capital of the Italian region Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy, after Rome and Milan. In 2015, around 975,260 people lived within the city's administrative limits. The Metropolitan City of Naples had a population of 3,115,320. Naples is the 9th-most populous urban area in the European Union with a population of between 3 million and 3.7 million. About 4 million people live in the Naples metropolitan area, one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea.
Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC. A larger colony – initially known as Parthenope, Παρθενόπη – developed on the Island of Megaride around the ninth century BC, at the end of the Greek Dark Ages. The city was refounded as Neápolis in the sixth century BC and became a lynchpin of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society and eventually becoming a cultural centre of the Roman Republic. Naples remained influential after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, in union with Sicily, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861. During the Neapolitan War of 1815, Naples strongly promoted Italian unification.
Naples was the most-bombed Italian city during World War II. Much of the city's 20th-century periphery was constructed under Benito Mussolini's fascist government, and during reconstruction efforts after World War II. In recent decades, Naples has constructed a large business district, the Centro Direzionale, and has developed an advanced transport infrastructure, including an Alta Velocità high-speed rail link to Rome and Salerno, and an expanded subway network, which is planned to eventually cover half of the region. The city has experienced significant economic growth in recent decades, and unemployment levels in the city and surrounding Campania have decreased since 1999. However, Naples still suffers from political and economic corruption, and unemployment levels remain high.
Naples has the fourth-largest urban economy in Italy, after Milan, Rome and Turin. It is the world's 103rd-richest city by purchasing power, with an estimated 2011 GDP of US$83.6 billion. The port of Naples is one of the most important in Europe, and has the world's second-highest level of passenger flow, after the port of Hong Kong. Numerous major Italian companies, such as MSC Cruises Italy S.p.A, are headquartered in Naples. The city also hosts NATO's Allied Joint Force Command Naples, the SRM Institution for Economic Research and the OPE Company and Study Centre. Naples is a full member of the Eurocities network of European cities. The city was selected to become the headquarters of the European institution ACP/UE and was named a City of Literature by UNESCO's Creative Cities Network. The Villa Rosebery, one of the three official residences of the President of Italy, is located in the city's Posillipo district.
Naples' historic city centre is the largest in Europe, covering 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) and enclosing 27 centuries of history, and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Naples has long been a major cultural centre with a global sphere of influence, particularly during the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras. In the immediate vicinity of Naples are numerous culturally and historically significant sites, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Culinarily, Naples is synonymous with pizza, which originated in the city. Neapolitan music has furthermore been highly influential, credited with the invention of the romantic guitar and the mandolin, as well as notable contributions to opera and folk standards. Popular characters and historical figures who have come to symbolise the city include Januarius, the patron saint of Naples, the comic figure Pulcinella, and the Sirens from the Greek epic poem the Odyssey. According to CNN, the metro stop "Toledo" is the most beautiful in Europe and it won also the LEAF Award '2013 as "Public building of the year".Naples is the Italian city with the highest number of accredited stars from the Michelin Guide.
Naples' sports scene is dominated by football and Serie A club S.S.C. Napoli, two-time Italian champions and winner of European trophies, who play at the San Paolo Stadium in the south-west of the city.
|POPULATION :||975,260 (municipality)|
3,115,320 (metropolitan city)
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone CET (UTC+1)|
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
|LANGUAGE :||Italian (official)|
|AREA :||117.27 km2 (45.28 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||17 m (56 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||40°50′N 14°15′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.6%|
• Female: 51.4%
|AREA CODE :||081|
|POSTAL CODE :||80100, 80121-80147|
|DIALING CODE :||+39 81|
Naples(Italian:Napoli; Neapolitan:Napule) in Italy, an ancient port on the Mediterranean sea, is the third most populous municipality and centre of the second most populous metropolitan area in Italy.
Founded more than 2,800 years ago (8th century BC) as Neapolis ("New City") by the Greeks, it is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The UNESCO evaluation committee described Naples' centre as being "of exceptional value", and went on to say that Naples' setting on the Bay of Naples "gives it an outstanding universal value which has had a profound influence". But Italians have known these things for centuries: The view of Naples from the sea is so beautiful that a traditional Italian saying states that once you've seen it, you can die.
Born as a Greek colony of Cuma and virtually positioned in the geographical center of the Mediterranean basin, it has an unmatched heritage as a place of exchange between cultures. This is reflected in the city's structure and monuments, a mixture of Greek, Roman, Norman, Angevin, Swedish, Spanish and French architecture. The Neapolitan language - notoriously unintelligible to many speakers of standard Tuscan Italian - also bears witness to the town's diverse cultural origins, being composed of French, Spanish and Arab words, inserted into a Greek, Oscan and Latin structure.
As a testimony to its extraordinary history, the Naples region hosts an unparalleled concentration of UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Center of Naples itself; the Roman archeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae; the Royal Palace of Caserta; the royal site of San Leucio and the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli. It is close to Vesuvius, the only active volcano on the European continent and itself a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Paestum's Greek temples and the Amalfi Coast, also UNESCO's World Heritage sites, are possible day trips, as are the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida in the Bay of Naples.
Naples was the World Capital of Cultures in 2013, since it hosted the Universal Forum of Cultures (UFC) from April 10 to July 21, 2013.
Greek birth and Roman acquisition
The Phlegraean Fields around Naples has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. The earliest Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC. Sailors from the Greek island of Rhodes established a small commercial port called Parthenope (Παρθενόπη) on the island of Megaride in the ninth century BC. By the eighth century BC, the settlement had expanded to include Monte Echia. In the sixth century BC, after the decline of Parthenope, the new urban zone of Neápolis (Νεάπολις) was founded on the plain, eventually becoming one of the foremost cities of Magna Graecia.
The city grew rapidly due to the influence of the powerful Greek city-state of Syracuse, and became an ally of the Roman Republic against Carthage. During the Samnite Wars, the city, now a bustling centre of trade, was captured by the Samnites;however, the Romans soon captured the city from them and made it a Roman colony.During the Punic Wars, the strong walls surrounding Neápolis repelled the invading forces of the Carthaginian general Hannibal.
