Is Naples Safe For Tourists? What You (Really) Need To Know

safety napoli - is naples safe for tourists in 2017

Time to sort this drama once and for all. Is Naples safe for tourists or not? Let’s spill the truth!

It’s the elephant in the room of every discussion around Naples.

Just like happened when I visited Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City, most of my conversations before heading to Italy’s third largest city had to do with safety.

Naples stands out as the crazy chaotic brother of all cities in Italy. A huge contrast to Milan‘s elegance or Rome‘s classic beauty, the maze of crumbling narrow streets can be daunting at first.

Anyone starts questioning their safety when reading some dramatic stories and reviews online.

Actual quotes you can find online about Naples, Italy

I’ve dig in TripAdvisor, the Rick Steves forum and other places where travelers share their “experiences”. This are some of the quotes I’ve found:

  • 1. “Naples is a very unpleasant and unsafe city, with very rude people”
  • 2. “There are pickpockets everywhere on the city center”
  • 3. “It’s one of the cities with most crime in the world”
  • 4. “You can get easily run over by scooters”
  • 5. “The Mafia can assault you anytime”
    and my personal favorite:
  • 6. “Neighbours throw homemade bombs to each other”

So is it really like this? Should you be paranoid? How much of this is true and how much is being dramatic?
I’ll try to put it clear as water.

 is naples safe for tourists in 2018 - galleria umberto I.
Is this where they throw bombs at each other?

Safety facts about Naples, Italy: What is really true?

How safe is Naples compared to other cities?

To start, nothing better than putting things in perspective. If you look at the Criminality Index in Numbeo, Naples ranks #89 on the world.

Surely not an amazing result, but this means Naples, Italy is safer than Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta or many other US cities..

By the way, the unsafest city I’ve been is Rio de Janeiro, in #10. I’ve also survived my trip there with no crime incidents to report.

safety napoli criminality index

In fact, Italian sources state that crime in Naples is less frequent than in Rome or Milan. What about that?!

Let’s see what the US State Department’s report has to say.

Visitors are generally safe and are not singled out/targeted based on nationality. However, tourists and foreigners may be targeted for petty theft.

And Lonely Planet.

Naples has long suffered a reputation as a dangerous place. In reality, the city today is a relatively safe place, especially if you heed the following basic safety tips.

So… that’s it? No violent crime or risk of being murdered? No homemade bombs thrown at me? I can actually get out of Naples ALIVE?

Yap. Like in any big city in Europe, pickpocketing, bag snatching and fraud at street markets can occur in Naples. It’s mostly small crime of convenience which can be relatively safeguarded with some basic safety rules. As for violent crime, is extremely rare amongst tourists.

But what about the Mafia?

As shocking as is to believe that Mafia still operates in Europe, it does. For the past 400 years, the secretive and mysterious Camorra is deeply related to Naples’s black economy as well as honest businesses. Even its most famous pizzeria was blackmailed by Camorra at some point.

Now as a tourist, what do you have to do this? Probably nothing. It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be targeted by a Mafia thug. Their focus is on business owners and locals, they simply don’t care about yet another tourist coming to their city.

is naples safe for tourists in 2018 - seaside promenade
Via Caracciolo, a completely safe area in Naples.

Dodgy areas in Naples, Italy

To be entirely fair, Naples looks and feels disorganized and it has indeed some dodgy and even ugly areas. The streets near the Central Station Garibaldi are an example. But how’s that different than any other city like New York or Paris?

Even Rome has a dodgy area near Termini Station too and doesn’t suffer from this terrible travel reputation.

And what about the absolutely safe areas no one mentions about? From what I’ve experienced Caracciolo, Lungomare and other zones in Centro Storico were absolutely fine to walk around.

⭐ Seeking a safe place to stay in Naples? (1/2)⭐

plan trip naples and day trips to amalfi pompeii and vesuvius

ToledoStation B&B
Located a 2-min walk from the gorgeous Toledo metro station, this B&B is perfect for a short stay in Naples. The travel-inspired décor is just awesome! Book now

Or just use this shortlist of the best-reviewed hotels in Naples (9+), with WiFi and in the best areas of the city.

Careless driving

Oh the infamous italian scooters and vespas. Yes, traffic can be chaotic, noisy and confusing. In this particular topic and in a much smaller scale, Naples is the Bangkok of Europe. Seeing 3/4 people on a scooter is not uncommon.

Quite frankly, walking through the narrow, poorly-maintained and crowded streets of the city center while motorcycles race around might be riskier than crime or petty theft.

I completely understand this uncivilized driving behaviour can be shocking for some. However if you’re an experienced traveler and have visited places like India, Thailand or Vietnam before, Naples shouldn’t shock you.

Seagull. ITALY iPhone SE A seagull enjoying the gorgeous view over Mount Vesuvius in Castell dell’Ovo. Not many people roam here, making it a tranquil alternative to Naples chaotic city center. Specially compared to Castell Nuovo where all the cruise tourists go to! @visitnaplesofficial #naples #napoli #napolipix #visitnaples #seagull #igerseurope #mountvesuvius #castelldellovo #gulfofnaples #italia #igersnapoli #lp #italy #lppathfinders #Travelgram #travelblogger #betterwithpixter #fodorsonthego #travelingthroughtheworld #TourThePlanet #TheGlobeWanderer #OurPlanetDaily #WeLiveToExplore #aquelasuaviagem #RoamThePlanet #ThePhotoSociety #exploreeverything #PassportReady #MeetTheWorld #travelinfluencer I own, a travel website focusing on sharing detailed guides, itineraries and the best insider advice to make you travel smart. Let’s make you a geek of your next destination

Uma publicação partilhada por BRUN, The Travel Geek (@bruno_mb) a

Tips to stay safe in Naples, Italy

If you want to maximize your chances of staying safe, follow the tips below. Note the majority of them are standard safety rules to follow ANYWHERE!

1. Don’t go there paranoid.

This might be the most useful piece of advice. Don’t get scared by the online reviews of Naples. The first step for your Naples trip is to take reviews from TripAdvisor and similar websites with a pinch of salt.

Online reviews are a topic for a post alone. But in a nutshell just because it’s online doesn’t mean it’s the general rule. To start, you don’t know who’s writing them. People who heard a story from someone who heard a story from someone who heard a story? Have they even been to Naples? Even if they have been, there many travel personas and chances are they don’t see places the way you do.

If someone that has only traveled in luxury cruises lands in Naples, of course he’s only going to regurgitate what he knows about its reputation. Expect a dissertation on “Oh it’s so unsafe and ugly”. Most likely he will struggle and/or refuse to see past the graffiti (Italian word for a reason) and a couple of dirty streets.

When you are faced with these comments, challenge back. Ask why exactly they say is unsafe. Dig deeper. Perspective is key in the online world.

2. Learn the neighborhoods.

Like any major city, there are areas you should avoid. The cheapest hotels are concentrated around the Garibaldi Central Station, but staying there will give you a wrong idea of the city.

The Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quartier) zone can also be unsafe at night time. Only go there during the day – maybe to have lunch at the lovely Trattoria Da Nennella!

is naples safe for tourists in 2017 - spanish quartier streets
The lovely streets of Spanish Quartier.

3. Don’t show off shiny jewelry or expensive gadgets.

This one is obvious. You shouldn’t even do this on your home town.

4. Take care of your belongings.

Another obvious one. Never leave your bags unattended. In restaurants and bars, loop your bag’s strap around your leg or arm. Avoid keeping valuables in easy-to-reach pockets – a money belt might be useful if you’re too concerned.

5. Take extra measures on the Circumvesuviana.

The Circumvesuviana train seems to be the root of many issues affecting tourists in Naples. If you want to be extra safe, take the Campania Express train instead.

is naples safe for tourists in 2018 - campania express
Campania Express feels like a premium experience.

For an extra fee, you can get to places like Pompeii, Vesuvius and Sorrento quicker. It’s a premium express train that only stops on the touristy places. Locals don’t tend to use it.

If you still want to board the Circumvesuviana, at least board it in Porta Nolana instead of Garibaldi train station. It’s less crowded, so it will guarantee you a seat.

Not only this is more convenient, it’s an additional protection to potential pickpockets who normally target people next to the door.

6. Walk carefully…

Some of the streets in Naples‘ city center are narrow and badly lit at night. Be careful with the vespas racing by.

7…. but confidently.

Many people overlook this. If you are entering a problematic zone already afraid, it will show. It will show on your body language, the way you walk, on your eyes. Keep a positive attitude and walk with a purpose. In my case, I also recur to my “not amused” face.

8. Blend in.

If you walk around with a t-shirt “I ❤️ NAPLES”, you’re not putting yourself in a good position. I mean, this is not a theme park.

Watch how locals behave and dress themselves and try to blend in as much as possible. This should be one of the most exciting aspects of travel anyway!

Looking for a safe place to stay in Naples? (2/2)⭐

napoli and day trips to amalfi pompeii and vesuvius

Grand Hotel Oriente
In the heart of Naples, this hotel boasts great views over the Vesuvius and Castell Sant’Elmo. The breakfast on the terrace is an O-M-G moment. Book now

Or just use this shortlist of the best-reviewed hotels in Naples (9+), with WiFi and in the best areas of the city.

Is Naples Safe? The Verdict

Quick answer to the title of this post is yes, Naples is safe for tourists. You just need common sense and to take the same precautions you’d take in other big cities. Maybe add an extra level of awareness in some areas like the Garibaldi Central Station. That’s it.

Here’s a graph that scientifically put things in perspective.

safety in naples - reality vs expectation
Safety levels in Naples: Expectation vs Reality.

Not gonna lie. Naples is far from being perfect.

Yes, it has some dodgy and dirty areas. Yes, pickpocketing targeting careless tourists can be frequent. Yes, you’ll need to be aware of your stuff. If you only travel to sterile and spotless places like cruise ships, Naples definitely isn’t your place.

But for the average traveler, is there any reason to avoid Naples completely? Which big city in the world doesn’t have these issues? Why do people travel to India or Vietnam then, they surely aren’t 100% clean and safe places, are they?

IMHO the danger for tourists is massively overstated and the city has things to keep you busy for at least a full day. It’s lively, authentic and has some of the best value in food in Western Europe. And the world’s best pizza (!) which personally is a big bonus for me.

Don’t be paranoid with safety, try to look past the crumbling buildings or traffic jams and most of all: keep a positive attitude. Just like when I worried about visiting Rio de Janeiro, I realized fear is always your number 1 enemy.

Did you feel Naples was safe? Did it lived to its reputation?
Did you take any extra safety measures? Share your experience below!

Share your thoughts 💬

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  1. I left Naples this morning, early, as I did not feel safe there. Walking to my hotel from the train station a man in a small white car stopped in the middle of traffic to yell “ I will kill you” at me before speeding off. If that wasn’t bad enough, even though I am used to a certain amount of harassment being a female traveling alone, I decided to leave when a man grabbed by arm when I would not acknowledge him.

    I’m a 6ft tall woman. I try to fit in as much as possible, but I’m very obviously a foreigner. Be safe.

  2. We have visited Napoli 5 times & can’t wait to go again. Never had one problem, no different than any other big city.
    Just be aware of your surroundings.

  3. I went to Naples 5 years ago and found it to be safe. I hope to return again this year. We took the ferry to Ischia and it was fine. I believe Naples has a bad reputation from years gone by. We walked at night with the natives, it’s a very happy place.

  4. Good advice which I follow having travelled a bit, lived in Barcelona, Boston and a dozen other cities. Got mugged at Ercolano on the cheap train by the door on my 50th birthday by a local gang of yoooves. Put it down to experience. I’ll get the posh train next time. Going back for sure.

    1. Sorry to hear that Tony. Even though a lot of people do the trip seamlessly, I recognize the cheap train can be a problem.

    2. what do you mean b y posh train. I will be visiting Naples in June and need to take a train to Rome so im curious

  5. I wonder if you know if there are hostels in Napoli and/or Amalfi? It will be my first time to the country and I live on a fixed budget so I try to stay at Hostels as often as I can. Thank you so much, from one Geek to another!

