Anything good about Naples?

May 7th, 2007, 05:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
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Anything good about Naples?

Hello Fodorites!

We are heading to Italy in July to scout a couple of properties and probably close on one of them. Our first choice is in Benevento- inbetween Naples and Sorrento. During our last trip, we toured around the Campania region and loved it, but stopped only briefly (to jump on a train to Almalfi) in Naples. If we purchase a property 45 mins south of it, it is a city we would be frequenting.

The home is tucked away in the hillside, very quiet and we would spend most of our time there. We've been to Florence and enjoyed it very much. We thought the food was great, and had a great time, though we were happy to get out of the crowds after a few days. We are pretty open minded people and take cities for what they are- but I would like to know more specifically about Naples. Is it really as dirty as some of the Fodorites say? Are there great restaurants, is there anything charming about it? Is it very dangerous? I have searched Naples on these postings, but haven't found a great deal of info.

What do you think? Is there anything good about Naples? Thanks in advance!
Dancer24 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 06:29 AM
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Lots good about Naples and lots bad.

Spent a day there in January and found it to be the filthiest city i've seen in Europe - litter all over piling up. There is a string of large billboards along the waterfront, which is mostly obscured by old warehouses, etc. and it seems they scrape off the old paper from the board and it just lies in piles on the ground. Incredible!

But i loved Naples in several ways - few towns have this old-world look and flavor - laundry strung between windows on the incredible narrow alleys in the town center.

Several great churches and museums and some tony areas up on the hill. And the Castello.

I was there on a Sunday morning and the town center was alive with folks going to church - more than i've seen elsewhere - families all dudded up - churches in full swing... caffes full, etc. quite an animated scene.

But overall i would not want to spend much time here - the filth did bother me. And i even took a tumble on my way back to the train station - wasn't looking down and hit one of the numerous holes in the ancient cobbles and fell flat on my nose - a bloody mess and ended up in the ER for stitches and X-rays.

And on Sundays and perhaps other days by the train station is one of the most incredible and hectic markets i've ever seen - everyone everywhere selling stuff on the street - any open space - mostly junk and cheap clothes that attract an obvious poor crowd but still a lot of fun.

Don't no go to Naples but be prepared to not want to return very soon IMO.
PalenQ is online now  
May 7th, 2007, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hi Dancer,

Naples has been debated here quite frequently. However, if you are considering buying a house nearby and Naples itself is a major factor in that decision, I would strongly suggest you visit Naples yourself and make form your own opinion!

Your quesiton is kind of like asking us to tell you whether or not you should buy the house.

Buona fortuna!
Dayle is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 07:25 AM
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Posts: 74,167
Hi D,

Get a copy of "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" with Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroiani - that's Naples.

You really have to spend a week there by yourself to decide if you like it.

ira is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 07:32 AM
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I second Dayle's advice. You need to stay in the area in question yourself. There is an enormous difference between both Florence and Naples and touring versus staying at one property.

Regardless what anyone's opinion of Naples is, only you can make an informed decision on whether or not any locale will actually suit your tastes and needs.
cupid1 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 07:58 AM
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Thank you everyone for your replies!

PalenQ- thanks for the stories- it does help paint a picture. I love how objective you are, even with an ER story!

And ira, thank you for the book suggestion, i will absolutely take a look at that.

Dayle and Cupid1, we plan on visiting the city during our next trip. I'm assuming that there are very charming parts of the city, as there are not so charming parts, as is with any city.

Any specific spots/areas/restaurants that are nice than others?

Luckily, the property is situated about an hour from Sorrento, so we can always travel there if necessary- just would be nice to get into a city that is a bit closer if there are some nice aspects we can enjoy about it. Any recommendations about where to visit when we do go?

Thanks again!
Dancer24 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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My experience in Naples was only for 1 night and about a 1/2 day to visit the Archeological Museum. I would have loved to have more time in Naples!

All the people I met were very nice and helpful. The trash around the train station was horrifying! The neighborhood where I stayed was lovely and very upscale - the Chiaia District. The pizza was excellent. I rode the metro and felt perfectly comfortable. I took a taxi ride during Friday rush hour and it was a blast! Wouldn't want to drive in Naples.

Good luck with your decision!
Dayle is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 12:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 89
I like Napoli but I have been there more times than I can count.

If you like New York New York, you will like Naples.

It is not a city for the faint of heart, but neither is NYC.

The area is subject to volcanic and earthquake activity. Food? What do you want, its has the best Italian food, better than Rome. Dirty, Okay its a living city, my wife does not like NYC but she still goes there??? Dangerous?

What do you want? Someone to make your decisions for you?

I like Naples have since I was first there back in the 1970's.

Look, take a week and do Naples, maybe you'll like but it has to be your decision.
Stormin280 is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 02:52 AM
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Posts: 478
Neopolitan culture is probably harder for non-Neopolitans to penetrate than, say, Roman culture or Milanese culture or Tuscan culture. Napoli has been an insular place that runs by its own rules for a very long time. Many Italians never visit the city, and regard its ways as strange and backward.

Neopolitan driving is some of the very worst in Italy, so you want to make sure you have some other means of getting there than auto transport.

Avoiding becoming the victim of petty theft also requires an extra level of care in Napoli.

Napoli has many areas where profound poverty is openly on display -- far worse than what is readily visible in NYC. The sight of such incredible poverty in Italy can be quite upseting.

All that said, Napoli has some of the greatest monuments and artworks in all of Italy, and some of its most addictive foods. For people looking for a fascinating challenge, Napoli is irresistable. For those looking for charm, Napoli doesn't make itself easy to adore.
fall06 is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 03:35 AM
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Ah! We are now experiencing,'culture shock'. Naples is not Disney clean! One problem is that there is no place to store garbage, incinerators can't keep up with the trash production. The US Navy has a large presence. Permanent staff live off base. It is a considered a 'choice' assignment. A catastrophe is possible, Vesuvius is nearby and active. My son noted that driving was more difficult than in the Philippines. Be that as it may, my daughter-in-law drives back and forth to work. She avoids the central city!
GSteed is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 06:48 AM
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<Neopolitan driving is some of the very worst in Italy, so you want to make sure you have some other means of getting there than auto transport.>

Yes - when i was there in January the road along the coast has a tram and taxi only section in the middle. And when walking along it i noticed that practically everyone was driving in the reserved tram/taxi right of way - more than on the regular lanes. Traffic rules in Naples look like suggestions only.
PalenQ is online now  

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