Naples was greatly respected by the Romans as a paragon of Hellenistic culture. During the Roman era, the people of Naples maintained their Greek language and customs, while the city was expanded with elegant Roman villas,aqueducts, and public baths. Landmarks such as the Temple of Dioscures were built, and many emperors chose to holiday in the city, including Claudius and Tiberius. Virgil, the author of Rome's national epic, the Aeneid, received part of his education in the city, and later resided in its environs.
It was during this period that Christianity first arrived in Naples; the apostlesPeter and Paul are said to have preached in the city. Januarius, who would become Naples' patron saint, was martyred there in the fourth century AD. The last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustulus, wasexiled to Naples by the Germanic king Odoacer in the fifth century AD.
Duchy of Naples
Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Naples was captured by the Ostrogoths, a Germanic people, and incorporated into the Ostrogothic Kingdom. However, Belisarius of theByzantine Empire recaptured Naples in 536, after entering the city via an aqueduct.
In 543, during the Gothic Wars, Totilabriefly took the city for the Ostrogoths, but the Byzantines seized control of the area following the Battle of Mons Lactarius on the slopes of Vesuvius. Naples was expected to keep in contact with the Exarchate of Ravenna, which was the centre of Byzantine power on the Italian peninsula.
After the exarchate fell, a Duchy of Naples was created. Although Naples Greco-Roman culture endured, it eventually switched allegiance from Constantinople to Rome under Duke Stephen II, putting it under papalsuzerainty by 763.
The years between 818 and 832 were tumultuous in regard to Naples' relations with the Byzantine Emperor, with numerous local pretenders feuding for possession of the ducal throne. Theoctistus was appointed without imperial approval; his appointment was later revoked and Theodore II took his place. However, the disgruntled general populace chased him from the city, and instead elected Stephen III, a man who minted coins with his own initials, rather than those of the Byzantine Emperor. Naples gained complete independence by the early ninth century. During the 850s, the city was sacked by Saracen raiders.
The duchy was under the direct control of the Lombards for a brief period, after the capture by Pandulf IV of the Principality of Capua, a long-term rival of Naples; however, this regime lasted only three years before the Greco-Roman-influenced dukes were reinstated. By the 11th century, Naples had begun to employ Norman mercenaries to battle their rivals; Duke Sergius IV hired Rainulf Drengot to wage war on Capua for him.
By 1137, the Normans had attained great influence in Italy, controlling previously independent principalities and duchies such as Capua, Benevento, Salerno,Amalfi, Sorrento and Gaeta; it was in this year that Naples, the last independent duchy in the southern part of the peninsula, came under Norman control. The last ruling duke of the duchy, Sergius VII, was forced to surrender to Roger II, who had proclaimed himself King of Sicily seven years earlier. Naples thus joined the Kingdom of Sicily, with Palermo as the capital.
Kingdom of Naples
After a period of Norman rule, the Kingdom of Sicily went to the Hohenstaufens, a German royal house. The University of Naples Federico II, the first university in Europe dedicated to training secular administrators, was founded by Frederick II, making Naples the intellectual centre of the kingdom. Conflict between the Hohenstaufens and the Papacy led in 1266 to Pope Innocent IV crowning the Angevin duke Charles I King of Sicily: Charles officially moved the capital from Palermo to Naples, where he resided at the Castel Nuovo. Having a great interest in architecture, Charles I imported French architects and workmen and was personally involved in several building projects in the city. Many examples of Gothic architecturesprang up around Naples, including the Naples Cathedral, which remains the city's main church.
In 1282, after the Sicilian Vespers, the Kingdom of Sicily was divided into two. The Angevin Kingdom of Naples included the southern part of the Italian peninsula, while the island of Sicily became the Aragonese Kingdom of Sicily. Wars between the competing dynasties continued until the Peace of Caltabellotta in 1302, which saw Frederick III recognized as king of Sicily, while Charles II was recognised as king of Naples by Pope Boniface VIII.Despite the split, Naples grew in importance, attracting Pisan and Genoese merchants, Tuscan bankers, and some of the most prominent Renaissance artists of the time, such as Boccaccio, Petrarch and Giotto. During the 14th century, the Hungarian Angevin king Louis the Great captured the city several times. In 1442, Alfonso I conquered Naples after his victory against the last Angevin king, René, and Naples was unified with Sicily again for a brief period.
Aragonese to Bourbon
Sicily and Naples were separated in 1458, but remained dependencies of Aragon under Ferdinand I. The new dynasty enhanced Naples' commercial standing by establishing relations with the Iberian peninsula. Naples also became a centre of the Renaissance, with artists such as Laurana, da Messina, Sannazzaro and Poliziano arriving in the city. In 1501, Naples came under direct rule from France under Louis XII, with the Neapolitan king Frederick being taken as a prisoner to France; however, this state of affairs did not last long, as Spain won Naples from the French at the Battle of Garigliano in 1503.
Following the Spanish victory, Naples became part of the Spanish Empire, and remained so throughout the Spanish Habsburg period. The Spanish sent viceroys to Naples to directly deal with local issues: the most important of these viceroys was Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, who was responsible for considerable social, economic and urban reforms in the city; he also supported the activities of the Inquisition.
By the 17th century, Naples had become Europe's 2nd-largest city – second only to Paris – and the largest European Mediterranean city, with around 250,000 inhabitants. The city was a major cultural centre during the Baroque era, being home to artists such as Caravaggio, Salvator Rosa and Bernini, philosophers such as Bernardino Telesio, Giordano Bruno, Tommaso Campanella and Giambattista Vico, and writers such as Giambattista Marino. A revolution led by the local fisherman Masaniello saw the creation of a brief independent Neapolitan Republic in 1647, though this lasted only a few months before Spanish rule was reasserted. In 1656, an outbreak of bubonic plague killed about half of Naples' 300,000 inhabitants.
In 1714, Spanish rule over Naples came to an end as a result of the War of the Spanish Succession; the Austrian Charles VI ruled the city from Vienna through viceroys of his own. However, the War of the Polish Succession saw the Spanish regain Sicily and Naples as part of a personal union, with the 1738 Treaty of Vienna recognising the two polities as independent under a cadet branch of the Spanish Bourbons.
During the time of Ferdinand IV, the effects of the French Revolution were felt in Naples: Horatio Nelson, an ally of the Bourbons, even arrived in the city in 1798 to warn against the French republicans. Ferdinand was forced to retreat and fled to Palermo, where he was protected by a British fleet. However, Naples'lower class lazzaroni were strongly pious and royalist, favouring the Bourbons; in the mêlée that followed, they fought the Neapolitan pro-Republican aristocracy, causing a civil war.