  6. Bruno, what is your deal? In your reply to every post that says how someone was mugged or something else just as scary, all you can do is basically say it happens other places, too? And to just tell someone to “get over it” – You strike me as being very untrustworthy, always downplaying a bad experience or making it out to be of a lesser criminal act than would have occurred elsewhere. Do you really think you can call someone out as being on the wimpy side if he can’t handle be mugged, and maintain any respect from others? Geez!

    1. Thank you for sharing your concerns, I certainly doesn’t mean to come across that way.
      My only goal is to show that the fact you’ve been mugged doesn’t make the entire city unsafe or not worth a visit.

  7. Dear S.P,

    I am from Napoli and I never had that experience in my city.

    Now, I am not saying that it would not happen but I had the experience you describing and/or directly assisted to them while visiting the following cities: Paris, Rome, Milan, Valencia (Spain, San Francisco, San Jose (California), Dublin (Ireland) NYC and even Hawaii.

    Unfortunately, big cities very often come with difficult situation but the way the world judge Naples not putting it under the right light or perspective is wrong,

    E.g. Milan had a very right rate of women abuse as in the being raped. So, based on your judgement of Naples, WOMEN SHOULD AVOID MILAN.

    Next time , perhaps, you could try to be more fair, balanced in your comment, especially using data analytics based on one experience.

    Well, based on other comments I have read, I should not be able to speak/write/understand English, because people in the Southern Italy do not speak English…. ( that’s so hilarious)

    That is so untrue clearly, young people are mostly familiar with it. Most of my friends do speak and understand English, so you guys know.

    Have a great day y’all 🙂 When you can go to Napoli and spend few days there since it is way safer then other cities in Italy , EU and in the entire world.

    1. hello i need to your advice , do you help me please about this issue because i want choose napoli for continue education , but im not sure , please advice me
      thanks for your time

  8. In 2019 a friend of mine visiting Naples , a British woman in her 50’s, was attacked on a Sunday afternoon by Scippartori thieves, Italian slang for criminals who rob people of their belongings whilst riding a scooter. The Scippartori consisted of two men wearing helmets on a scooter who grabbed the woman’s bag, which she was wearing cross body. She violently fell to the ground backwards and was pulled along the ground screaming until the bag strap snapped and the thieves rode off with the bag containing her phone, Ipad and money. The victim suffers bruising and shock. A passing motorist stopped and called the police who quickly arrived and the passing motorist then took the victim to the Questura Di Napoli police station. The victim was quite surprised when the Police were not interested in obtaining the GPS tracking for the stolen Ipad, as they said it was too imprecise and indicated that it would not tell them which particular flat in a block the stolen item was in. Although the police cannot search every flat in a block looking for a stolen Ipad, every other police force in the developed world would be keen to have this information as it is generally called “intelligence”. If the GPS tracking of numerous stolen phones indicate a particular block and an individual who is known to the police lives in that block then this information would at least provide the police with a suspect. Instead the Questura Di Napoli simply pointed to a pile of forms, told the victim to fill one in and then stamped it and said “sorry” !!!

    Since the incident the Naples Police have not been in touch with the victim.

    She was lucky that she was not seriously injured and could easily have been killed if dragged in to traffic.

    Anyone visiting Naples should realise that this is NOT a safe city to visit and that they stand a very good chance of being a victim of crime.

    Tourists are basically regarded as prey in this city.


    1. If the GPS tracking of numerous stolen phones indicate a particular block and an individual who is known to the police lives in that block then this information would at least provide the police with a suspect.

      It’s very easy to turn off GPS in a stolen device. Anywhere in the world.
      Also, I know several people who got mugged elsewhere – including cities I’ve lived in – and the exact thing happened, no follow-up from police authorities. Unfortunately, it’s a systemic problem, definitely not exclusive of Naples.

      In any case, thank you for sharing!

  9. Do not forget what Naples is also 😉
    – you already said that is the natural cradle of Pizza, and the art of making it is recognized as an intangible heritage of unesco,
    – the largest historic center in Europe (1021 hectares, frose the largest in the world),
    – The first lay and public university in the world is born in 1224, today known as the “Federico II”
    – 1569. Bank of Naples issues the first checks in history
    – 1710. The first “Bidet” (when the Savoy entered the Royal Palace of Caserta they did not understand what that object was and probably many of you who read)
    – 1737. First Theater in the world (Regio Teatro di San Carlo)
    – 1754. First Chair of Economics in the world
    – 1781. First Maritime Code of the world (navigation rules)
    – 1813. First institution of the pension system in Europe
    – 1818. First steamship in the Mediterranean “Ferdinando I”
    – 1837. First gas public lighting in Europe
    – 1839. First Italian Railway, Naples-Portici section
    – 1841. First Volcanological Observatory in the world (the Vesuvian Observatory in Herculaneum)
    – 1923. First aeronautical academy in the world
    …and the sun, caravaggio, the islands, the volcano and the Amalfi coast .. and more then 500 churches, we have to continue?
    Go and see Napoli without fear, it is beautiful..

  10. I did love Naples. You may walk past something during the day that you wouldn’t realize transforms into a hotspot at night time. Via Toledo is great for cheap shopping for high quality clothing and there are cheap yet nice hostels near by buzzing with backpackers congregating and swapping tips and ideas from all over the world. I even ran into one of the same Irish gents I met there 1.5 months later at a hostel in Budapest. Love the pizza, and the stadium. P.s. never be or appear in a hurry or you will not get anywhere.

    Despite all of this, the train station right outside Pompeii is a f****** TRAP. Exercise extreme caution.. the train ‘accidentally’ pulled up too far past the platform, and created a frenzied crush to catch up and stay with my friends, and I was nearly mugged for my passport from a mafia looking thug who wouldn’t let me pass. Luckily I was of course wearing tight fitting pants as they do in Europe where I could barely even get my own wallet out.

  11. Useful article to help me give Naples another chance tomorrow. Currently my heart is beating like the one of a mouse. We just returned to our accommodation in the Arenaccia area and very near to the place where we stay was a vespa racing that I didn’t really care about and at some point when crossing the street the guy in his damn vespa wanted to take my handbag. I wish I could beat the shit out of him right now, I am so full of adrenaline that I won’t be able to fall asleep. This was day no. 1 in Napoli… Two more days to go

  12. We live in London. We travel to Salerno south of Naples very frequently for family reasons. No trip is complete without a day spent in Naples which my wife knows well having attended University there for 5 years. It is one of the most lively and exciting cities we have been. Beautiful position on the Bay of Naples, beautiful monuments, the best pizza in the world, the most genuinely friendly people you can meet, and a buzz few cities can match. As for crime, I know of a number of places in London which are much more dangerous. The easy way to avoid petty crime anywhere is to look as local as possible and not show off your “money”.

  13. Naples is a fantastic place, full of life! People are friendly, warm, welcoming, have a great sense of humor and the food is amazing! I felt completely safe there and can’t wait to go back, Naples definitely stole my heart! #naples #safe #italy #food #football #maradona #visitnaples #love #campania

  14. I love Napoli & your article puts everything in perspective. I even had my arm broken by a scooter on Christmas Eve ‘18 but went back in ‘19 to show there were no hard feelings.

    The city will embrace you but on its own terms. When my arm got busted a mother and daughter drove me to hospital in their car because the ambulance was too slow. People can be brusque but also very kind and funny.

    Recommend Forcella, Camorra stronghold but trying to make its own way.

    And going out of the city, try Paestum, a GrecoRoman site of beautifully preserved temples.

    If you know and like cities, Napoli is one of the best.

  15. I love Naples. I lived there for 5 wonderful years in the late 60’s. I had heard all the same warnings yet nothing bad ever came my way. Neapolitans are very friendly and I was invited inside their houses for pasta every time I wandered the fascinating little cobblestone streets. They loved me and I loved them. They were very helpful to me. If you aren’t obnoxious or unfriendly, they will go out of their way to be gracious to you, whether they are from the upper or lower classes. It is just in their blood. Even the slightest effort to speak Italian will be highly appreciated by them. I long to go back, as I did for years. Exploring the city and the art can take awhile and is so worth it, so stay awhile. Go to the opera. No other ancient city can compete, as far as I am concerned. Great place for photography. Take your time and see all you can. It is rich in art but you have to find out where the art is. On trips back I would leave the hotel and spend all day taking photographs.
    Ciao, Diane McDonald

  16. I just came back from a long weekend in naples. I travelled with my husband and three young adult children. We stayed in hotel nuvo near Agnano Station. The prices on organised excursions was expensive so we decided to use the public transport. It was fantastic to travel as a local. The trains and metro are much more advanced that uk, in my opinion. Ge visited Pompeii, the main naples centre and walked along the harbour and coasts in nearby towns. Yes, the first thing I noticed when getting into the transfer taxi was the rubbish and graffiti and it did worry me a little as to what kind of holiday we would have. The roads are bonkers! There is no other word for it. The scooters and cars have no road rules it seems. Drivers don’t give way, they genuinely force thier selves into lanes. They don’t stop at zebra crossings, pedestrians run! They do seem to stop at red lights though, to which the drivers despise and yawn through boredom whilst waiting for them to change colour. There is no patience on the roads. If you’re hard of hearing, be extra vigilant, the scooters come from no where! All in, I loved the atmosphere of the city. We were warned to keep our bags safe due to pick pockets at the main station. With regard the mafia. My son did foolishly visit a local bar alone and was threaten with a gun gesture. He quickly left. However, he knows this was a foolish act in the first instance. I would definitely return to naples as I loved how the culture of years gone by is still prominent there. The only problem we had was finding a bar that isn’t a formal eaterie. It seems the Italians want food food and more food.

    1. Completely agree with you that the road are nuts but I didn’t find it particularly troublesome. But I have to say – I visited Naples right after being to Hanoi so maybe I got desensitized! Thanks for sharing a bit of your trip Tracy, got some stories to tell there 😉

  17. I spent roughly a month in Pozzuoli about two years ago and I absolutely loved it. The people we met were amazing and the food was great. This article was 100 percent correct if you want to be safe and enjoy Napoli live like the locals do. When looking for somewhere to eat ask the locals, stop for an espresso at every opportunity, visit the local markets and delis, buy fresh fruit from the fruit stands. Buts as with Rome avoid the traps and do your research. I honestly felt safer in Naples than I did in Rome. The best thing about naples is their passion for food. Every where we ate everyone from the person serving the food to the person making it had a passion for what they were serving. I had never been denied a meal over the freshness of the ingredients until I went to naples and as disappointed as I was about not having the crab in my pasta dish the other dish that was suggested was phenomenal.

  18. I’m from Naples and I live in the city since I was born. I find this review very accurate and truthful. We love tourists, it makes us happy to share the beauties of our city and our culture with them. Come to Naples and enjoy the mood! You will not be disappointed!

  19. I’m in Italy for a few months and will probably spend 5 or so days in Naples, depending on the weather. I appreciate the article and the range of comments. I’ve read elsewhere that Naples is a Marmite city – you either love it or you hate it. For me, I think it will be difficult to appreciate all of charms if I have to literally look beyond the graffiti and trash. I’m not a sterile cruiseship-type traveler just because I prefer a certain level of functioning infrastructure and civic pride. No different from seeing garbage and toilet paper along hiking trails – it’s hard to not let the degradation ruin the sublime.

    1. Naples is definitely not for everyone – we don’t necessarily all have to like blue, right? I will say though that Naples is much more than trash and graffiti and depending on where you stay and go, these things actually are not that visible.
      Thanks for sharing your opinion in a polite way!

  20. I noticed India mentioned in this article as unsafe place.
    But I personally feel that India is much safer as there is no organised crime or mafia.

    even majority of locals are quite friendly and warm people who love to help and can speak English.

    Most of tourist places in India is well policed and well managed.

  21. I loved Napoli and never once felt unsafe. We lived in the wonderful Spanish Quarter and walking the streets here was an experience every time. Loved the Franciscan monastery of Santa Chiara. Do not miss this, whatever you do and the adjoining Basilica. So beautiful. I lived right opposite and it was a valuable landmark for finding our way home. Another tip: find a cafe you like and visit it every morning, standing at the bar, for your morning coffee. After a day the staff will engage with you in a very friendly manner. Our last Barista was putting multiple love hearts in our coffees in the end. Remember to tip. It’s greatly appreciated.

