To stay or not to stay...Naples

Old Apr 24th, 2006, 07:17 PM
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To stay or not to stay...Naples

We are travelling for the first time with our three teenagers to Europe. Plan to spend some time in Rome and make a side trip to Pompeii. Should we do as a day trip out of Rome or plan to spend night in Naples to be nearer and maximize time in Pompeii. Heard that crime may be problem in Naples. Thanks
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 07:22 PM
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Better to stay in Naples than Pompeii. Crime is everywhere, no matter where you go. Be careful and make sure you take your own luggage at all times, don't let anyone help you, even if they look official and strongly insist.

In the end, street smarts and instincts will work best for you. If it doesn't smell right, it isn't.
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 07:33 PM
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I think your teens would enjoy Naples. I just talked to someone who was in the student abroad program in Italy and he was telling me how much he enjoyed Naples. We just went there for a Saturday from Sorrento. Spaccanapoli and Cappella Sansevero are worth the visit alone and have pizza at Pizzeria Trianon. Naples reputation is getting a bit of a polish according to some travel writers I read somewhere. Deborah
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 08:04 PM
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People seem to love it or hate it. I love Naples!

Try somewhere near the Castel d'Ovo and take your teenagers out for real "Neapolitan" pizza and gelato. It doesn't get much better than this. We've walked around many nights in this area and never had any problems. As with any large city, use precautions and common sense and you should be fine.

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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 08:10 PM
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I am one of the biggest boosters of Naples on Fodor's and I'm going to recommend that you spend the night in Pompeii, or Sorrento, rather than Napoli. Pompeii is vast, and your teenagers may also like a trip to Vesuvius. But even without Vesuvius, Pompeii is a full day.

Traffic and crowds are very stressful in Napoli, and you will get more stressed trying to keep 4 or 5 people together all at once. In addition, the visible poverty and "street people" in Naples, especially around the train station, will make you and your family quite nervous, even if it isn't dangerous.

If you are going in summertime, staying in Sorrento will mean nice sea views and most likely a pool. (You can look for a pool in Pompeii as well.)

When you go to Pompeii itself, be sure to bring parasols and hats and sunblock to protect you from the sun, and plenty of water. There are no trees there.


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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 01:03 AM
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What do you look like? I say this because if you are tall and fair you will stand out in Naples...and you will be targetted!If you do decide to go to Naples make sure you are aware at all times of people around you and keep your money wallet close to your skin! Stay in Sorrento rather than Naples and catch the train to Pompei.
Sorry all of you who love Naples..it is an exciting, frontier like place..nothing like any other place I have been to and I have travelled a bit..but, not for the faint hearted.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 04:42 AM
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I am a fan of Naples, it is a chaotic city, but has a charm of it's own. Sorrento is always an alternative. IMO to see the site at Pompeii without seeing the artifacts at the archaeological museum only shows half the story.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 05:29 AM
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Spending the night in Naples is an excellent idea. The city is lively and exciting. Petty crime is a problem it shares with most large cities, just follow the usual precautions.

I disagree with the advice concerning Sorrento. I find it dull when not tacky. The hotels are largely set up for tour groups and it is one of the few places in Italy where you can get a bad meal. Avoid.
 
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 07:03 AM
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Hmm. Maybe this is the way to think about it:

Are you the kind of family who would come to New York City and take the subways, and take your kids to the East Village or the meatpacking district if they asked to go, and scoff at people who told you dire tales of danger in the city, figuring you know how to handle yourself because you're from Chicago, or Detroit or Baltimore or Houston?

If you are confident of your big city street smarts and think other poeple are silly for worrying about crime in Europe when we have more of it here, you can handle Napoli -- but do book yourself into a quality hotel near the waterfront, not the train station. If you'd rather just not have to deal with this as part of your vaction, stay in Sorrento and get some good hotel and restaurant recommendations before you go. Or likewise Pompeii.

I agree with the advice that a trip to the archeological museum in Napoli is a very important part of understanding Pompeii. If you want this trip to be educational for the kids, I suggest you include it.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 05:46 PM
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I agree with Pausanias. I'd pick Naples over Sorrento any day of the week. Same sea views, loads more "authentic" Italian. But if you want to go the touristy route, then Sorrento is your better bet.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 06:48 PM
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Nessundorma's comments are excellent. Consider your family, your background and the type of foreign travel you prefer. Some find Sorrento touristy because (gasp!) it's full of tourists. Some find Naples scary because (gasp!) it's a big city with big city problems and petty crime.

I've had great food in Sorrento and so-so food in Naples (and vice-versa). I've stayed in lovely hotels with great views in both places. Pompeii is halfway between the two, but it is slightly easier to get there from Sorrento because you can safely walk to the Sorrento train station from almost every hotel.

I also recommend a few hours at the archeological museum in Naples.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 07:13 PM
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I know you've probably read this a million times, but simply wear a money belt under your pants and you'll have nothing to worry about in Naples or other large cities in Italy. Violent crime is rare, and if there's nothing in your pocket, a would-be crime will move on to the next person who might have a pocket full of money and credit cards.

The Naples waterfront is gorgeous and I recommend lunch at Classico Margherita facing the bay, maybe half a mile from Castel d'Ovo. The museum is about one mile from the waterfront.

There are very nice B&B's in old waterfront neighborhoods in Naples - if you do a search I'm sure you'l come up with several.

Seven of us just had a great trip from Rome to Naples and Pompeii and back with a van and driver for a very reasonable price of 90 euro per person. We left at 7 AM from Piazza Navona in Rome, were in Naples at 9:45 (we made one stop on the way), two hours at the museum, a wonderful lunch on the waterfront, two hours at Pompeii with a pre-reserved guide (20 euro each), a little relaxation and shopping in Pompeii, and then our return to Rome at 8:30 PM. We could and did relax on the van more than we would have the train and it was GREAT. If you're interested in something like this, I recommend Renato Cuomo at cuomonet.it, who arranged it for us.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 05:15 AM
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Hi J,

I recommend an overnight in Naples, because:

The Archaeological Museum
The "Veiled Christ" at The Capella Sansevero
The view from the waterfront
The view from the Castel S. Elmo
A walk through Spaccanapoli
The food
The people
The beautiful architecture under the grime

It is chaotic, gritty, friendly, happy, lively and poor.

Did I mention the food?

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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 04:31 PM
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Thank you, thank you for all of the advice. You gave us lots to discuss!
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