Eventually, the Republicans conquered Castel Sant'Elmo and proclaimed a Parthenopaean Republic, secured by the French Army. A counter-revolutionary religious army of lazzaroniknown as the sanfedisti under Fabrizio Ruffo was raised; they met with great success, and the French were forced to surrender the Neapolitan castles, with their fleet sailing back to Toulon.
Ferdinand IV was restored as king; however, after only seven years Napoleon conquered the kingdom and installed Bonapartist kings, including his brother Joseph Bonaparte. With the help of the Austrian Empire and its allies, the Bonapartists were defeated in the Neapolitan War, and Ferdinand IV once again regained the throne and the kingdom. The Congress of Vienna in 1815 saw the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily combined to form the Two Sicilies, with Naples as the capital city. In 1839, Naples became the first city on the Italian peninsula to have a railway, with the construction of the Naples–Portici railway.
Italian unification and the present day
After the Expedition of the Thousand led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, which culminated in the controversial Siege of Gaeta, Naples became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 as part of the Italian unification, ending the era of Bourbon rule. The kingdom of the Two Sicilies had been wealthy, and as many as 443.2 million ducats were taken from the old kingdom's banks as a contribution to the new Italian treasury. The economy of the area formerly known as the Two Sicilies collapsed, leading to an unprecedented wave of emigration, with an estimated 4 million people emigrating from the Naples area between 1876 and 1913. In the forty years following unification, the population of Naples grew by only 26%, vs. 63% for Turin and 103% for Milan; still, by 1884, Naples was still the largest city in Italy with 496,499 inhabitants, or roughly 64,000 per square kilometer (more than twice the population density of Paris).
Public health conditions in the city were poor, with twelve epidemics of cholera and typhoid fever causing the death of some 48,000 people in the half century 1834–1884, and a high (for the time) death rate of 31.84 per thousand even in the epidemic-free period 1878–1883. Then in 1884, Naples fell victim to a major cholera epidemic, caused largely by the city's poor sewerage infrastructure. Government measures to improve sanitary conditions in the Neapolitan slums in 1885 proved largely ineffective. During the early 20th century, efforts to industrialise the city were likewise hampered by administrative corruption and a lack of infrastructure. Facing a slumping economy, many poorer Neapolitans emigrated northwards, or headed overseas to the United States and Argentina.
Naples was the most-bombed Italian city during World War II. Though Neapolitans did not rebel under Italian Fascism, Naples was the first Italian city to rise up against German military occupation; the city was completely freed by 1 October 1943, when British and American forces entered the city. Departing Germans burned the library of the university, as well as the Italian Royal Society. They also destroyed the city archives. Time bombs planted throughout the city continued to explode into November. The symbol of the rebirth of Naples was the rebuilding of the church of Santa Chiara, which had been destroyed in a United States Army Air Corps bombing raid.
Special funding from the Italian government's Fund for the South was provided from 1950 to 1984, helping the Neapolitan economy to improve somewhat, with city landmarks such as the Piazza del Plebiscito being renovated. However, high unemployment and waste management problems continue to affect Naples; Italian media have attributed the city's waste disposal issues to the activity of the Camorra organised crime network. In 2007, Silvio Berlusconi's government held senior meetings in Naples to demonstrate their intention to solve these problems. However, the late-2000s recession had a severe impact on the city, intensifying its waste-management and unemployment problems. By August 2011, the number of unemployed in the Naples area had risen to 250,000, sparking public protests against the economic situation.In June 2012, allegations of blackmail, extortion and illicit contract tendering emerged in relation to the city's waste management issues.
Naples hosted the 6th World Urban Forum in September 2012 and the 63rd International Astronautical Congress in October 2012. In 2013, it was the host of the Universal Forum of Cultures.
Naples has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: Csa), with cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The mild climate and fertility of the Gulf of Naples made the region famous during Roman times, when emperors such as Claudius and Tiberius holidayed near the city. The climate is a crossover between marine and continental features, as typical of peninsular Italy. Marine features moderate the mild winters, but summers are quite similar to inland areas much further north in the country. The continental influence still ensures warm to hot temperatures, and Naples falls within the subtropical range with summer daily means of 23 °C (73 °F).
Climate data for Naples
|Average high °C (°F)||13.0|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||8.1|
|Average low °C (°F)||4.4|
|Source: World Meteorological Organization|
|15 °C (59 °F)||14 °C (57 °F)||14 °C (57 °F)||15 °C (59 °F)||18 °C (64 °F)||22 °C (72 °F)||25 °C (77 °F)||27 °C (81 °F)||25 °C (77 °F)||22 °C (72 °F)||19 °C (66 °F)||16 °C (61 °F)|
The city is situated on the Gulf of Naples, on the western coast of Southern Italy; it rises from sea level to an elevation of 450 metres (1,480 ft). The small rivers which formerly crossed the center of the city have since been covered over by construction. It lies between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Campi Flegrei (en: Phlegraean Fields). The islands of Procida, Capri and Ischia can all be reached from Naples by hydrofoils and ferries. Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast are situated south of the city, while the Roman ruins of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae, which were destroyed in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, are also visible nearby. The port towns of Pozzuoli and Baia, which were part of the Roman naval facility of Portus Julius, lie to the north of the city.
Naples is Italy's fourth-largest economy after Milan, Rome and Turin, and is the world's 103rd-largest urban economy by purchasing power, with an estimated 2011 GDP of US$83.6 billion, equivalent to $18,749 per capita. Naples is a major cargo terminal, and the port of Naples is one of the Mediterranean's largest and busiest. The city has experienced significant economic growth since World War II, but joblessness remains a major problem, and the city is characterized by high levels of political corruption and organized crime.
Naples is a major national and international tourist destination, being one of Italy and Europe's top tourist cities. Tourists began visiting Naples in the 18th century, during the Grand Tour. In terms of international arrivals, Naples was the 166th-most-visited city in the world in 2008, with 381,000 visitors (a 1.6% decrease from the previous year), coming after Lille, but overtaking York,Stuttgart, Belgrade and Dallas.