  22. I have been to naples Italy two times ok n my lifetime i.loved it had great time no problems with people there felt safe stayed in ischia and camped in the Pompeii area wonderful people friendly helpful great food I want to take 3rd trip in 2020 to naples for two weeks seriously want to I advise people go to Italy it’s safe why worry on mafia or crime and stuff stop listening to negative posts online go enjoy naples area lots of things to see and do and eat too you all will love it

  23. I am an American living in Napoli. It is poor. It is artistic. It is crime-ridden. It is a complete dump. Can it be dangerous? Yes. Just as dangerous as LA, Chicago, Atlanta, etc.

    But….it is extremely interesting. If you are a tourist and doing tourist things, you will be fine.

  24. I’m here in Naples now and have been here for a week. I have walked virtually everywhere in this glorious city. Yes, it’s dirtier than Milan or Florence but it’s also beautiful and charming. The Napoletani are some of the nicest people on Earth. There is no reason to be concerned. Come here, walk the streets and have fun. I see mothers out on the streets with their children playing until late in the evening.

    I go almost daily to the Spanish Quarter because it’s lively, interesting and the local pizzerias and trattorias are amazing. As in most things believe 95% of what you see and experience yourself and 5% of what you read. Come here and have a great time. I love Napoli and hope to return many times.

  25. Naples being unsafe dangerous ..??? I think that many are just paranoid …
    question … have these people tried to speak with the locals and understand the hospitality napolitani have ?

    The Bangkok India comment is very relevant …. one of the most interesting people cities stories are always the best disguised … Naples is one of them

    1. Probably not. Sadly people expect the same sterilized environment they find in other city centers without realizing that’s leading cities to lack of personality and uniqueness.

  26. Hey that’s great! I love tolerating a little petty theft and crime! Don’t we all look forward to pickpockets?

  27. I lived in Naples for 3 years, visited many other places in Italy while I was there. Naples has more to see than many of the major cities in the world. Anyone who goes to Naples and can’t find enough to keep them busy for a week or two hasn’t researched this city and the area around it. Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Sorento, Amalfi Coast, Cumae Caves, Capri, Procida, Ischia, the many Churches, Duomo convents and monasteries(they were all open on European Mothers day weekend when I was there). There is much artwork all over town and at Capodimonte. Don’t leave out Paestum, you can walk through the ruins there even climbing on the large stone blocks to have your photo taken(it is much better than the Parthenon).

    There is crime which can be avoided by tourists. Don’t wear jewelry even ear rings (they will remove them smoothly and be gone) and don’t carry a handbag or wallet in a way that anyone can get a better grip on it than you can.

  28. Naples. Theres no getting away from it, it’s a dump. Go to Tuscany. I take the point that bad experiences can happen anywhere but if you go here then those chances are significantly increased. It’s a real shame. It’s full of poor people who in the main have resorted to crime to live, learning from the local organisations who have lead by example in ravaging the city.

    1. Naples is intense, true and a 3.000 years old city. Pardon. No way. You Will never have that intende feeling ANYWHERE

    2. Full of poor people ..!? Surely were looking in the wrong direction … I saw many artistic people , always ready to help and with a lot of passion for everything they do ..

  29. Hi all,

    After reading the article and the comments I think this makes a lot of sense. Being a Neopolitan by descent (I can barley speak any Italian) travelling with my partner who looks very out-of-place in Naples (blonde, fair skinned). We have not felt unsafe whilst we have been here.

    We are staying in Naples for 13 days in my cousins apartment near Piazza Garibaldi which has been highlighted as an area which may seem “dodgy”. Yes, some parts are dodgy but is it any different to other cities in Europe? Paris? Barcelona? We have walked the side streets and have never felt unsafe. Instead, we have found some amazing places (Pizzerias, shops) and people! As eluded to, many people don’t speak English but that’s the beauty of travelling and discovering new places. If you are respectful and you try to speak some Italian, you will be respected a whole-lot more.

    The city is full or warm locals who always want to help in anyway possible! Even though the city may seem dirty in many areas, the locals still have pride for Naples and will always look to show you the positive side of the city! Also, Neopolitans are always interested in where you are from and appreciate how far people travel to visit the city. An example is we are from New Zealand and the locals show us so much warmth we tell them this (we try to say this in Italian as a sign of respect).

    We have had some people follow us, hassling to get on the “bus tours” or “tours” etc but as mentioned by fellow contributors, just ignore them. Learn to say no, if they keep going say “basta” which translates to stop or that is enough (the Italian version of enough is enough).

    Like any city, keep your wits about you. Carry only what you can afford to lose if something unfortunate does happen, stay in well lit areas and always have an eye on your belongings. Don’t stand out in touristy gears and always respect the environment you are in.

    Traffic-wise, it can be daunting at first as road rules are not followed in Naples compared to Florence for example. It is something you have to get used to. The best piece of advice we received about this was to be relaxed when you cross. Cars/Vespas will stop or avoid you and if you are relaxed, it is a much better experience. Obviously, be cautious but don’t stress about crossing. If you are stressed or panic each time, this will lead to an accident or show you are a tourist (watch the locals cross the roads and learn from them).

    For the Mafia, they leave tourist alone. The closest encounter you will have to the Mafia is having African immigrants or untidy locals trying to sell you fake merchandise which is produced by the mafia. They keep their business local and leave tourist alone.

    As referenced, Naples is not a place you will visit if you like your 5-star things or elegant cruise ships etc but it is defiantly the most authentic place we have visited in Europe on our 2 months of travel so far!

    Lastly, enjoy it! The passion and flair shown is something to saviour and you will not forget it!

    1. Exactly, let’s compare apples to apples. Walking in the dodgy areas in Naples is exactly the same as Raval in Barcelona or any sketchy suburb in London or Paris. People don’t seem to get it when step outside their 5-star impeccably clean cruise.

      Thank you for sharing your experience!

  30. Being a history buff, I had a strong urge to visit Naples since learning about its rich past. Being a 21 year-old petite American female, I was slightly apprehensive prior to going but I honestly never felt unsafe (I was traveling with my female cousin from Ireland, also the same age). Sure there are some sketchy areas, but it has an authenticity and vibrant culture that lots of European cities are missing these days. It has some grit but that’s part of what I loved about it (along with the excellent food, culture, archaeological sites, scenery, etc.) so don’t miss out on a beautiful city because it’s not as clean as say Geneva. The number of English speakers are limited, a con for some but a pro for me as I was eager to practice my Italian. There is no need to be anywhere close to fluent in Italian to visit, but locals really appreciate it if you at least make some effort/ know a few basic phrases in Italian (it’s basic traveler courtesy to make an effort at local language). If you are a sheltered traveler who only likes to travel to cookie-cutter, overly sterilized places, Napoli will not be for you. However, if you are a seasoned traveler who knows to look past some imperfections (as any city has) and uses common sense, you will be rewarded with a beautiful city with lots to offer to those who visit with an open mind and willingness to embrace a new culture. I stayed for 4 nights at one of three family owned B&B s part of the Hotel Self chain, L’Alloggio Dei Vassalli, and had a lovely stay as the staff was warm and welcoming and the facilities were charming and clean (in the historic center). Overall, I highly recommend visiting Napoli as it is the heart and soul of Italy; so much of the amazing aspects of Italian culture come from Naples (namely pizza). It would be a shame to pass it up just because of perceived negative connotations and bad reviews which are sprouted by people who are 1. Close-minded 2. Novice travelers or 3. Complain about anything and everything. I personally dream about the day I go back and hope to visit Ischia next time as well!

    Side note: I come from a very lovely town in northern New Jersey, but there are areas of my town I purposely avoid and use extra common sense, so Naples is no different than anywhere else in the world. Also, if the city becomes overwhelming it is easy to take day trips from Naples to sorrento, Capri, Amalfi coast, etc.

    1. Exactly my thoughts Grace!

      Most people are used to sterilized places that when they step outside their bubble of comfort, everything seems like a dump.

      I’m glad you could see the raw vibrant beauty that exists in the everyday Naples, I feel it’s quite refreshing to see it as opposed to other European cities.

    2. I’m Italian. I avoid Irish people where ever I am.

  31. I spent 7 days in Naples this August and I have to agree with this text. I find Naples amazing and exciting, totally different from the other places I’ve seen. The city stole my heart. I didn’t feel unsafe and I feel bad for the people who had bad experience, but I’m not sure that Naples is the only city where something like that could happen. South of Italy itself is pure beauty, but I agree that Naples is its heavy spice. Yes, the city is dirty and traffic can be hectic, taxi drivers will overcharge you, that’s for sure, but that is just one part of its story. The other part is beauty of its nature, amazing blue color of sky and sea, romantic views, old castles and amazing food. I find Napoletans to be warm and welcoming people, helping you in situations with no interest of their own. If I must use one word to describe Naples, I would say – drammatic. Everything is a bit drammatic about that city and I think that word catches the soul of the city and its people. I understand that it’s not to everyones taste, but it’s not fair to say that it is ugly and unsafe place that should be forgotten.

    1. Couldn’t have put better into words what was my experience in Naples.
      Sad many people look for clinical experiences outside their comfort zone and find crime wherever they look. There’s more to this world than Swiss-inspired cities and Naples is a great example. I bet many of the people who hate it never been to Asia, South America, or Africa.

      Thank you so much for your input Anna!

  32. Naples is a dump. Assaulted and mugged in a cab while on a business trip…broad daylight in a business district. Cab driver even wanted my shoes! The only good: a local + rich colleague connected me with the head of tourism who got most my possessions returned to me…Yes, the city is a very bad game. Corruption is profound. Tourism guy informed me that the cab driver was well punished. Jeesh, Naples is not cool. Tell it like it is. Given a choice, a place one could skip for better destinations. Walk confident is always wise albeit naive + rather inadequate (downright dopey) when in Naples.

    1. I have been to Naples at least ten times. I am blond and short, and I have ridden the trains, , walked at night, with no problems, always feeling safe…..I have been approached (only once) by someone trying to sell me something. A flower).
      Naples is gorgeous, previously the capital of its city state, and when italy was unified in the late 1800s, Neapolitan money was taken to Rome to fund the Vatican….Naples has gorgeous architecture , consequently, but the money for upkeep and jobs has been funneled north. Thus, Naples appears a little rough around the edges, but is soooooo much safer than the French Quarter in New Orleans. (Where I live ). Just think of your safety as you would in any big city: use a cross body bag, dont go down empty streets at night, don’t flash your cash. Naples wants your tourism dollars, but young unemployed people anywhere can learn to pick your pocket. Use good sense that you would use in any big city. Neapolitans love Americans, and they will go out of their way to offer you a taste in the gelato (ice cream) store, to sing to you while you walk through the fish market, to offer you a chocolate in the coffee house. If you are nervous, pre-book a tour from a company you trust, like Rick Steves……but see Naples!!!!
      How many people in the world can say they’ve had pizza in the place it was created, Naples, Italy?

    2. Sorry for your experience.
      Are you aware this could’ve happened anywhere? I also suggest to always take legit taxis, not just hail a random one on the street.

  33. Anywhere you travel you should be aware of your surroundings enough to know there are dangers. You should never carry anything you’re not willing to lose. With that said, get over it. You’re traveling and if your shivering in a corner too scared to walk the streets just stay home. Traveling may not be your thing. I spent 5 days and Nights in Naples with my wife and 16yo daughter. It was fantastic! Our first time in Italy and we liked it better than Rome. Plus it’s a Great Kick off point for some wonderful day trips that are ridiculously expensive over night stays. Then the food, OMG the food!!! Stay away from the big tourist places… look for the local spots. The people there are intense, loud, pushy, blunt but they are also friendly, warm and inviting. It’s a vibrant lively city with much to offer but it’s also an old city that has it’s dark side like all old large cities do. So get a grip, stay on your toes and you will have a great time.

