Naples--really not THAT bad, right?

Mar 15th, 2013, 09:21 AM
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Naples--really not THAT bad, right?

DH and I will be arriving at Naples train station on a Saturday afternoon, and rather than deal with the subway or a taxi, I think we will probably prefer to just walk the less than 30 minutes to our hotel, Piazza Bellini (Via SM di Costantinopoli 101). We travel light, and we often want the air after a long train ride. I keep coming across warnings about the area around the train station. Is there any reason to not make this walk? And if so, what do you advise--are taxis from the train station generally reliable (I can conduct a transaction in Italian, but that's it)? For only one day in Naples, I see little reason to tackle the public transit system. thanks!
yorkshire is online now  
Mar 15th, 2013, 09:33 AM
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As you're arriving in daylight, it will be fine. Naples is scruffy, noisy and a bit rough in places, but it isn't the wild west. You tend to get a few lowlifes hanging around major italian train stations, but you don't need to entertain them. Watch your belongings as you will stand out as a tourist (read, pickpocket target).

If you DO decide to get a cab, make sure you get an official one from the taxi rank and don't engage anyone who approaches you. When I was in Rome the other week, some bloke approached me in the taxi queue, half pretending to be an official taxi driver, offering me a ride to my hotel for 25 euros. The actual fare, via metered trip in a properly badged white taxi, was about 6 euro. Make sure they switch the meter on at the start of the journey.
Kate is offline  
Mar 15th, 2013, 09:40 AM
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My spouse and I have walked from Piazza Garibaldi station (which I guess you mean) in the direction you'll be going several times and have also taken a taxi from the station, with no problems. The only thing you don't want to do in Naples is drive yourself. It's an easy and delightful walk in the afternoon.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Mar 15th, 2013, 09:42 AM
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When we were in Naples we had no problems, including being there at 6 a.m. There were a few homeless people hanging around, but nothing more than what I have seen in American cities. The train station appears to be new, open and airy; a real contrast to Penn Station in NYC, for example. We took a taxi to our B&B only because it was too far to walk and we could not figure out the public transit system--even after figuring out, a taxi would have been better.
Michael is offline  
Mar 15th, 2013, 09:52 AM
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Thanks everyone, just wanted to be sure. I have a high tolerance for cities, but you never want to do something ill-advised. We'll primarily be carrying bags of dirty laundry by that point!
yorkshire is online now  
Mar 15th, 2013, 10:19 AM
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Unless I'm grossly mistaken, and I have extensive experience in Naples, the walk from the train station to Piazza Bellini is a pretty long one. I absolutely love Naples, but that walk, in my opinion, would not be much fun. You are going to be in crowded areas, carrying luggage. You are going to be dodging pedestrians, autos and walking on streets and sidewalks constructed with Belgian blocks, which make for difficult passage.
Waldo is offline  
Mar 15th, 2013, 10:24 AM
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The station area's rather like King's Cross in London used to be - scary for some, just part of a commute for most!

Currently worse than usual though, with a huge redevelopment now finally beginning to take shape...

To tempt whoever's Law, we've been coming and going through Naples since 2001 - and visiting for all our any major shopping (Ikea even!), all sorts of official stuff etc etc for the last decade - with no real problems: an unexpected hand found in my pocket once, and a few Euro over the odds in taxis occasionally... but vastly outweighed by the pleasure of being there!

If you wished, your walk could more or less follow part of the one we did this day - "joining" us at the Annunziata church:

A_Brit_In_Ischia is offline  
Mar 15th, 2013, 10:40 AM
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Waldo, when I map it I get a 30-minute walk, which is not much for me, especially after a week spent hiking up-and-downhill, but you're correct--I am overlooking the existence of crowded sidewalks and the whole street-crossing thing, though we will only have rather smallish backpacks (not round-the-world size). I think we'll just play it by ear when we get there, knowing we have a few options: the walk, the taxi (meter on!), or going one stop on the metro and walking from there.
yorkshire is online now  
Mar 15th, 2013, 11:22 AM
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We spent only a day in Naples when we were staying in Sorrento and the scariest thing we encountered was crossing the street at some of the busy intersections. I waited for someone who looked like they knew where they were going, and walked with them across the street.

Some sidewalks were quite narrow and busy with pedestrians. So I would probably take a taxi, and go out for a walk afterwards.
cw is offline  
Mar 15th, 2013, 12:52 PM
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We stayed right next door to that hotel and I like the Bellini area, but I would not consider that walk. I bet it is more than :30.
bobthenavigator is online now  
Mar 16th, 2013, 04:31 AM
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Unless particularly encumbered, forget the time and just stroll - by far the best way to see the sights!

On that day, we'd caught the bus from Piazza Municipio and were in Piazza Garibaldi by maybe 10:10... arriving a couple of minutes later at the Annunziata - where we were taken for an impromptu tour of the former orphanage, and then handed over to someone else who led us round the lower parts of the adjacent church...... eventually getting to Piazza San Domenico Maggiore by 11:40.

From there you'd be within maybe 5 minutes direct walk of the hotel, or could meander for hours more?


No real need, as there are many signs and notice boards, but a look through these might prepare you for what you'd be seeing:

It would be in reverse, but this one - "the main decuman" (with the subsections accessible over on the right) - ought to cover the entire walk:

(Ignore, for now at least, the very last part - the church of Santa Caterina a Formiello is well off your route!)

A_Brit_In_Ischia is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 04:46 AM
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Agree with most others should be a fascinating, and not at all scary, walk, or an easy taxi ride. Just be aware of any supplements (if they exist) from the station (luggage, departure from station).
ekscrunchy is online now  
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