In recent times, there has been a move away from a traditional agriculture-based economy in the province of Naples to one based on service industries. In early 2002, there were over 249,590 enterprises operating in the province registered in the Chamber of Commerce Public Register. The service sector employs the majority of Neapolitans, although more than half of these are small enterprises with fewer than 20 workers; 70 companies are said to be medium-sized with more than 200 workers; and 15 have more than 500 workers.
|1st municipality||– Chiaia, Posillipo, San Ferdinando|
|2nd municipality||– Avvocata, Mercato, Montecalvario, Pendino, Porto, San Giuseppe|
|3rd municipality||– San Carlo all'Arena, Stella|
|4th municipality||– Poggioreale, San Lorenzo, Vicaria, Zona Industriale|
|5th municipality||– Arenella, Vomero|
|6th municipality||– Barra, Ponticelli, San Giovanni a Teduccio|
|7th municipality||– Miano, San Pietro a Patierno, Secondigliano|
|8th municipality||– Chiaiano, Marianella, Piscinola, Scampia|
|9th municipality||– Pianura, Soccavo|
|10th municipality||– Bagnoli, Fuorigrotta|
Naples has a free network of public Wi-Fi access, which fills the following zones:
- The seaside (all the area between via Partenope and Castel dell'Ovo, Lungomare Caracciolo and Villa Comunale);
- PAN, a civic museum born as a public exhibition center for the civic collections of arts, and to host art and culture events organized by the City of Naples.
Every user can use these free hotspots for 2 hours per day.
Prices in Naples
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.20|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€6.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€25.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€43.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€62.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€7.50|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€3.00|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€3.00|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€7.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€14.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.15|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€5.30|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.60|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1 pair||€72.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M….)||1 pair||€30.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas…)||1 pair||€70.00|
|Leather shoes||1 pair||€84.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€1.20|
53 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
171 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Naples is served by Naples International Airport (Aeroporto Internazionale di Napoli), also known as Capodichino Airport (IATA: NAP) [www]. Works for connecting the airport to Naples Metro system are expected to be completed in 2020, but for the moment it is not served by any rail system.
From the airport you can take a bus for €3 (called Alibus: [www] ) which has two stops only: Stazione Centrale (Central station) and Piazza Municipio, near the main ferry port (molo Beverello). You can buy your ticket on the bus. Further connections are listed on this page of the official website of the airport: [www]
If you have time to spare, you can take the 3S bus that will take you to the same stops as the Alibus for a cheaper price. The difference is that the Alibus has limited stops but the 3S will take you to the backstreets leading to the Stazione continuing all the way to the port and a shopping district. Also, the Alibus is air conditioned whereas most 3S buses are not.
Beware of illegal, unauthorized taxis and of anyone who may approach you directly. Authorized taxis are clearly visible at the exit; fixed fares exist for a number of destinations, and must be clearly shown in the cab. Make sure they are before getting on the cab and threaten to call the police ("polizia") should the taxi driver try to push back.
The main station is Napoli Centrale - Piazza Garibaldi Station, connected to the Naples subway system. The buses R2 or 601 from the Piazza Garibaldi in front of the train station will take you within three blocks of the ferries at Stazione Marittima. Other stations include Mergellina, a magnificent Art Déco building and Campi Flegrei. The costs of trains from / to Rome vary a lot, ranging from a 10.50 Euro 3-hour regional train to a 45 Euro 1-hour 10-minute Eurostar (58 Euro in First Class).
Cruise ships dock at Stazione Marittima, a large terminal located right in the city center, near Piazza Municipio.
- MedMar Group operates several large ferry/passenger ships that connect Naples with Sardinia (Olbia),Corsica (Porto-Vecchio), Tunisia(Tunis), and the Aeolian Islands. These trips usually leave in the late afternoon or evening and arrive at their destination the next morning.
- Tirrenia Navigazione operates an overnight ferry service that has two separate routes, one to Sardinia (Cagliari) and the other to Sicily (Palermo).
Naples is directly connected with Rome by the A1 highway, and the trip takes generally less than 2 hours. Due to traffic jam and parking shortage in city center, it's advisable to leave your car in a parking lot near the motorway exit or your accommodation, and to use public transportation
Many national and international private bus services operate in Naples, generally stopping at Piazza Garibaldi or Piazza Municipio.
Transportation - Get Around
Traffic in Naples may be extremely heavy, very similar to that of other big cities like Paris and New York. Extensive excavation works are ongoing to complete some metro segments, adding further to traffic in some areas. A typical example is the train station area, which is presently undergoing a complete makeover (a model of how it will look is observable in the interior of Stazione Centrale), plus the excavation of two separate metro lines - one connecting the Station with Università stop and another which will connect Stazione Centrale with Capodichino Airport. Another example is Piazza Nicola Amore (commonly known as Piazza Quattro Palazzi because of the four twin buildings surrounding it), where metro line excavations revealed an ancient Roman temple, whose structure will be integrated in the futuristic station designed by the world-class architect Renzo Piano.
Nowadays, normal traffic regulations are generally observed in Naples; however, it is prudent to follow the locals when crossing the street. Since pedestrians often cross the street in the middle of the block, Neapolitan drivers are very attentive, and accidents are very rare. Remember to always look left (and not right) for incoming cars or motorbikes, since circulation follows European standards.
Taxis and the Metro are the quickest ways to see Naples. Taxis are the most expensive way, though. Before getting into a taxi, make sure it is licensed. Licensed taxis will have a city crest on the door and a taxi number. Also, make sure it has a meter. By law, licensed taxis must display a list of pre-agreed fares in a number of languages (Italian, English, French, German, Spanish). Check for such fares and agree to them before starting the journey.
You will be surprised how easily you can get around by foot, too. Interesting spots are almost on every corner and most distances – especially in the (historic) centre – are small and can easily be walked in a matter of minutes.
By public transportation on land
It is fairly difficult to get a clear picture of the public transportation system in Naples, since different lines are operated by different companies. Nonetheless, one can buy a "Unico", which is either a daily pass for three Euro valid on all vehicles; or a € 1,30 ticket, which enables passengers to travel for 90 minutes on as many lines as they want (Bus, subway, funicolare).