    I’ll tell of my one dangerous encounter but before that here are some safety tips for traveling to any city but especially for Naples;

    Learn to say NO.
    Some will over charge you and bring you things with out telling you prices. Be firm. Know what you are ordering. If you are unsure say NO.
    They will try and steer you to their shops or eateries. If you are not interested, Keep walking, don’t pause, say NO. Do not let people touch you. That is not acceptable in any culture.
    Look at the price. If there are no prices shown, I suggest going to another shop. They will probably over charge you at the counter.

    Stay Aware;
    Don’t get misdirected;
    Just because a stranger gets you to look one way doesn’t mean you should focus all your attention that way. Especially if you are travelling in a group.
    Watch your six;
    If you need to look at your phone, read something, take your eyes away from your surroundings, minimize your exposure. Put your back to a wall or corner. Stay by people but not a huge crowd. Police and military people are everywhere in Italy, get closer to them.
    Are you being followed?;
    Maybe you are. Those 3 guys that saw you take a picture with your $2,000 camera just got up and are 20 feet behind you for the last block or 2 and now there are not some many people around. Hmmm….. What do you do? Turn and start walking where the people are, in a shop, towards cops, military, anywhere but the open or spar area. Get it?

    Come Prepared;
    Carry only what you need.
    A little cash, a card or 2, I.D.(I carry the passport card and leave my passport at my hotel).
    Carry it smart;
    Inside the waste band wallet for your cards. Make it hard to be pick pocketed.
    Get a quality Backpack/Bag like Pacsafe. See below.
    Lanyard your gear. See below

    I always carry a mugger’s tax;
    Roughly $50 in small bills and change in my front pocket I can throw on the ground and move away from. Most petty thieves will take the cash if they see you move away. Giving you time to flee. Here is a simple rule of thumb for mugging, There is nothing on you worth going to the hospital of dying for. Try dropping some cash first and move away-run. If they come after you grab your wallet drop your bag – run. if that doesn’t work drop the wallet and run for your life.

    Walk the walk;
    If you are aware, confident of what is going on around you and decided you will not be taken advantage of your chances of attracting trouble will go down considerably. Keep your wits about you head up, eyes wide, if your tired get off the streets, don’t get drunk without someone in charge. Stay in well lit areas. Don’t be like me a read up on the areas you are visiting before stumbling into them with expensive camera gear… more to come. Wear the right clothes for the right occasion. I love a gal in a dress and high heels but if your new to the city and can’t afford the privilege and security that comes with platinum access don’t dress for it.

    So here is my sorry of danger and stupidity,

    My first night there I was so amped up I could not sit still. My Mother’s family immigrated from Naples 2 generations ago. I wanted to walk the street, smell, hear, taste and take it all in… so I did. I grabbed my trusty Nikon and much to my wife’s worry walked out the hotel with absolutely no plan or idea where I was going. But that’s me and she knows it. So off I when a couple hours before sunset after 18hrs of travel from the states.

    Our Hotel was right by Napoli Centrale and sandwiched between 2 of the worst neighborhoods in town. I did not know this. Had I know, probably still wouldn’t have cared. I had a great time. Wandered into a block party. Drank in the streets. Ended at a great espresso shop. Kept wandering, shot tons of photos but the night was getting long and I knew my wife would be worrying so I decided to make my way home. Of course I was lost… Kinda…

    I got my bearing and realized I was a brisk 30 minute walk from the hotel. What I didn’t know is it took my by one of the worst areas… the Spanish Quarter. It was close to midnight. I had my camera and was taking shots. From across the street I saw this dark alley. It was dirty, messy, ugly, intriguing, oddly beautiful in the dingy light, everything I love to shoot. Problem was I forgot t to turn of my low light sensor, it’s soft flash caught the attention of 3 young men and they got up. As I turned to keep walking I saw them make their way to the street.

    I kept walking. They crossed. I walked into a group of people surrounding a food vendor. They followed. As I was leaving that group I looked over a huge dark vast nothingness. An unlit concrete square just North of Galleria Piazza Garibaldi. My hotel was 10 minutes south on the other side of that nothingness. Now I’m a big man, 6′, 230LBS, I’ve been around, I’ve been trained, I don’t scare easily, but I’m not stupid. I’m sliding closer to 50 and these 3 guys were young, lean and mean. No way I was out running them and even if I was lucky there was no “winning” a fight because landing in a hospital doesn’t count as a win. No, if I went in that darkness the best result was I got robbed, the worst my wife was widowed and that last one was not an option.

    So I turned the F around and walked right past them. I looked the guy in front right in the eye and he smiled. He knew where I was going. I was headed back through those people at the vendor and to the group of military dudes I passed a few blocks back. After I doubled back I picked another route. Stayed on my toes. Got close to my hotel. Stopped at a great Pizza place. Ordered a pizza, had some wine. Back to the hotel at 1am and my girls got up and ate my pizza.

    Thats the only “Scary” thing that happened. Everything else was regular Traveling stuff. Traffic, annoying vendors, ripp offs, etc., Rome was far worse for that. My wife’s backpack was opened 4 times in Rome. Speaking of which. Not once did my Pacsafe backpack get messed with. I highly suggest it to any traveler.

    Lastly the mention of Lanyards, As I mentioned, I carry am expensive camera. I carry it out in the open so anyone can see it. I have it on a PD quick clip on my Pacsafe pack with a lanyard. So even if it’s in my hand it’s still attached to my person. Some may think this looks stupid, typical tourist, well I am. Some may think it’s a target, it’s not. The only way that camera could be taken from my is by force and a lot of it. Thieves want easy targets and not to attract attention. So make it difficult and they will more than likely pass you by for the next guy.

    Maybe my story frightened you and if so, good. Stay the hell out of Naples, that leaves it less crowded by tourists for my next visit. For those of you that understand that it was me that was being dangerous and not the city Bravo! You get the point. Naples is a wonderful city. My wife and were there last year and we are already planning our next visit. We will probably stay in a nicer part of town though. LOL! Ciao!

    1. Tim – do you write a travel blog? If yes, I’d love to follow it. If not – do it! Great post!!

    2. Tim, thanks for your honest review. Spending two nights in Naples next week and you gave me a few reminders as a traveler of what to be aware of, and how to enjoy. Kudos

  34. I hadn’t done any research on Naples at all, and did not have any preconceived notions. I was staying in Rome and was supposed to have a tour to pompeii with transportation. It turned out to be a fake tour, and we took ourselves. We took the train to Napoli Centrale, going past the vast tower blocks that look way scarier and poorer than the ones in Juarez, Mexico. We arrived at Napoli Centrali and had to take the subway to the Pompeii excavation site. Outside of the train station, was very sketchy and we went right back in. The subway to the site was also very crowded and sketchy. There were local neopolitans on the train BTW, but we didn’t have much with us so that was good. After returning to Rome, I looked up info about Naples. I want to go the archeological museum, but it seems like a horrendous ordeal to get there. I was so happy to get back to Rome. Also, tourists never blend in! If you are American, they will all know. It’s stupid to think they’ll think you’re Italian, even dumber to think you’ll look Neopolitan.

    1. Funny you mention you’re glad you got back to Rome, when it has MORE petty crime than Napoli. It’s all a game of perception.

      It’s definitely not stupid to try to blend in.
      Learn some Italian.
      Don’t dress like an idiot tourist, with souvenir t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops.
      Don’t wear your camera around your neck for everyone to see.

      Plenty of things you can do to avoid drawing unwanted attention.

  35. I was mugged in broad daylight in front of many by a guy from a scooter I fought him off and he didn’t get my bag but he fractured my wrist as he tore my watch off my arm – the Italian pedestrians were warm and sorry – I won’t be back

  36. Reading these comments, I wonder if all people stayed in the same city. I am leaving Naples tomorrow. Came here for a couple of days with my husband, we stayed 10 mins walk from Garibaldi. We still got two legs, two hands and all our money and phones. Yes, Naples can be dirty in places but has anyone been to London after 10 pm on Saturday night? it has rough and posh spots like every city in the world. If you are looking for a trouble, it will find you. Plus if you are making a minimum.effort of speaking Italian, you will get bonus points. This is our 4th visit to Italy and we are always feel welcomed, people are friendly and it is an amazing experience.

    1. You’ve said it all: “if you’re looking for a trouble, it will find you”.
      Many people see crime wherever they look, guess who are the first victims?

  37. Thank you for this article. I’ll be in castellammare di stabia in aug and using it as a home base to visit the sites of Southern Italy. I as well have read all the reviews about crime and what not but I’m still going to check out Naples. I grew up on San Francisco, lived in East Oakland ca and Harlem NYC so I’m assuming that city grim won’t bother me. My only thing is that I’m African American and was thinking that i would get treated differently due to the influx of immigrants. From what I read is that I should worry but be ready to get some side eye and side comments.

    Anyway, I’ll use my city street smarts to stay safe and enjoy my trip. Thanks again for all the info man, super helpful.

    1. Looks like you’ve got plenty of city street smarts going on; you’re already halfway there to a stress-free trip.
      Have a great time in Italy!

  38. Thanks for this dose of reality. Compared to the sameiness of so many European cities these days, Naples feels fresh. It’s warm, lively and real, with a surprising intimacy. They don’t have walls up and you can have these wonderful little interactions with people. I rediscovered it last year and now it’s my number 1 place to visit.

    So far as crime… I actually tempted some petty theft last year when I forgot my iPhone on an outdoor table. An hour later I ran back and the waitress handed it to me. That’s not to say petty theft isn’t a problem, just that Naples deserves to be approached with a bit of nuance. It is a chaotic city, a crumbling city, EVERY cab driver will try to rip you off, leading to a lot of fun arguing and getting ripped off most of the time anyway, at least for me, but in my experience it’s not a *mean* city.

    tl;dr Go to Naples

    1. Completely agree. Naples is a breath of fresh air in the same stereotype of European city nowadays.

  39. Around 8,000 Americans also live in the Naples area as the Navy has been here since WW2. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world and the people are the most genuine I’ve ever been around. It has so much character and the reputation is unwarranted as the article articulates. If you like to travel, Napoli should definitely be on your bucket list. It’s definitely way more interesting than most places you’ve probably been.

    1. Completely agree Dan!
      Sadly, most people look for sterile streets and a Starbucks when they’re abroad.

  40. I just spent 4 nights in Naples with my family (wife and 17 & 15 year old daughters). We found it a city of contrasts but fascinating to walk around and observe. Personally I love cities where life is happening in the streets and Napoli is one of those places. Sure, there were filthy streets and beggars around the station. Yes, the street is full of scooters you have to avoid. The experience of a taxi to the airport was like a video game:-)

    But we all had a great time, with the main reasons being

    – super friendly and helpful locals including our apartment owner
    – simple transport made getting around fun when we got bored of walking
    – loads to see and do (street markets, museums, the obvious ancient monuments, we also took an excellent street art tour and went to see an English / Romanian comedian in a bar)
    – great pizza though the rest of the food was ordinary
    – we didn’t get mugged, maybe luck but we stayed vigilant and aware as we would in a dodgy UK city we didn’t know. I’ve traveled in many cities around the world so I have some sense of this, I hope.

    It’s a lively city with a lot to offer tourists and I’m glad we made the effort. More than one person I spoke to there was appreciative that we made the effort to visit. We spent one night also in Rome, which was about 5x as expensive without being particularly special other than in the ancient monuments department, where pretty obviously it is world class.

    1. Thanks for sharing your input Richard.
      I understand it’s not for everyone, but it’s a bustling city with a lot to uncover and – like you say – with lots of beautiful contrasts. Happy travels!

  41. Are you out of your mind? I work in NYC and live in Northern NJ. Naples is the worst city I have EVER EVER been in. Garbage, Giraffiti…a third world country. We thought the italian man on the train telling a group of females from the USA not to leave the train terminal just did not understand ubran life. Nope, the man was right.

