Read internet about NAPLES. AND YOU GET THESE…
Naples is a warzone. Everyone in Naples are Mafia.
All the elderly man look and talk like the Movie Godfather.
You will get kidnapped any moment in Naples.
People will mug you in the broad daylight in front of everyone in Naples.Tourists are not safe in Naples.
Don’t walk in the street when it gets dark in Naples.
Infact, they might break in to your house and steal everything in Naples
Well, these are not all true.
Half of the ofstatement above are absolute Bull crap. And the other half are true. But they are true not just for Naples, they are also true for London, Paris, New-York, or any other big metropolitan cities
If everything I said above were true, then I wouldn’t be here writing this piece. Ok ok. We were in Naples for only one full day. So, I am no one to make a final statement about safety in Naples. It is very much proved over the years that how Mafia influenced daily life here. Camorra , the biggest Mafia mob of Napoli who has main interests on locals and business. They do not give a crap about some ‘Tourists’ time to time visiting here.
Although I made a big mistake!
And it costed me a lot. Okay, let me tell you what happened. We checked out from our Pompeii residence at 10am. And our train was at 11.20am for Naples. So we had plenty of time to kill. And because I am a genius, I went to internet to read all about Naples. And I read nothing good. In fact, I almost thought one point that we are not visiting Naples but North Korea. And the chances of return is very low.
We arrived in Naples after a beautiful train ride along side the coast of Mediterranean Sea. Once we got out of the street, the surrounding was extraordinary. From the station to the apartment, it was crowded. It was busy. It was a thursday. Street vendors, small shop, people, Vespas, cars, trucks are all together on the narrow streets. The building on the both sides of the street were old, very close to each other and clothes were hanging outside to be dried. I understood now why people who are travelling for the first time in Naples get shocked about it. It looks nothing like beautiful Venice, Cinqueterre, Rome or Pompeii. Sign of real life were everywhere. It looks more like the little streets of New Delhi or Hanoi or Kathmandu. And all of those countries are safe too. But, I think it’s difficult to imagine an Italian city looks like it. Loud, messy, screaming shopkeepers, not to flat roads where people and vehicles are next to each other, more people…I could go on. And it’s not good or bad. It’s Naples.
Our apartment was in the west of the City center of Naples. Right inside one of those alleyways with old buildings, clothes hanging out. Because I made serious mistake of reading bad reviews prior our arrival, I was already paranoid. Why did I do that!
The father of the owner came with a Vespa. And gave us his greetings with a smile and a soft heavy voice. Oh he was so sweet. For the first time, on our very last stop in Italy, we actually communicated in Italian. In fact he did. We mostly understood and used broken words in Italian. But, the gentleman was a delight. Really.
Our apartment was not bad either. Well equipped. Yellow colored walls. The interior is completely different than exterior. Outside, an old typical Naples style building. Inside, modern.
walking around NAPLES
We went out for a walk with of course more than an extra precautions than we were in Rome. We walked passed the Castle of Naples called Castel Nuovo : a castle of 12th century. Right next to it, the port of Naples. With Volcano Vesuvius standing on the other side. Beautiful view. We also walked inside the Cathedral of Naples built in 12th century too. For us, the true experience of Naples is the city itself. Loud people, heavy traffic, narrow streets, uneven floors, garbage bins, osteria and trattoria in every 2 to 5 meters, the old building…I could go on. Unlike Rome or other touristic places, not a single person came to us for sales or anything. We were as we were. Wasn’t that a big surprise.
What about the night life?
It’s all dangerous as they say?
To figure it out, we went out later in the evening for a dinner. One can not just leave Naples with it’s world famous pizza. Naples is the Birthplace of Pizza. And we need to have it. Our host gave us a bunches reccomendation for restaurants. We went to one of them. It’s called Mattozzi’s Restaurante. It took us quite a while to find. Because our Google map was not good enough. As usual. And well well. Night life in Naples seemed very very vibrant. People were still out and about. Bright lights were everywhere. We did not feel unsafe. The pizza was out of the world. And I promise you, this complement was not coming from a “Happy Tourist Palate” . We both have good knowledge in food and beverage because of either one of our cultural background or years of experience. And we returned to our apartment happily and safely.
So, what does that all means for Naples?
Naples is safe. It’s worth paying a visit. It has a lot to offer. Just for pizza alone it’s worth paying a visit. Naples is not good or Bad. Naples is different. About safety, use common sense. I mean, come on. Being robbed in broad daylight happens every where these days.
But what about Mafia? And the garbage?
Well, as I said earlier. The mafia care less about the Tourist. And I read in news that they have something to do with garbage companies and landfills in Naples. It’s a problem. Sad. But, these problems should not stop you from visiting Naples.
Naples is as safe and as dangerous as any big metropolitan cities in the world. And when traveling, all you need is keep your eyes open, enjoy, relax and don’t read negative reviews in internet. Just because someone had a bad day in a city or a country, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen to you.
Any way, we are finally over in Italy.
It is the longest of all trips we have done in any countries. And for the first time since we have started our trip, we are taking a plane. Destination?
The Birthplace of Democracy. The Home of Hercules. Greece.