Tickets can be bought at any authorized selling point, a very common place where to find them outside the railway or Metro stations is tobacco shops (Tabaccheria, easily identified by a big white "T" on a rectangular black field) or newspaper shops. They are not sold aboard the trains or buses. As normal, passengers are randomly checked for having a ticket by authorized personnel. Not having a ticket obviously results into a huge fine, with no exceptions, since in Italy this act is a tax offense.
- Metropolitana di Napoli. There are six lines of underground subway in Naples. They are always monitored by cameras and security officers, which vigilate on both passengers' security and on avoiding them to damage the premises with graffiti or other signs of incivility.
The most important metro lines are:
- Linea 1, built recently, connects the city center to the hill quarters, like Vomero and the hospitals area. Avoid passing through Piscinola and Secondigliano as those areas can be very dodgy and dangerous.
- Linea 2, much older, connects the three main train stations to Pozzuoli. The tracks are shared with the ordinary railway
- Linea 6, a new light subway connecting Fuorigrotta to Mergellina.
Naples Metro is itself a tourist attraction, since many of its newest stations were built and decorated with modern art works. On 2009, it won the prize for the "Most Innovative Approach to Station Development" at Metros 2009. On 2012, the Toledo station was elected as the "Europe's most impressive" by the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph for its remarkable artistic value.
- Funicolare. The subway company also operates four cable cars: three of them connect the city center to Vomero, the last connects Mergellina to Posillipo.
- Trams. ANM operates two tram lines (1 and 4), of which one goes along the shore of Santa Lucia - Castelnuovo - Garibaldi (Central Station).
- Buses. ANM also operates all bus lines within Naples, most of which are circular. Naples suffers from a serious problem of traffic jam and usually buses are overcrowded, so if you can (unless in the evening or on the weekend) try to avoid them.
There are three different regional train services that operate in Naples and the surrounding areas. They are listed here:
- Circumvesuviana. The Circumvesuviana railway operates from the lower level of the main train station at Piazza Garibaldi and has various routes that service the local Naples area. One route goes from Naples to Sorrento with several stops in between, including Pompei Scavi (Pompeii) and Ercolano (Herculaneum). A second route travels around Vesuvius. Other routes go to Acerra and Nola-Baiano. The Circumvesuviana website [www] has more information on timings, routes and cost of tickets.
- Cumana. This railline that operates from Montesanto in Naples and follows the coastline for approximately 20 km before ending in Torregaveta (Bacoli). The Cumana runs the urban centres of Montesanto, Fuorigrotta, Bagnoli, Pozzuoli, Arco Felice, Baia, Fusaro before reaching Torregaveta.
- Circumflegrea. This railline also starts in Montesanto and ends in Torregaveta. However, it runs along the western edge of Naples through the districts Soccavo, Pianurat, Quarto Flegreo, Licola and Cuma. It also approximately seven kilometers longer than the Cumana. because the Cumana and Circumflegra start and end in the same places one can quickly transfer from one train to the other. Both services are owned and operated by the same company and more information can be found at the S.E.P.S.A website [www] .
- Regional Trains. In Addition to the aforementioned trains, Trenitalia operates regional trains from Naples to Salerno.
There are several ferry/hydrofoil services that connect Naples and local ports/islands. Ferry and hydrofoil services leave from either Molo Beverello, Mergellina or Pozzuoli. Some then of them are listed here:
- Metro del Mare has several lines that connect Naples and Sapri; Bacoli and Salerno and Sorrento; Monte di Procida and Salerno; and, Amalfi and Sapri. Besides the main stops the ferry service also connects many smaller communities. The Metro del Mare webpage has schedules, timetables and location of ticket counters.
- L.N.G. has a hydrofoil service that connects Naples with the island of Capri, along with Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi. Schedules and timings can be found on its website.
- AliLauro has a hydrofoil service that connects Naples with the islands of Ponza, Ventotene, Procida, Ischia, Capri and Eolie, and the towns of Formia, Castellamare, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Salerno. Alilauro operates from both the Molo Beverello and Mergelina.
- L.N.P. operates both hydrofoil and boats lines. It connects Naples with Sorrento and has other lines connecting Capri, Sorrento, Castellamare, Salerno, Amalfi and Positano. Schedule and timings can be downloaded from the L.N.P. website.
Reaching one of the islands in the gulf by ferry can take up to 70 minutes (hydrofoils are much faster, but this comes with a further cost). For most part of the year, the sea is calm, and in any case when it happens to be rough the boats' runs are stopped.
In any case, it is advised to follow the normal measures for any travel on the sea. In particular, if you are sensible to the rolling of the ships, or travel with young children, consider to take an appropriate medication to avoid any adverse effects. Ferries also have open decks, which are particularly attractive and scenic to use especially by spring and summer. As normal in any similar conditions, and especially if you come from a cold climate and/or wear a clear skin, it is advisable to wear a cap and protect exposed skin with solar screens, in order to avoid sunburns.
Be sure to check for dolphins or sea turtles while traveling toward Capri, in particular. Loggerhead sea turtles are quite common, and Naples' Aquarium also hosts a renowned veterinary unit, whose specialty is to recover and heal wounded turtles and get them back to the sea.
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Naples has vibrant markets and many small shops that sell everything from clothes to household appliances at prices much lower than in most of Western Europe. Especially to be seen is the Porta Nolana, Pignasecca and the Vasto markets, which also give a grasp of popular Neapolitan life. Not to be lost is the impromptu fish market which happens especially on Sunday morning at Rotonda Diaz, the central square of Via Caracciolo. Small fishing boats come ashore, and directly sell fresh and often alive fish and octopuses, a very characteristic and joyful scene of Naples' life.
Do not buy any evidently fake items sold in the street, especially fake big fashion firms' products like purses, foulards, sunglasses and so on. A huge number of plainclothes police raid the streets to combat the trade in counterfeit products, and it's not only the sellers who get in trouble: according to Italian laws, if you are caught buying one of these products, you risk being arrested and subjected to a huge fine.
Also, do not buy electronic products like iPhones, iPads and cameras on the streets. Normally, the ones which illegal street vendors try to sell you are fakes that the sell you after they've shown you a real one and made a quick switch through sleight of hand. Don't think you can outsmart these scammers.
You can support shops and businesses that fight against the extortion racket (also called "pizzo") by shopping there.