    1. I agree. I arrived this morning and cannot even sleep. I’m at one of the nicest hotels in the city and am terrified. I’ve been in rough areas of many cities and I thought I accidentally landed in bangkok. The people are lovely except the scammy cab drivers. They are AWFUL

  42. I’m currently studying abroad in Rome and we spent two days beginning of April in Naples, before traveling further south of Italy. On my first night, I was assaulted and robbed after we had a delicious dinner at Sorbillo. The street was lit, there were people roaming up and down, but we were targeted by TWO men on a scooter. After turning around a corner, one of the men on the scooter was on his feet walking toward us. He tried to snatch my phone, and when he couldn’t, he knocked me to the ground to grab it. It was an amateur move to have my phone in my hand, and from there, in my pocket. At that time, I was walking among five other classmates, using the phone as navigation back to our hotel. Instantly I tried to pull him back (don’t do that, don’t fight!!!) But by then, he had hopped back onto the scooter with his accomplice waiting, and ended up dragging me against the pavement. The entire street was screaming and tried to help, Italian locals called the police on my behalf. What was most surprising of this ordeal, was that the police could identify the perpetrator midway through my claim. They had pictures and this person was a multiple offender. In the end, one of the two men were arrested. But from this experience, I got to witness the prevalence of crime in Napoli. I spent the night at the hospital and the entire next day at the police station, and there were multiple assaults, and mostly targeted at Italian women. Maybe these are NOT the same people who you will find sharing their experience on comment threads online? When I returned to my hotel, the clerk HIMSELF said he was robbed at knife point a few weeks ago. He was born and raised in Naples. When I shared my experience with friends back in Rome, they too said they had friends (local Italians) robbed at the train station recently.

    During the day, the city was lively and hosted a variety of bright shops and street vendors. We spent time at both museums and enjoyed our personal tours, the city is rich in history. However, it was also gritty and I spent more time hop-scotching between feces of all sort, sprawled on the streets. Altogether, I think Italy hosts many other options for better visits. I wish I spent more time in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coasts, and less time in Naples.

  43. I’d like to add to some rather different comments about Naples to add to those made in your excellent summary and in the other comments.

    I first went to Naples in 1982, as a student, and boy was it different then! I’ve been back many times, for summers and for whole years. The big change came with the G7 in 1994 when Bassolino was Mayor. Unfortunately, since 2008, and then under De Magistris, the current (worse than useless) Mayor, it has deteriorated again. Basic services, such as transport, schools, and street maintenance have been sadly neglected. The Villa Comunale down near the sea, which was briefly really nice, has once more become simply a place to buy and use drugs and for homeless people to sit and drink. The centre (both the Quartieri and the Centro Storico) is both more touristy and more squalid and rubbish-strewn than it used to be, and areas close to the centre but not much seen by tourists, such as the Sanità and Forcella, have gone back to third-world levels: anywhere the Camorra dominates is deliberately deprived of public spaces, good schools, independent political or social initiatives—those scumbags want only desperate, impoverished people who will take drugs or depend on the Camorra for any sort of “assistance”. (Note on the Rione Sanità: you *must* go and see the Catacombs under the Church!—a rare successful initiative by local youth.)

    Anyway, the new throngs of tourists seem to love the “picturesque” aspects of Naples (washing hanging from balconies; the fish stalls in the Pignasecca; people playing cards in the street). The best part of the Centro Storico is actually round the Universita (Federico II) and the Music School, which is less touristy, more funky, cheaper, and with more interesting artisanal and vintage shops, and more varied things to eat and drink. The area around the Piazza dei Martiri is way too expensive, and is dominated by all the usual high-end retail stores, although it still has some high-end local shops too. The Vomero (top of the hill overlooking the town, reached by the Funicolari) is good to walk around, but the shops are generally the usual chains, and sadly the Villa Floridiana has to be negotiated with care (it’s been physically neglected and some areas have been fenced off); but mums still take small kids there during the day to play, as it’s one of the few green parts of the Vomero without cars or motorini threatening life and limb.

    There’s an old saying that Naples is the only third-world city without a European quarter. Sometimes I’m afraid it’s coming true again.

  44. I have been to Naples a few times, as recently as last summer. Yes, from appearances it looks very sketchy but it really does have much to offer. I found most people to be nice and helpful. The only problem we ever experienced was at the train station when some guy tried to pose himself off as a baggage handler and offered to help with our bags. Thankfully we knew better than to believe him. If you stay aware of your surroundings and know where you are going, you should be relatively safe.

  45. Brother, You have no idea wonderfully you have written this entire blog. It is so very helpful. Very informative and the write up is excellent, with simple English and easy to understand! Awesome! Great Help!

  46. It’s squalid beyond belief, a sad reflection on the failures of Italian public policy. I didn’t feel particularly unsafe but did feel the need to shower frequently: it’s that dirty! A few gems in a hideous dump; not worth more than 48 well-planned hours.

  47. We went to Naples with open minds and ready to experience the culture. We were warned many times not to come but after reading everything online we thought we would take a chance. BIG MISTAKE. While we were there we witnessed an attempted car jacking and were followed multiple times by men. I was travelling in a group of all females which especially made us a target. At one point in time we were followed to our air bnb and had to race to get it unlocked as the person following started running towards us. It was very scary and made the whole experience miserable. I am writing this to warn other people, especially females that it is not safe here. There was not one moment where I did not feel watched, or followed.

    1. I hate it here. I have to take a ferry to Capri at 5am and am
      So terrified to walk to the port

    2. As a woman who often travels alone, I need to hear experiences from other women what a place is like! Even a woman traveling with a man is probably going to have a very different experience. People who aren’t single women have absolutely no idea how much worse it can be. With that being said, other than catty female locals or gross old men, I’ve had no problems traveling alone in Venice, Rome, or Barcelona. Of course I’m always very careful of where I am and my belongings. Can any single female travelers compare Naples to these places?

  48. Definitely take online comments about safety (or restaurants) with more than a grain of salt. Whenever I read a comment like “Definitely the best pizza (or gelato or…) in all of Naples, etc.” I feel like writing back, “Did you eat in ALL of them, before posting?”

    1. We had a man pointing a gun at us in order we give hime cash. I don’t think we’re exaggerating.

  49. We stayed at Grand Hotel Europa across the street of Garibaldi central station. It was very convenient, did not need to hire a taxi for our group. we did not experience any negative situation. Neapolitans are very polite and helpful to tourists. After all, they know their reputation. So, they want to put on a good face. That is our experience.

  50. Lived in Naples for three years. It is one of the most amazing cities I have ever visited. It is so diverse and, if you do your homework and research, there are so many wonderful places to visit in the city, not to mention Pompeii on the outskirts. It isn’t Rome or Venice or Florence, they all have their own interesting features and are amazing but Naples is something different and most definitely gets my vote. Well worth a long weekend at least. BELLA NAPOLI!!!

  51. I’d like to say a huge thank you to you for all this information and just downright sensibleness if there is such a word. I was looking for a way to get to Pompeii and Vesuvius and you have have answered all my questions so well. Thanks for taking the time to write and share!

    1. If you can manage, visit Capri. Take the funicular to the top and walk down to the other side of the island to Da Luigi ai Faraglioni. Google it. It was the best experience ever. The walk down is an experience in itself. The walk back up is a littler hard, but well worth it.

    2. Thank you Jacqui, appreciate it.
      I found Capri way too over the top and posh for my taste, that’s why I skipped it.

  52. Just coming back from Napoli. The only real danger is the way people drive, especially the 2 wheels. Best tip: wait for a pedestrian group to form and cross at the same time!!! Cars will stop for you. Vespa and scooters won’t.
    I walk the whole city centre with my camera at hand without even getting a look. It surely is different in high season but then the same goes for Rome, Turin, Milan… and it is mostly opportunistic robbery. Still saw many people with their wallet in the back pocket…
    Also some streets in Brussels or Paris are filthier than the ones in Naples. So yes, it is not Florence which is awfully aseptised. I actually found Naples quite clean. But no it is not Bagdad either and no, criminals do not wait to rob you. I travel solo. I am a woman. And never did I feel insecure. I even found the city too touristy to my taste!

    1. Recall reading somewhere many years ago that in Naples traffic lights and signs are Only a Suggestion. When we took a cab down these incredibly narrow streets at what I felt was a high speed, I finally understood!

  53. Just visited Napels for 3 days . It is not as dangerous as people might think or feel. BUT….the city is a mess….filthy , unclean and disorganized. The traffic and the way people just park the pedestrian crossings closed are mind boggling to say the least. Not recommended for anything at all. Do not know what is actually going on in this place . Not like ANY other city in Italy.

  54. City is dirty, traffic is really bad and it is dangerous to drive, criminals are always around you… worst place I have visited. Pizza is ok but not worth money and your time. There are much nicer places in Italy.

    1. Hi there! Myself and my girlfriend are staying in Naples in February for 4 nights- just as a break! Both of us are 18. Were staying in the Hotel Ferdinand II, I’ve never been to Italy before and I’m quite nervous, how safe is this area?

    2. Liam, no worries at all. Just triple check when crossing streets and avoid Garibaldi late at night.

    3. Were you surrounded by criminals? Where were you at Fort Apache

  55. Visited in 2013. Just passed through to Sorento by train went to the Museum fantastic. On the way back came in by ferry by the Castle. Walked back to Garibaldi train station. On the way seen a lady robbed of valuables across the street by a man about 6″5″. Started to pay attention more to my surroundings. Tall man was following us. Started caring my stainless steel water bottle. Would not pass us. Finally stopped at street vendor. He stopped, waited him out was not looking at him directly. He left .Crossing Garibaldi Square across the middle of the Square, Ran into half dozen men riffling through luggage separating things into piles. Got to the train station, Whew. In the train station packed were followed by two men another man came from in front of us and seen the men behind us and walked behind us like they were talking business. Out of no where Police men with a dog came by me and the dog grabbed the bag one of them. We did not stick around to see what happen. Glad to get back to Rome. No problem any where else in Italy. My take on Naples is they might not kill you but will take your stuff.

  56. 7 years ago visited and got my partners purse stolen perhaps in concert with local policeman who distracted us. It was much worse than say nyc. At least for petty crime. Also worst drivers I’ve ever seen in Europe. Basically don’t recognize traffic law. Also nothing in Naples that you can’t find as good elsewhere in Italy.

    1. I disagree. Naples has many reasons of interest.
      Lively markets, best pizza in Italy, amazing day trips to places like Amalfi Coast and Vesuvius.

  57. hello!

    so i am heading for Naples in a few hours, for a second solo trip in an European city. and i come from Delhi. yet, when the conversation around has been about ‘safety’ regarding this visit, i googled a bit and found this. my faith has been restored. we need to be anyway careful, either at home or outside.

    Hoping to have a great and safe time in the ancient city! thank you.

  58. It’s the first time I’m stopping in Italy further south than Merano or Bolzano, so it’s quite a new experience. I’m from Germany and have lived in England for 29 years but after only three days of staying in the Quartieri Spagnoli I begin to feel much safer here than in some British places. The biggest danger for me seems that of getting run over while crossing the street in the little alleys but watching how the local pedestrians manage there seems to be a certain know-how one just has to gradually acquire. I take the just same care of my passport, bank cards, and smartphone as I would anywhere else (nothing to do with Napoli specifically) and don’t feel as if I was surrounded by crime – I’m sure that crime-reputation given to Napoli is a gross insult to its inhabitants. As I can’t speak Italian the language barrier must be difficult for the people I come in touch with here but they usually in a very friendly way make the best of it. How they are sometimes in a generalised way described as rude is beyond me.

  59. After reading these comments I’m nervous about my upcoming stay in Naples. I’m staying at Stelle Hotel on Corso Meridionale. Is this a safe area?

  60. We just loved Naples, we didn’t feel threatened we ventured around the back streets took in the sites and dodged the vespas what an experience, don’t be put off its a great place, wherever you are in the world you have to be wise and look after your valuables and be cautious, go and enjoy

  61. Hi, I am from Naples and I lived there for 27 years and nothing ever happened to me and as soon as I moved in London UK, I was mugged twice in a month.
    Naples is a very ancient city and has a fascinating and magic history. It has the most concentration of art, architecture and natural beauty of any other Italian city. There is crime, like everywhere, but it is not a dangerous place like the bad propaganda wants people to believe. Not at all. Don’t stay around the station, don’t flash your phone or wallet, keep vigilant as in any big city full of people. The petty crime in Naples has a history itself fascinating. If you read Boccaccio and a bit of recent history, you will understand why Napoli doesn’t like legality and how the city survived the exploitation from the North of Italy- which brought poverty and struggle-with the ‘arte di arrangiarsi’. that means the art of creating ingenious creations to get by.

