How bad is Naples?

Old Feb 13th, 1999, 04:10 PM
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How bad is Naples?

It seems as if no one has anything good to say about Naples. We are flying into Naples and staying in a timeshare on Capri while touring the Amalfi Coast. I need to get from the airport, to the hdryofoil port in Naples. I've heard:
*Don't walk if you can help it - the crime is terrible.
*Don't take the busses - they're rarely on schedule
*Don't take taxis - they tell you their meter is broken and charge you double
*Don't take the trains, the main train station is in the worst area of the city
*Don't rent a car unless you are suicidal.

Ok, how does anyone get anywhere???! Please advise!

Old Feb 14th, 1999, 08:29 AM
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Nancy, my husband and I were in Naples last May. We stayed with relatives, so I can't comment on the busses or train. I would say take a taxi to the port. I can't imagine that ALL taxi drivers will rip you off. When you get to the airport you can ask at the tourist information office what the approximate cost would be to the port. At least that will give you an idea when you approach the driver.
Old Feb 14th, 1999, 09:27 PM
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I caught taxis on at least 4 occasions in Naples and found them all to be ok. They went exactly where we wanted and the fare didn't seem unreasonable for the distance travelled. All the meters seemed to be in good working order.
Old Feb 15th, 1999, 06:16 AM
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Don't be afraid of Naples. It is a much-maligned city. As long as you take basic precautions and keep your wits about you, you'll be fine (and the taxis do have meters!) Oddly enough, I felt much more uneasy in Florence, especially in the train station. Think that, in general, American tourists advertise themselves too much with their clothes, sneakers, and videocameras. Best to be low-key and blend in. Enjoy Capri!
Old Feb 16th, 1999, 09:53 AM
Boris Timanovsky
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I'd hate to quote a guidebook, but I did find my stay in Naples last year a "most rewarding experience". The city is not placid, but it isn't menacing either. Even the driving there isn't as bad as people say. Above all, the city is both beautiful AND real; it is not a theme park. I would recommend spending a day or two there before going South.

By the way, the lack of tourists in Naples makes finding excellent food easy.
Old Feb 16th, 1999, 11:31 AM
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When we were last in Italy, we travelled back from Positano to Naples via hydrofoil (aliscafo), then by train to Florence. We got off the hydrofoil with our luggage, found a taxi line right outside the port office. Proper routine is to take the first taxi in the line, which we did -- it was a rather old-looking Fiat. The trunk was full of who knows what, so the driver put our luggage on the roof-rack, and off we went to the train station. It was midday, lunch-time traffic was chaotic -- and I wondered if our luggage would stay on the roof rack. But I'm happy to report that the driver was chatty and charming, and kind about our non-fluent Italian -- he delivered us and our luggage safely to the station, for a reasonable price. I think as long as you're sure it's really a taxi, with a meter (pick up from the line, not a "gypsy" cab like you find in London) -- then you'll be fine. The traffic is crazy, and I'm sure glad _I_ wasn't driving!

By the way, the hydrofoil between Capri and Positano can be very crowded -- book ahead if you plan a trip. Between Capri and Naples we were the only passengers!
Buon viaggio...
Old Feb 16th, 1999, 12:24 PM
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Thank you all for putting my mind at ease a bit! We are not seasoned European travelers and this is our first trip to a country where English is not the first language (I am playing my Berlitz tape over and over..) You hear many things and even the new Fodors guide is not too kind toward Naples. I grew up in New York and it sounds like I've probably been through much worse neighborhoods
Old Feb 17th, 1999, 08:33 PM
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I've been to Naples several times without any problems whatsoever. In fact, the people have been wonderful and especially tolerant even though my Italian is, shall we say, somehow lacking? They appreciate it if you just try a few words or phrases. As for transportation, I have a little trick that I use here in the States and abroad. I ask the cabbie "How much will it be to go to ____?" and when they tell me, I make it very clear that's all I have. Of course, I usually check with the hotel front desk to get their estimate before I head out. That way, I know approx. how much the ride should cost and the driver knows I won't be able to pay more than the quoted fare. Works every time! P.S. I would not rent a car again - we drove from Milan through the Italian Lakes to Venice and it was pretty scary. They go really fast and it's easy to get lost when you're trying to get out of their way! But have a lovely time - Naples, Capri and the Amalfi Coast are beautiful areas.

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