Neapolitan cuisine in general features much seafood, befitting its status as an ancient and still functioning port. You will find many sauces based on garlic sauteed in extra-virgin olive oil, tomatoes, and local red wines. Some of the sauces are arrabbiata ("angry") or fra diavolo ("brother Devil"), which means they will contain hot pepper. It's a great cuisine. Enjoy!
Mozzarella is also typical of the region; don't miss the opportunity to taste the fresh real one!
Pizza comes from Naples. Look forpizza margherita, the original one, with tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella toppings. In Naples every pizzeria makes a decent pizza, and Neapolitans believe their pizza is the best in the world. Unlike pizza in places like the United States, Neapolitan pizza is generally very thin-crusted and saucy and is expected to be eaten as a whole pie while sitting down.
Some places display the label "Vera Pizza Napoletana" ("True Neapolitan Pizza" there is a Pulcinella mask baking a pizza in a stylized Vesuvio) which indicates that the pizzeria follows the standards of The Naples Pizza Association. If you want to try some pizza, go to Pizzeria Brandi, where the "pizza margherita" was allegedly born; but today the best choices would be:Da Michele or Trianon da Ciro. These pizzerias make the most authentic pizza, but be careful because they are located near Forcella which is not the safest part of Naples, although generally OK during the day.
- Pizzeria Brandi, Salita Sant'Anna di Palazzo, 1-2 (Chiaia Str. closer to Plebiscito Square), . A stone tablet displayed outside the restaurant explains the history of the first pizza.
- Da Michele, Via Cesare Sersale, 1-3, . 11AM-10:30PM. Note that there is usually a queue - get a numbered ticket from the waiter on the door when you arrive. The pizzas are cooked quickly, and they expect you to vacate seats just as quick.
- Trianon da Ciro, Via Pietro Colletta, 44/46 (it's just in front of Michele).The pizzas are less soupy with crispier crusts.
- Pizzeria Starita, Via Materdei 27, . 12PM–3AM.Close to de-crowning Da Michele as the best pizzas in Naples.
Some other places that are very popular among the Neapolitans are almost all the pizzerias in Via dei Tribunali, in particular:
- Di Matteo, Via dei Tribunali 94, . 9AM-12AM. Il presidente, Sorbillo, and his sister, a few doors away (informally known as "la vecchia", the old lady, from the owner of the pizzeria, a very small place with only 4 or 5 tables, that looks like a pizzeria of 50 years ago - very hard to find, but it's worth it!) You can get pizzas to eat on the go.€1.
The city and region are also famous for their pasticceria (pastries), (Babà, Zeppole, Sfogliatella, and more; this latter is often filled with ricotta cheese or cream with citrus flavor) among the best are:
- Pasticceria Scaturchio (Piazza San Domenico Maggiore adjoining to Piazza del Gesu).
- Gran Bar Riviera, Riviera di Chiaia 181, . Very good sweets, from 'zeppole' to 'sfogliatelle' passing through 'babà'.
Struffoli and Roccocò are typical Christmas sweets. Pastiera is the sweet of Easter: anyway you can find it all year long. It is made basically of ricotta cheese melted with steamed corn and sugar, and then baked.
Sights & Landmarks
Urban center of Naples
As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the center of Naples hosts a huge number of architectural landmarks. A non-comprehensive list of the most notable monuments and sites includes:
- Albergo dei Poveri (Bourbon Hospice for the Poor). A former public hospital/almshouse. It was designed by the architect Ferdinando Fuga, and construction was started in 1751. It is five storeys tall and about 300 m long. It was popularly known as "Palazzo Fuga". King Charles III of the House of Bourbon meant the facility to house the destitute and ill, as well as to provide a self-sufficient community where the poor would live and work. The building was originally designed with five courtyards and a church in the centre, but only the three innermost courtyards were built, and plans to complete the building according to the original design were finally abandoned in 1819. It is no longer a hospital, and has suffered much from neglect and earthquakes. The centre behind the entrance is used for exhibitions, conferences, and concerts. Recently (2006) the façade has undergone restoration as part of a plan to incorporate the facility into the working infrastructure of public buildings in Naples.
- San Francesco di Paola. One of the main churches in Naples, located at the west side of Piazza del Plebiscito, the city's main square. The place was originally planned by King Joachim Murat of Naples (Napoleon's brother-in-law) as a tribute to the emperor. When Napoleon was dispatched, Ferdinand I of Bourbon continued the construction but converted the final product into the church one sees today. The church is reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome. The façade is fronted by a portico resting on six columns and two Ionic pillars. Inside, the church is circular with two side chapels. The dome is 53 metres high.
- Cappella Sansevero. Built in 1590, it contains works of art by some of the leading Italian artists of the 18th century, like the extraordinary Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino. It also has a high scientific interest because it hosts the anatomical machines, a still mysterious experiment by Raimondo Di Sangro, a prominent Renaissance scientist.
- Castel dell'Ovo (Egg Castle). A castle located on the former island ofMegaride, now a peninsula, on the Gulf of Naples. The castle's name comes from a legend about the Roman poet Virgil, who had a reputation in medieval times as a great sorcerer, that he put a magical egg into the foundations to support them. The island of Megaride was where Greek colonists from Cumae founded the original nucleus of the city in the 6th century BC. In the 1st century BC the Roman patrician Lucius Licinius Lucullus built the magnificent villa Castellum Lucullanum on the site. The first castle on the site was built by the Normans in the 12th century.
- Castel Nuovo (New Castle). Often called Maschio Angioino, it is a medieval castle and the main symbol of the architecture of the city. It was first begun in 1279 by Charles I of Anjou and completed three years later. Castel Nuovo soon became the nucleus of the historical center of the city, and was often the site of famous events. For example, on December 13, 1294, Pope Celestine V resigned from the Papcy in a hall of the castle. The event was famously depicted by Dante Alighieri in his masterpiece la Divina Commedia, in the verse Colui che per viltade fece il gran rifiuto.
- Certosa di San Martino. A former monastery complex, now a museum. It is the most visible landmark of the city, perched atop the Vomero hill that commands the gulf. A Carthusian monastery, it was finished and inaugurated under the rule of Queen Joan I in 1368. In 1623, it was further expanded and became, under the direction of architect Cosimo Fanzago, essentially the structure one sees today. In the early 19th century, under French rule the monastery was closed and was abandoned by the religious order. Today, the buildings house a museum with a display of Spanish and Bourbon era artifacts, as well as displays of the presepe—Nativity scene—considered to be among the finest in the world.