    1. Thank you for sharing this local insight. Very interesting about the rebel side of Naples, it makes total sense given the looks-and-feel of the city.

  62. We visited Naples went on the locals train to Garibaldi st
    Got off thought we were in a third world country but never felt in danger at any time
    Place is a mess can’t see why anybody would visit

    1. Well quite frankly, I could list 100 places which are “a mess” and still worthy of a visit.

  63. We recently traveled to Naples with kids and the only danger was to lose them because it is overcrowded. But we knew if we lose them where we would find them: probably in some bakery or some pastry shop 🙂 I wrote a story about Naples with kids but it is for all those travelers who feel like kids.

    1. Hi Dragana, very nice story 🙂
      The only thing I would say is that the legend says that Naples was founded where the siren Partenope died. The siren died after she didn’t manage to seduce Odysseus (Ulisse) with her singing, but this was because he ordered everyone on his ship to put wax in their ears and to tie him and for no reason to undo the cords. When he heard the beautiful voice of the siren, he started crying and shouting, he wanted to go, but no one heard him as they all had wax on their ears. They passed by where all the beautiful sirens were without stopping, Partenope sang for him to stop, but the ship sailed very far without stopping. This way Ulisse became the only human to hear the voice of the sirens and to survive. Partenope became very sad, she felt in love for himand died on a rock shortly after. On her tomb Napoli was founded!

  64. Hi,

    We are planning to visit Naples in end of December and plans to stay in Le Cheminee Business Hotel. Is that area safe for Couple?

  65. Naples is great! We have a house just outside and have been going there for 40 years. Never had a problem. Understanding and embracing the culture is key! Everyone is loud! No one understands privacy( there is no Italian word for that). Driving is about owning your space not about giving way to others. Pride of ownership is confined to internals. Flashy externals just draw unwanted attention. There is beauty pride and passion alongside filth and chaos. Every time we go we see something new.

  66. Just back from a long weekend in Naples with 7 male colleagues. The average age of our group is 58 and we are well travelled. We were residing in a traditional 3 star hotel just to the back of the Garabaldi train terminus and near to where the airport shuttle bus stops. Yes the area is edgy with rough sleepers and other types hanging about but we encountered no hassle and were never approached by any beggars unlike other cities and even our home country of Scotland.
    Yes you have to take the normal precautions as in any city and in fact one of our party had his wallet stolen from his shorts in the local train to Pompei as did another gent we spoke to the airport.
    Take great care on these trains and keep your wallet in your hip pocket with hand in top.
    The city is litter strewn in areas but it is atmospheric and every restaurant or cafe we visited was good and enjoyable.
    We enjoyed it but be careful as you always should be.

  67. Hi, I just came back from a week staying in Sorrento that included a couple of days exploring Naples. I found Naples to be grimy-looking in places and quite rough-and-ready, but I loved it: it’s full of life and great things to see and do – and it’s got an amazing history. Such a privilege to visit it. I thought your article was spot-on. Travellers should heed basic safety tips just as in any big city and then just concentrate on having a good time. Get into the swing of it and enjoy!

    I’ll be reading more of your website now I’ve found it – thanks for your wise perspective.

  68. The city of Naples is a dump. Articles like this that promote tourism to such a dirty and dishonest city really need to reflect on what they are promoting. I didnt even come close to being robbed, but the unfriendly arrogance of the locals, the constant underlying threat from theives, combined with the filth of the city adds upto anything but a tourists hotspot. Why spend your hard earn money in a place where people give stuff all about the environment and even less about visitors to there city.

    1. I can’t understand why people say Naples is dirty, in my opinion it’s old and well lived in. There is plenty to do with fantastic art and churches. The streets are full of character and life. If you go into the Spanish Quarter, where we stayed the food and wine was outstanding in restaurants that were all full of locals. Herculanium and Pompeii are world class ancient sites and to top top it all off where else can you visit a live volcano? Regarding crime on the occasions that we strayed into some areas the locals were quick to advise us and i was told to put my Rolex in my pocket. Naples is a fantastic place to visit don’t be put off.

    2. First of all, I’m not promoting anything. I’m trying to state facts based on other entities have to say about Naples and on my personal experience.

      I’m not here to disguise the problems of Naples – there are many, no doubt about that – my only point is that these problems shouldn’t prevent tourists from visiting, just like the problems of NYC or Rome – and there are many of them as well – don’t prevent tourists from visiting. The world is not perfect and it’s good to step out of your clinical esterilized comfort zone once in a while.

      That said, sad you had a bad experience.

  69. We loved Napoli!! We took our six year old daughter and never once felt unsafe. Yes there is litter, but look up! There’s Vesuvius! The people were very friendly, the food was great, shopping was great too. Look past the trash and you are in for an exotic Italian treat.

    1. I agree! We recently traveled to Naples with kids and the only danger was to lose them because it is overcrowded. But we knew if we lose them where we would find them: probably in some bakery or some pastry shop I wrote a story about Naples with kids but it is for all those travelers who feel like kids.

  70. Guys, If I was you I would watch out for some of the comments reporting extremely negative tales about Naples. While I am sure some of them are genuine, it’s common practice among people who working in the tourism industry in Florence, Venice and Milan to add very negative reviews about Naples for fear of losing tourists in their own cities. It’s a nasty world out there and people are willing to do anything not to lose market shares. Even unfair competition. Peace.

    1. I get that impression, too. Reading one particularly nasty comment I wondered if that person has even been to Napoli. I’ve wandered the streets of Quartieri Spagnoli for three days and nights now and while I do see a bit of garbage and decay unusual for what I’m used to seeing in streets I already begin not to care about it anymore. The people here are friendly and kind.

  71. I’m going Naples for 6 days on Tuesday to celebrate parents 80th birthdays. (Sorrento for 3 days later) We’ve been to Marseille and Genoa, neither salubrious but loved them. Staying in Vomero which seems lovely. Planning on getting Campania Express from Porta Nolana to Sorrento so they get a seat. Although Dad could pass for Italian, mum and I are pale and we all look like tourists. They are also not so mobile. I am a bit apprehensive but we are not innocents abroad. We do want to go to local markets etc and get authentic experience so guess we just keep wits about us. Am really looking forward to it. Will post when back.

  72. Just arrived in Naples today and was scammed by a taxi claiming we gave him a counterfeit 20€ (it wasn’t because I got it from the ATM this morning). He had it planted it his wad of money and threatened us. We both went to the police station near Molo Beverello and spent 30 minutes talking with officers. They barely believed us and took the crook’s side at first until we could back up our withdrawal and all spending with receipts. The crook was just let go.

    This article is garbage. It is an ugly, dirty place full of craven individuals. Seriously, this article is terrible.

    1. Sorry for your bad experience. To be fair that could happen anywhere, I’ve heard the same exact scams in Lisbon and Barcelona, for instance. Personally, I don’t trust taxis at all anywhere, but that’s just me.

      What I don’t admit is saying this article is “terrible” just because you had a different experience than mine.

    2. I too was scammed by a taxi driver (in 1965) That one negative experience has not soured on my ability to appreciate Napoli. I have been going to napoli since that bad experience without anymore problems.

    3. I’ve lived in Barcelona for almost two years and never once had this problem with taxi drivers.

  73. This article is a crock of sh***. I just took a ferry from palermo to naples. Walked with luggage from the port to garibaldi to use a luggage drop-off service. After slogging through the disgusting streets, i had lunch in a highly touted pizzeria a few blocks from garibaldi. While i ate, i watched a group of thugs use a hacksaw to steal a bike, then steal gas from all of the scooters parked on the street. Went to pompeii & back, and saw about 50-100 homeless people in between. Gypsies begging on every train. Graffitti covered everything. Every single street i was on had piles of garbage. I later spotted one of the thug’s mates near the bag drop and booked it to my train to Rome.

    I’ve been to every populated area in the northeast, and the only place it reminded me of was Newark or Camden. Oh I almost forgot the group of a few thousand muslims praying to mecca surrounded by national police. Glad nobody decided to jihad that day.

    Later napoli

    1. Nice. You’re comparing a city whose murder rate in 2016 was 2 each 100.000 inhabitants to cities in the US where it ranges between 4 and 8. Nice try. You didn’t see Gypsies in Rome? That makes me wonder about the authenticity of your comment, considering it’s the city with most Gypsies in Italy.

    2. Your comment is so full of obnoxious and xenophobic comments, it’s just sad.

      But I will ask – how was your experience in Rome? Crime rate there is HIGHER than in Naples and I’m sure there are “gypsies” there too. No mosques? No homeless people? I’m impressed.

      We see what we chose to see.

      PS: still find it funny you found a “highly touted pizzeria” and HAD LUNCH THERE ANYWAY.

  74. Just got back from a week in Naples, staying in the old historic quarter near the University. First impressions – can’t get away from the fact that the city is very dirty, truly filthy streets with broken glass everywhere, and graffiti on most buildings. The broken, uneven paving slabs with gaps between them made walking difficult in some areas.
    I’m nearly 60 and my daughters are in their late 20’s but we never felt unsafe. We found people were pleasant and helpful, especially when we were trying to work out which platform our train to Pompeii left from. The trains we took always left on time and were clean and air conditioned, very impressed!
    Getting boats to the near by islands such as Capri and Procito was easy and well organised.
    Naples has many pedestrianised streets but it’s important to always be aware of traffic,especially as some of the streets are very narrow and scooters rush down them at great speed. On several occasions, to our surprise, cars stopped to let us cross the road, we really didn’t expect that. If you are vigilant traffic isn’t a problem.
    The food in Naples was just amazing and such good value for money, one of my daughters is vegetarian and it was paradise, especially after Cuba and Spain. There is so much to do and see there, we had a wonderful week and would strongly recommend it to anyone.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience!

      I do agree some streets are dirty and gritty – especially around the train station – but fortunately dirty doesn’t mean unsafe. It’s just come as a shock for people used to impeccably clean and sanitized environments (note for those people: try visiting Asia!).

      Thanks for also mentioning the food, it’s extremely good value and I miss it dearly!

  75. Finally!! Thank you for this. I am going to Naples in December. It helps a lot.
    I learnt the bad reputation was mostly made by northern Italy to keep tourism away. I took an hotel once behind Termini station in Roma and never had any trouble when coming back at night.

    1. Hope you have a good time Nejma.
      Keep a positive attitude and comply with BASIC safety tips and you’ll be fine 😉

  76. Just been on a five night stay in Naples with my husband and two children (16 and 13). We loved it. I was very apprehensive about going after reading reviews but we never once felt unsafe, travelled on the circumvesuviana twice, once from Garibaldi and once from Centrale. I wish we could have had a few more days, definitely recommend the underground walking tour. Oh, and we survived walking through the Spanish quarter, fascinating.

  77. Ignorance is bliss. I flew in with my family yesterday (7 of us) and we’re leaving mid day today. Never had a bad experience. I ran into your article on the way to Sorrento by pure coincidence. I don’t have anything bad to say about Naples other than some people at the hotel we stayed at were a bit rude. You get that anywhere you go though, so not singling it out for that reason.

    1. Sorry you had a bad experience at your hotel Star. To be fair, that could happen anywhere and doesn’t take away the raw beauty of the place 😉

  78. Just got mugged in Naples.

    Went to a supposedly nice restaurant recommended by the hotel. After leaving the restaurant Scialuppa in the best part of Naples near Castle dell’Ovo, a guy in a helmet was trying to pull off my Hublot watch. Couldn’t and ran to his accomplice on a scooter and raced off. Walked in shock with my wife for 50 meters and 3 guys jumped us, again trying to pull off my watch. Ended up in a full punching brawl. They even pulled my wives hair and hit her in the head. I got hit a few times, but fought back and now have bruised knuckles. Hopefully they used ice on their faces.