- Gesù Nuovo. The Church of Gesù Nuovo (New Jesus) was originally a palace built in 1470 for Roberto Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno. The Jesuits had already built a church in Naples, now called Gesú Vecchio. Political intrigues caused the property to be confiscated, and eventually sold in the 1580s to the Jesuits to construct a church (1584–1601) under architect Giuseppe Valeriano. The unusual façade, unusually plain for a Baroque style church, is of rusticated ashlar and is the original façade of the palace. The church contains masterpieces of some of the most notables Neapolitan artists, namely Belisario Corenzio, Paolo de Matteis, Francesco Solimena, Giovanni Lanfranco and Massimo Stanzione.
- Palazzo Reale. One of the four residences used by the Bourbon Kings of Naples during their rule of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies (1730-1860). The Royal Palace is on the site of an earlier building meant to host King Philip III of Spain, who however never made the trip. The architect chosen for that palace was Domenico Fontana. The building was put up on the site of an even older Spanish viceroyal residence from the early 16th century. The 17th-century palace visible today is the result of numerous additions and changes, including some by Luigi Vanvitelli in the mid-18th century and then by Gaetano Genovese.
- Posillipo. A district of Naples placed on the northwestern part of the town. The Greeks first named this placePausílypon, meaning "respite from worry" for the enchanting calm of the shore. There are Roman ruins at waters edge, remains of the residence of Vedius Pollio. The area contains some notable historical buildings and landmarks. Among these is the Palazzo Donn'Anna and Villa Rosebery, the Italian President's residence during his stays in Naples.
- San Domenico Maggiore. One of the most prominent churches of Naples. This Gothic church (est. 1283) incorporates a smaller, original church built on this site in the 10th century, San Michele Arcangelo a Morfisa. The monastery annexed to the church has been the home of prominent names in the history of religion and philosophy. It was the original seat of the University of Naples, where Thomas Aquinas, a former monk at San Domenico Maggiore, returned to teach theology in 1272. As well, the philosopher monk, Giordano Bruno, lived here. The sacristy houses a series of 45 sepulchres of members of the royal Aragonese family, including that of King Ferdinand I.
- Santa Chiara. A religious complex, that includes the Church of Santa Chiara, a monastery, tombs and an archeological museum. The double monastic complex was built in 1313-1340 by Queen Sancha of Majorca and her husband King Robert of Naples. The original church was in traditional Provençal-Gothic style, but was decorated in the 1744 century in Baroque style by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro. Santa Chiara was the largest Clarissan church ever built and it was the first Clarissan church built where the nuns in their choir would have been able to view the performance of Mass. The bell tower, separated from the main edifice, was begun in 1328 but was completed only in Renaissance times. The simple interior houses the tomb of King Robert and, in the side chapels, those of the Bourbon king of Naples, Francis II and his consort Maria Sophie of Bavaria, as well as of Queen Maria Christina of Savoy and of the national hero Salvo d'Acquisto (a carabiniere who sacrificed his own life to save the lives of 22 civilian hostages at the time of the Nazi occupation). Famous is the cloister of the Clarisses, transformed in 1742 by Vaccaro with the addition of precious majolica tiles in Rococò style. The Nuns' Choir houses fragments of frescoes by Giotto.
- Galleria Umberto I. A public shopping gallery, located directly across from the San Carlo opera house. It was designed by Emanuele Rocco, who employed modern architectural elements reminiscent of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. The Galleria was meant to combine businesses, shops, cafes and social life — public space — with private space in the apartments on the third floor.
- Naples Cathedral. Built in the 18th century, it is the main church of Naples. It is widely known as the Cattedrale di San Gennaro, in honour of Saint Januarius, the city's patron saint. It was built on the foundations of two palaeo-Christian basilicas, whose traces can still be clearly seen. Underneath the building, excavations have revealed Greek and Roman artefacts.
Naples is often used as a base to visit the ancient ruins and excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii near the city.
- Herculaneum (13 km). A world-famous archeological site, part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. It was an ancient Roman town destroyed, together with Pompeii, Oplontis and Stabiae, by volcanic pyroclastic flows of Vesuvius, AD 79. It is famous as the source of the first Roman skeletal and physical remains available for study that were located by science, for the Romans almost universally cremated their dead. While smaller than Pompeii, it's just as cool and usually less busy.
- Pompeii (25 km, 40 minutes via the Circumvesuviana train (Sorrento line)). The world-famous city of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman urban center, and one of the best examples of Roman architecture in the world. Along with Herculaneum, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in the year AD 79. The eruption buried Pompeii under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of ash and pumice, and it was lost for nearly 1700 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1749. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year. Visiting the city is a unique experience—you get to walk in and out of most of the ruins, and really get a feel for how the city must've looked in its era.
- Mount Vesuvius. From Pompeii, take a bus to Mount Vesuvius and hike to the summit. Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the mainland of Europe and is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Museums & Galleries
- Naples National Archeological Museum, Piazza Museo, 19, .9AM-7:30PM. It is the most important Italian archaeological museum, and it contains a large collection of Roman artifacts from Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum. The collection includes works of the highest quality produced in Greek, Roman and Renaissance times. €13.
- National Museum of Capodimonte, Via Miano, 2, . 8:30AM-7:30PM.It hosts paintings from the 13th to the 18th centuries including major works by Simone Martini, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Masaccio, Sandro Botticelli, Lorenzo Lotto, Giovanni Bellini, Giorgio Vasari, El Greco, Jacob Philipp Hackert. It is also the place where are hosted the works of the most important Neapolitan painters, like Jusepe de Ribera, Luca Giordano, the Neapolitan Caravaggisti. €7.50, €6.50 after 2PM.
- The Tomb of Virgil, Parco Vergiliano (near Mergellina station). One of the greatest Latin poets, author of the Aeneid.
- Madre. Very nice museum for contemporary art with a nice permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. €7.
Things to do
- Centro Sub Campi Flegrei, [email protected]. A 5*IDC diving centre offering diving and snorkelling in the Gulf of Naples, around the Phlegraean islands and within the underwater Archaeological Park of Baiae (the so-called submerged Pompeii!). Open all year.
- accordi @ DISACCORDI Open Air Cinema Festival ([email protected]), Viale del Poggio di Capodimonte, . 09:10PM. If you are in Naples during summertime don't miss the chance to experience the cinema beneath the stars on warm nights in an amphiteatre equipped with one of the widest projection screens in Italy which rises having an artificial lake all around. These events really make people revive the movies each night of the festival! €4 per day.
- Teatro San Carlo, founded in 1737, is the oldest continuously active opera house in Europe. In the 18th century, Naples was the capital of European music and even foreign composers like Hasse, Haydn, Johann Christian Bach and Gluck considered the performance of their compositions at the San Carlo theatre as the goal of their career. Two main Italian opera composers, Gioacchino Rossini and Gaetano Donizetti were artistic directors of the San Carlo for many years. Other prominent opera composers, like Vincenzo Bellini, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni and Leoncavallo staged here the very first representations of their works (like for example the famous Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti).
Naples is becoming increasingly popular with a younger generation of both Italians and foreigners who flood into the city and lend renewed vitality to its nightlife. The hippest scene is around the bars and cafes on Piazza Bellini, Piazza Santa Maria la Nova and Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, becoming busy after about 11PM. Also Piazza San Pasquale and Mergellina are typical places for the local movida. If you want to venture to the outskirts of the city, there are many bars and clubs near the port and boardwalk (the 'Lungomare') of Pozzuoli. While Neapolitans (and Vigili Urbani, the town's local police) are largely tolerant to youngsters drinking, having fun and making noise, even at late hours, getting drunk and causing damages or littering is not tolerated.
Campanian wine has become famous worldwide in the last decade or so, and delicious naturally lightly carbonated mineral water with minerals from Vesuvius is available and worth searching out.
Safety in Naples
As in most of the big cities in the world, being safe in Naples is a question of knowing the places and hours when going around is potentially unsafe.
There are some parts of Naples that should be avoided after dark. It is sufficient, in this respect, to follow the habits and behavior of Neapolitans. Typical examples of places to avoid with dark are the "Quartieri Spagnoli" and the "Sanità". Both are reasonably safe during the day, and also have notable points of interest, like the catacombs of "Underground Naples" (Napoli Sotterranea) in Sanità. Especially to be avoided, but of no practical interest for tourists, is Scampia, where there is much petty crime and drug traffic.
Naples has an inequitable distribution of wealth. The city centre has wealthy areas right next to impoverished ones (a typical example are the popular Quartieri Spagnoli, alongside via Toledo, Piazza del Plebiscito and Riviera di Chiaia, the main shopping streets). Naples' bad reputation regarding safety is mainly due to stereotypes, since the city's security level is actually comparable to many other European big cities (e.g., Barcelona, Marseille, Amsterdam). Petty thievery and muggings definitely do happen, so as in similar cities, be reasonably watchful, avoid empty streets and dimly-lit alleys at night, and keep your wits about yourself. On the other hand, since weather is generally nice, Neapolitans spend a lot of time in the streets, including in the winter and at night. Places like Mergellina and Via Caracciolo (the scenic streets alongside the sea) are generally full of people till late at night and very safe.
Contrary to what newspapers, books and movies seem to suggest, the local mafia (Camorra) poses little or no threat to tourists, since it is involved in activities like prostitution (which is illegal in Italy), racketeering and drug trafficking.
People in Naples are extremely nice and gentle, ready to help if you are in difficulty or lost. It is not uncommon for Neapolitans try to make themselves understood with words and gestures, even if they do not speak a tourist's mother tongue. Being very aware and proud of their town's beauties, if they understand you have a particular interest for a place, they may leave their activities and accompany you there, and even show you uncommon places which are not publicized in tour guides.
Aside from issues of petty crime, Naples is a very safe town for women. Official statistical data from ISTAT (the Italian Government Official Statistical Office) show that Naples' rape rate is much lower than that of other Italian cities like Milan, Rome or Florence. Young women who appear to be unaccompanied may experience some more or less persistent flirting from Neapolitan men, but you will usually be left alone if you show them you are not interested.
Neapolitans are also typically very protective toward female family members and Neapolitan women, generally. It is therefore potentially unsafe, especially in a crowd, to insist on courting or asking out a local woman when she has made it clear she is not interested.
Whoever comes to Naples historical city centre has to take some generic precautions, normal for any big town with poor areas:
- Do not leave valuables lying out in the open (such as bar tables) where they can be snatched by thieves.
- Do not flash around money or other valuables.
- It is advised not to carry a purse as it can be snatched or "picked" by thieves. Neapolitan women who use a purse do not sling it across their shoulders but wear it across their chest.
- Do not wear expensive watches (especially Rolex).
- Do not wear expensive or flashy jewellery.
- Do not use a costly camera or video camera.
- Do not wander down small dark alleys/streets, especially in the Spanish Quarter.
- Pay attention to fake public service vehicles. All legitimate means of public transportation are clearly identified by being orange (buses); or white (taxis). In the latter case, legal taxis have the customary "Taxi" sign over the top, and bring ID signs over the sides and inside the cabin.
- Be careful around the main train station as there are many thieves in the area. The Piazza Garibaldi, the large square in front of the station, is no place to spend more time than necessary, especially at night.
- In Naples, you can buy over-the-shoulder packs that are excellent, as they allow you to keep an eye and firm grip on your valuables.
- Some persons pretend to offer images of old Naples or other things as gifts, but then expect payment.
- Pay attention to people who want to involve you in fake road accidents.
- It is advisable not to wear football shirts of any club especially Juventus FC, AC Milan, Internazionale Milano, AS Roma, SS Lazio or Fiorentina. Soccer is taken very seriously in Naples, and Neapolitans support SSC Napoli with big rivalries with those clubs. However, it is very safe to wear the Genoa club shirt (vertically spangled of red and blue, and sporting a griffin like a symbol; not to be confused with the other Genoa club, Sampdoria), since supporters of this team have a strong friendship with SSC Napoli supporters. If you ever hang out in Fuorigrotta borough on Sundays, near the San Paolo stadium, and are surprised by a booming shout of thousands of people, don't get scared: it's only cheering for the Napoli soccer team which just scored. Since when this happens, most of the town shouts along the people in the stadium, this is perceived like an earthquake by the local volcanic observatory of Vesuvius!