    In short, area around Castle dell’Ovo, including all the restaurants, seems to be linked to gangs. I suspect a waiter at the restaurant or nearby notify the gangs that i had a good watch, and they came specifically for us and the watch. Didn’t even try to rip off my diamond cross.

    They attacked at 8:30pm, on a big and well lit up street, full of people. People just watched, didn’t even scream or call the police. There were even lots of military police and actual police around. The gangs didn’t care.

    I would stay away from Naples. One of the worst cities we ever visited.

  79. Great advice. Just returned from Naples. Absolutely loved it. Although, because of reputation, I felt uneasy upon arriving, after ‘settling in’ I loved it. I felt completely safe at all times. Just follow basic rules of safety and you’ll be fine. I wouldn’t stay anywhere near the train station. We stayed on the Toledo and it was perfect. Please don’t avoid Naples. You won’t regret it.

    1. Exactly my experience. I felt all the reputation made me self-conscious and anxious, but once I was settled, I really enjoyed the place.

      Agree on the area around the train station – it can be very dodgy.

      Thank you for passing by!

  80. Went to Naples two days ago with the intention of spending the night. Couldn’t do it. Why risk when you don’t have to.

    1. If you’re used to sanitized environments, then the city is not for you.
      I recommend never visiting Africa, South America or Southeast Asia!

  81. I’m headed to Naples soon for employment. Thanks for the insight and advice. I read all of the comments. I’m looking forward to my adventure. I will be traveling and living with common sense. I’ve been as a cruise ship tourist but looking forward to my extended stay.

  82. We’re heading to Italy for a 3-week stay in August and we just took Naples off the list because of all the rumours flying about. After reading this, I may put it back in. We love to stay near the train stations when we travel, so hearing that those are the seediest areas is a bit disconcerting. We are travelling with our 11-year old child, so we wouldn’t be out and about much after dark anyways.

    1. Good call! Naples is a bustling and lively place, filled with energy and generous people.
      That said, I’d preferably avoid the train station area, to be honest, just because it’s a bit dodgy after dusk.

  83. I love Napoli. I spent a year there with a geology research team years ago (about 20) and it changed my life. The city is full of life, history, great food. I still miss the day-to-day encounters I had, a very lovely and social culture. I’ve been itching to go back for a visit and researching how things are now. I think the advice in this article is spot on. The city is not Disneyland and you do need to keep your wits about you, but I found it to be an unforgettable place.

    1. I’m sick of sterile european cities that look exactly the same.
      Naples was an entirely different experience and I really liked it, more than I was expecting!

  84. This is a fantastic piece. I am visiting Naples soon and was doing a quick Google search on safety as I heard it can be proper dodgy there (the Mafia scares me)! I have accidentally hung out with drug dealers in Mumbai and accidentally been drinking with Russian gangsters in a brothel in Marseille and it all was fine….I love these gritty (not shitty) cities and looking forward to it. Very informative blog

  85. Just Came Back From Naples June 22nd 2018
    After Eating At Pizza Place With 3 Members Of Family outside Restaurant Under Large Umbrellas . We Decided To Go Shopping I Was The Last To Get Up From My Seat After Taking 7 Steps My Gold Chain Was Snatched From My Neck By A White Male About 22 Years Old I Nearly Caught Him He Had Help My Hopping On Motorcycle With 2 Others Already On Motorcycle He Got Away !
    Went To 2 Napoli Police Departments No One Spoke English, They Didn’t Seem To Care About What Happened To Me !
    Came Along Way To See Napoli Very Disappointing Vacation!
    Police Department A Mess Will Never See This Place Again Nor Will I Recomend Anyone To Visit This Mess

    1. So sorry you had this experience.

      Again, this can happen everywhere you go, especially if you walk around with jewelry.

  86. I find it interesting you mention the “streets near the Central Station Garibaldi” and “Circumvesuviana” train as some examples of the unsafe areas in Naples, and yet all your pictures are of the beautiful and safe places. It would come across more genuine if you would show the worst and the best, as well as the average. I was hoping for some pictures of the places people get mugged at, so I’d know what to stay away from.

    P.S. I came across your blog while google-searching Naples crime rate, as a result of hearing a story about someone getting dragged across the Naples streets by a motorcyclist who was trying to steal her purse. Her purse was stolen, and she lost her passport. She said she was staying in a dodgy part of Naples.

    1. Thanks for your comment, that’s a very fair point.

      In any way, I want to disguise the reality of Napoli with this article and I’m the first to acknowledge the gritty and dirty nature of the city is not for everyone (especially if you come from a resort & cruise travel style).

      My intention was to show the other side of Naples: the bustling lively city, completely different than European standards, with beautiful architecture and delicious food.

      Nevertheless, I accept your point. I will review the content of this post and consider adding some other pictures I took.

  87. My wife and I have this very day just returned from an 8 day holiday in the general area, including 4 days in Naples. Our hotel was in Piazza Bellini, right in the heart of the historic centre. Naples exaggerates all the faults and virtues of Italy. Chaotic streets, widespread graffiti, non-existent public services, incredible churches, staggering views of the bay and coast, amazing food and friendly locals, noisy piazzas, disfiguring piles of rubbish, precious art. By far, it is the liveliest city we have visited in Europe. We felt completely safe and saw nothing to suggest we shouldn’t.

  88. Heck, I just have to post a comment.
    I read all the comments, so, I won’t start on the city being no more dangerous place than many others.
    I will comment on driving in Napoli. I haven’t been to places like India before, so my experience was very fresh.
    Plaza Garibaldi, rented car. No GPS, a paper map on my laps. I was’t exactly a newbie driver then, but after I got out of there, I was like “never-ever-again”. Then I spend over a month driving around the city and learnt to navigate it rather well.
    Well, where else in Europe a policeman, seeing a 6-month old baby hanging out of the front window and waving him will… wave his hand back with a smile?! Driving there is a mix of concurrency and respect. You cut when you can, you give way when being undercut. I learnt to see the scooters around the car, and feel what maneuver would be safe. I learn to enjoy the vibe of the traffic, all this hoking around. I became a better driver. After we got back to our hometown in northern Finland, I was like “c’mon-what’s-the-slomo?” on the roads.
    Five years later we visited the city with our own car. An absolute joy! Finally a place for the road users, not the police watchmen.

    p.s. Take care & Drive safe!
    p.p.s. Safe or not, I believe the city is polarizing. Some people just can’t stand it. I personally am torn by the thought that visiting it is very different from living there.

    1. Thank you Sergei, loved your culture shock story! Haha
      Definitely is a polarizing city, and I don’t think that’s bad, on the contrary, it’s intense, vibrant and requires some “street smart” levels, many people simply don’t know how to deal with it as they’re expecting luxury treatment in sterile environments. Definitely not the case of Napoli!

  89. My husband & I returned yesterday from a wonderful 5 day trip to Naples, & both agree it is our favourite Italian city. We felt completely safe throughout, & had no issues with pick-pockets etc.
    In the afternoons my husband had a siesta, & I, a 57 year old woman, wandered happily around the city alone.
    We had superb food, both in local restaurants & one fancy Michelin starred place, & delicious local wines.
    There are so many marvellous things to see, I urge everyone to go…

  90. Great article. Agree completely. Very sensible advice! Thanks for sharing.

  91. I am here in Naples now. While I have visited all of italy many times, I always avoided staying in Naples. Of course, I still prefer staying in Sorrento for longer visits, but Naples is a very beautiful city, and much more cosmopolitan that I would have thought.

    I do recommend pushing your hotel budget a little more here and find the nicest hotel you can comfortably afford. Being in a nice area gives you the opportunity to stay out a little later at night without worry.

    I also would suggest using a money belt even if it is just for peace of mind. Losing your valuables can ruin any trip. Why take the chance.

    As for the circumvesuviana line. Take it. It is such an adventure. Just be cautious. Pickpockets are very good at their “job”. My husband wraps a very thick rubber band around his wallet which makes it harder to pull out smoothly. My wallet is attached to the inside of my purse.

    Rick Steves suggest that you never carry more money in your wallet or purse than you can afford to lose. Good advice.

    Come to Naples. It is beautiful, and while you are here, consider renting a car (at the airport so you don’t have to drive in town). And explore all of the south. As much as I have always loved Italy, I love it ten times more after traveling in the south…Matera, Otanto, Polignano a Mare. There are some beautiful UNCROWDED places to explore here.

    1. Thanks for your tips, especially the money belt is a great idea (I use it all the time, not only in Naples). I think you agree with me when I say to keep an eye as you’d do in any city abroad and you’ll be fine 😉

  92. A few days ago googled to see if Naples is now a safe place to visit, and came across your article regarding Naples, not yet planned to visit there, but hopefully in the near future. Imagine the disbelief after seeing the list of unsafest cities, Marseille is rated at 55th, and Naples 10 down on 65th, I had been to Marseille a few years back without knowing it! Anyway, thought it is a really good article.

  93. I just came back from Naples and was positively impressed. The architecture and the panoramic view of the gulf and Mt. Vesuvius are simply stunning. The moment you find yourself in the Plebiscito squadre, in front of the Royal Palace and next to the San Carlo theather (the most ancient one in Europe which is still active) you immediately get the feeling this used to be more than just a city: it was really a capital (the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily existed for around 7 centuries before Italian unification). Not very far from this square you can find two beautiful castles: the castel dell’Ovo, from the Aragonese period, and the Maschio Angoino, from the Anjou period. And right next to it they just found some ancient Roman ruins while bulding a new metro station. Amazing. The tourist guide told me: “you can’t build anything in Naples without discovering some ancient thing”. Recently they also discovered the remains of three ancient Roman ships. The Archeological Museum is probably the biggest one in Italy and full of interesting stuff. The Capodimonte Museum is also worth a visit. I also went to the Royal Palace of Caserta, the second biggest one in Europe after Versailles, but you have to go there on a separate day because it’s literally HUGE and it’s outside the city of Naples (45 minutes by train), kinda like the Potsdam Pace is outside of Berlin. The food was amazing. I ate in a restaurant called “50 Kalò” and their Pizza was the best ever. They also have very yummy traditional pastries. Seafood is very good too. Plus restaurants are cheap compared to Rome or Florence. As fas as safety is concerned, my impression is that many people confuse Naples’ chaotic nature with a higher risk of something bad happening to them, so they will tell you scary stories even though nothing actually happened to them or to people they know. In Barcelona they robbed me twice. In London they tried to. In Naples I could walk for 5 days around the city without anybody bothering me. People are actually very friendly and cheerful, definitely more than in Northern Italy, although not many speak proper English. So by all means take all precautions you would take in any other big city, but don’t go there thinking you’re entering a warzone. You’re most likely gonna be fine. I noticed that the area around Piazza Garibaldi (Central Station) is full of (probably) illegal immigrants trying to sell (probably) fake products. So avoid that area. There’s nothing there to see anyway. Another thing I didn’t expect was Naples’ beautiful metro stations. They turned some of them into some kind of free modern art galleries. Still, the trains are not always on time and some crucial stations are still under construction. I hope they complete them soon because this would definitely improve a tourist’s experience and final rating of the city. If you want to do some shopping, try via Toledo and Galleria Umberto (which is also a sightseeing attraction). They also told me the Vomero area is good for shopping but it was quite far from the historic center so i didn’t go there.

    1. Thanks for the positivity and for sharing some knowledge, learned something today 🙂
      Yes I agree Piazza Garibaldi (Central Station) is one of the most gritty areas, but again, which city doesn’t have these?

    2. Thanks for your Post. After reading so many negative comments I wasn’t sure if I did the right thing by booking 10 days in Naples for next May. We thought we would use Naples as a base for lots of half day excursions outside of the city. But now I feel a little bit better

  94. I’m traveling around Italy for a few weeks and just left Naples yesterday and wow… That city is one of the worst cities i’ve visited. Here are some highlights:

    1. Every square inch of the city is covered in terrible graffiti. Even the famous monuments, churches, and statues.

    2. You can see criminals operating in the daytime. Literal gangs of immigrants pick pocketing in broad daylight without a cop in sight.

    3. The streets are filled with dirt, trash, and human and dog feces. You can see the used toilet paper right next to it…

    4. The food is terrible. All the little stands that usually present their dishes are barely filled and instead of nice laid out meals it’s cheap processed bread with stale looking meat and cheese.

    5. The parks are filled with homeless camps. Not one park wasn’t filled with people sleeping in tents and boxes.

    Unless you want to see “old Italy” covered in graffiti and filth while being run by immigrant gangs of pick pocketers, stay away…

    1. 1. Not a reason to consider a city one of “the worst” in the world. Sad, but hundreds of cities have this problem.

      2. Never seen this.

      3. Again, don’t want to say I don’t trust you, I will just say I definitely didn’t have the same experience as you.

      4. Sorry, but you’ve completely missed out and lost credibility for me here. Food in Naples is amazing, it’s a shame you just went to tourist traps.

      5. Even Rome has more homeless people per capita, how about that? Also same with NYC for example – does that makes it a terrible city too?

    2. I’ll agree with all that you pointed. That is the true… Italy is another country that is going down because of the multicultural Europe. I hope that Easter European countries will be away from such shit…

    3. Vasil, the city is dirty because of the mafia, not the migrants. It is the mafia who owns the waste business.

    4. Also, Portland, Oregon, is plagued with homeless. Not specific to Naples. I have never seen that many in a “developed” country!

  95. My mother was born and raised in Naples until the age of 18 where she married my father and moved to the U.S. As a child she took me back frequently to visit relatives. As an adult i lived and worked there. As husband and father I have taken my wife and children back there frequently. That being said it I have never been a victim of crime mentioned and I have visited many areas of Naples. I agree with many of the posts. You must be observant, be aware of the surroundings of course. Many of most are spot on about the vespas, the traffic and driving and how to avoid being “swarmed”. As well as how if you try and speak the language or being courteous to the Neapolitans you will have a wonderful experience. Petty crime is a large issue because of the economy and high unemployment rate, However, a lot of crime is now coming from immigrants that have have been funneled through Naples. These crimes are not just towards the tourists but towards the locals as well. The fake goods are rampant. The chinese flooded the area about 12 years ago and demolished alot of local merchants. I have spoken with my family frequently about these issues. The majority of my family were small business owners and have had to deal with all of these issues. With all of this being said I still I still feel safer in Naples than many of the large cities in the U.S. and I have traveled frequently in the U.S. and in the world. My grand mother lives in a “not so safe” neighbor hood and every time i take a cab back to her house i always get a second glance and a question of “are you sure this is where you need to go”. The Neapolitans to me are unique. The city of Naples is unlike so many cities in the world. Neapolitans for the most part still like Americans and for me that is wonderful. That is becoming rarer in the world as the years go by. They don’t like our politics but how many of us actually like are politics? I am truly sorry for anyone who has had a bad experience there.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s really important to people share these real stories because Naples is made of humans, just like anywhere else in the world. From what I’ve seen in the media people talk like it was a city of criminals.

  96. I spent three nights in Naples in October of 2017. I had a wonderful time. The things to do are endless. Great Castles, Churches, Museums and Naples Underground was awesome. The historic old section was fun and interesting. Good small restaurants up and down Via Toledo and the side streets for pizza, beer and coffee.
    I didn’t think it was filthy dirty and never once saw piles of trash in the streets.
    I would recommend a trip to Naples to anyone had a great time.

  97. Hey, Thanks for the nice review of an amazing city. Naples will amaze you with its art history and warm people. I think it’s sad that some tourists base they’re review on a holiday spent around the Garibaldi station area. There are many areas that even locals avoid ( areas around Garibaldi station and airport ), visiting them as a foreigner is definitely a no-no. There are amazing neighbourhoods and safe areas that are weirdly overlooked by most travel guides. Places like Via dei mille, via chiaia, the vomero and the beach areas are very elegant and very safe, and will give you a taste of the beauty this city has to offer, without the noise, dirt and petty theft. Naples isn’t just Pompeii, Spanish quarters and the old town! those are definitely the most chaotic places and they can leave certain types of people feeling uneasy. Naples is truly one of a kind and you will not regret visiting it.

    1. Exactly, I feel people form this opinion about Naples based on the Garibaldi area – which is indeed gritty – and miss out on the potential the city has elsewhere. I really enjoyed getting to know the little streets, the vibe of the city and of course, the amazing food!

  98. Bad experience here. Being robbed 4 times in 6 months. Assaulted for no reasons by baby gangs 2 times in one year. People didn’t even react or helped me. Nah. Big nope.

  99. Hello,

    I worked in Naples area for 3 years and me and my family loved it, we were treated like family by our landlords invited for diner often, our child at the time was born there and people loved him, it is a very family , social place that introverts have issues with. I found that most of the folks that had issues in Naples were those that 1. refused to speak the language 2. Stayed in an isolated area with only Americans for the entire time working there and 3. where very closed minded. We enjoyed the Food, well the people were a little over the top if your not used to it but we adapted and enjoyed it so much we went to Sicily for another four years. If you try and blend in and try embrace and learn from where you are it can really be surprising. We still have life long friends from both Naples and Sicily. We would go back in a heart beat.

    1. Completely agree with you. If you don’t open yourself and really dig into the culture, you’re most likely be targeted by someone. That happens everywhere, by the way.

      All it takes is a bit of open-mind, positive vibes, it can go a long way 😉

  100. I was born in Napoli and lived there until I was 13, at which point my family moved to the US (my father is American, my mother Italian). I currently reside in Orlando, Florida but make a yearly trip to Napoli to see friends and family and play tourist.
    That being said, I feel so much safer walking on my own around the gritty Napoli city center with its reputation for being unsafe than I do my own neighborhood in Orlando, which I would consider a middle class/upper middle class gated community. I’m not even exaggerating.
    The thing a lot of American tourists in particular don’t understand or haven’t been told is that random crime in Napoli (especially against foreigners or tourists) is extremely rare and practically unheard of, whereas in the US we have A LOT of random crimes – kidnappings, rapes, shootings. In Napoli you should mostly be worried about petty crimes, but even then if you’re an experienced big city traveler you probably won’t have any issues. As other contributors have recommended, I’ll echo that you definitely should use common sense – don’t walk around with an expensive camera hanging around your neck. Don’t wear your gold jewelry and diamond earrings out in public. Keep your money close to your body, especially if you’re taking public transportation. If a group of kids begins to swarm around you then make sure you make a swift move around the kids and keep walking (little kids use the swarm and distract maneuver to go for pockets and purses). And another tip that I never see mentioned — if someone is making you feel uneasy, make eye contact. Firm eye contact. Neapolitans aren’t shy about eye contact and don’t consider it rude to stare. Don’t be shy…if someone is making you feel uneasy, look them in the eye, let them know that you see them and that you’re aware of them.

    1. Hello,

      I worked in Naples area for 3 years and me and my family loved it, we were treated like family by our landlords invited for diner often, our child at the time was born there and people loved him, it is a very family , social place that introverts have issues with. I found that most of the folks that had issues in Naples were those that 1. refused to speak the language 2. Stayed in an isolated area with only Americans for the entire time working there and 3. where very closed minded. We enjoyed the Food, well I agree with you about the safety issue and state side issues that are more frequent in the states my wife is more concerned here than we were in Napoli.

    2. Thanks Erika for your input.

      I also have the sense people make a big deal about safety in Naples and when we dig into facts, their own cities are more insecure and have bigger crime rates.

      There are some common things one can do to lower the probability you get robbed that work ANYWHERE in the world. My top one is to have a positive attitude.

  101. Loved Naples! Spent a week there in May 2017 and will go back for another week in 2018. I am a single female traveler and I had no issues with safety at all. The food is fantastic and can also be very inexpensive. The sea views are lovely. The people are friendly. The promenade along the seafront is fabulous. Yes, it is “gritty” in places but what city doesn’t have such areas? Give it a chance and you might be surprised…..

    1. Where did you stay? I am traveling there solo for a week in September and looking at an apartment near Dante metro

    2. Angelo, I have not been back to Italy for 10 years. I have lived in Rome , Perugia and Vencie and have always wanted to feel Naples since my some of my friends are from Casserta and I love the people from this area.
      I wanted to go back to once again study the language, so I choose Naples for a month.
      After reading some of this, I may have choose the wrong place. I did think of another place along the Amalfi coast , in a smaller town…I will be by myself, a 62 year woman, planned to come in Feb.

    3. Margaret,
      I planned to go to language school in Naples for a month this Feb. I will be by myself for I always wanted to discover the soul of the Napoleans. Should I have choose another area close by.
      I have an apartment in the Historic District.

  102. I loved Naples! Visited in July/2017 and had no problems whatsoever. We stayed in the very centre and travelled with 2 girls.
    It was the most magical place in Italy for us!

  103. I love Naples , the bay of Naples overlooking Mount Vesuvius is really gorgeous! Stay at Best Western Paradiso …….panoramic view. It is just like any other big cities in the world. Enjoy pizza, strolling around the promenade or corniche, visit beautiful areas nearby such as a day trip to Capri Island, Almafi Coast…… really breathtaking…..

    1. Now you made me want to go back! The views with the Vesuvius on the backdrop are indeed a gem <3

  104. I’m a 23 year old girl, went to Naples completely alone and had a great time. It’s gritty, dirty and noisy, but that’s part of its personality and authenticity! Take the time to explore and find the nooks and crooks.
    My B&B host and a cab driver recommended to avoid being outside after 9pm or so. Fine for me, just wake up early and enjoy the day, have dinner, go back to rest, repeat.
    I HAVE to recommend this place: La Terrazza Napoli B&B. Incredible host, incredible breakfast!! on the terrace, clean and spacious and comfy rooms, great location. I wish I could go back. I found it on AirBnB.
    Don’t miss the Santa Chiara complex, it’s a hidden gem, go sit and enjoy the scenery.

    1. Thank you a lot for sharing your experience and debunking some myths Claudia! Next time I’m in Naples I’ll definitely check out La Terrazza and Santa Chiara 🙂

  105. Is it safe to be out very late at night? My husband and I are visiting mid January for one night.

  106. I think it’s a lovely city with great historical buildings. There is a two tier society like in any major city of the world, but the people both rich and poor are very well coming and there is a great buzz about the streets

  107. Naple (Napoli!) is a wonderful and very safe city, or, at least, safe as any other city in the world! Go there to visit and you will have a very nice esperience, where Art, monuments, people, Archeolgy, history and beautiful panoramas, specially on the coast, will give a present to your vacation becoming a golden dream.

  108. Seoul doesn’t have such issues. I’m guessing Tokyo as well. It’s all the culture of the country. Nothing bad in mind, but that’s true.

    1. You’re completely right: completely different culture, society and way of looking at life. Speaking very generally, most people in Eastern Asian countries are unable to do anything to harm others in any way.

  109. I’m from the UK and I’ve been volunteering in Naples for 4 weeks. I can honestly say that there isn’t much difference between London and Naples. You have to be street smart in any big city and take care of your valuables. I was told that girls shouldn’t walk alone anywhere, yet I’ve been walking around the city alone whilst going to my volunteering placement and I’ve never felt unsafe or threatened. Naples definitely does not deserve its bad reputation, I’ve fallen in love with this city and will most likely visit again in the future.

    1. Thank you a lot for sharing your experience and help debunk this myth Amal. I wasn’t in Naples for that long but I got the same impression: although gritty, it’s as safe to visit as many other European cities.

  110. I’m from the UK. I lived in Naples for 4 years in the early 90’s. You have nothing to fear. Use the same common sense approach that you would use in any major city in the world and you’ll be fine. Wallet and keys in front pocket of jeans, backpack over both shoulders, etc. You wouldn’t wander “off the beaten track” too much anywhere….even your home city so apply the same principal. Mafia are not a problem. They prey on the businesses, those businesses rely on tourists in the main so the mafia is not going to hurt it’s revenue stream….simple economics.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

      Exactly what I felt in just a few days in the city. For some reason, media make a big deal out of safety in Naples when it’s really a place where you only need common sense and basic laws of awareness.