I don't want to be an alarmist, but I would appreciate some input on the article published in the Observer newspaper. I will extract a couple of paragraphs.
"After a wave of gang murders extra police have been sent in to patrol the city of Naples as locals stay in after dark"
"The Italian Government is rushing through new security measures to quell the wave of violent crime and mob killings sweeping Naples, including more police officers on the streets and special patrols to safeguard tourist areas. Such is the chaos in Naples that a couple of weeks ago an Alitalia crew bus en route to the airport, was hijacked and the pilot and crew assaulted and robbed"
"The headlines, of course, damage the the city's tourist trade as nervous visitors by-pass the city and head for the islands of Capri and Ischia or to the Amalfi coast instead. They miss wonderful architecture, museums etc.etc."
We all know that newspapers have a notoriety for exageration but I am sure that there are others in the chat program who would benefit from input from the more experienced travellers. E.G.We were planning to do Pompeii and Herculaneum on our own and not with a tour or private guide, but reading this article is it safe to do that.
Ptur, I have several (obviously biases) comments. I notice that you live in Dunedin NZ, which is a wonderful place in one of our favorite countries. When compared to Dunedin or NZ in general, much of the world would be a dangerous place. The tourist folks in Naples are concerned about tourism in Naples, but I would comment that not many tourists spend time in Naples,,,but rather head off to nearby places such as Pompeii, Herculanium, Capri, Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. I did an internet search and can find no record of violence against tourists in Naples, other than the routine pickpockets that are too common in much of tourist friendly Western Europe. I personally would have no problem going to Pompeii or Herculanium on my own (we visited both places this past May). As to Naples, the major concern should be trying to cross their busy streets, which is far more dangerous than any crime wave. You should just go have a great trip, and take reasonable precautions to protect your valuables from pickpockets and purse snatchers.
Originally posted by Hank:
...but rather head off to nearby places such as Pompeii, Herculanium, Capri, Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. I did an internet search and can find no record of violence against tourists in Naples, other than the routine pickpockets that are too common in much of tourist friendly Western Europe. Hank
Hank, violance against tourists is near to zero. BUT: in this days in Naples noone is without danger. We visited Naples in 2004. We stayed there for a whole week. We did all the excursions to Pompeji, Herculaneum, Capri for ower one. And Naples too. The ancient city and so on. We never feeld fear. In the year 2004. In the late 2006 maybe we would have a little bit a fear in Naples. Not in Pompeji. Not in Herculaneum. That is why I suggested to take a taxi to the rail station to take there the train Circumvesuviana to Pompeji.
Friends of us, born in naples,living now some hundred metres from us in a town in Franconia (Germany), suggest to take the taxi, too.
(Taxi only to the rail station!)
Thanks for the response from you and Uwe on this topic. I must admit I was somewhat alarmed when I read the article in our local paper and needed someone like you to put a true perspective on it. As I said in an earlier post we were thinking of walking to the railway station but now from what you and Uwe say it is probably better to get a taxi or the bus. Have you published any articles on getting from the ship to the station, where to pick up the taxi or the bus.
I may not be too much help in getting to the Naples train station. We have made this journey on one ocassion, but we simply walked. My wife and I love to walk, so the 1 mile (might be closer to 1 1/4 miles) was nothing difficult, and it is flat. The major problem is crossing the busy road that runs right in front of the port. Other than the traffic its a safe walk during the daylight hours. An alternative is to grab a taxi which will probably cost you about 10 Euros (they will overcharge for the short trip). There is a third option of using the local bus line, but I am not sure of the specific bus number. As to finding a taxi, you have the port, the very close area right in front of the hydrofoil/ferries (many taxis drop-off ferry passengers here) or just trying to flag down a taxi on the main road in front of the port. Everything is very compact, so this is much easier than it sounds. I believe I previously posted info that said you can buy a combination ticket that includes both Pompeii and Herculanium for only 18 Euros. These are available at either site and will save you 2 Euros per person.
here is a link to a map of Naples. The port for the cruise ships is PORTO BEVERELLO at the bottom of the card (right), the Main rail station is named STAZIONE CENTRALE, located on the right side of the map (middle). The CORSO UMBERTO ends at the Piazza Garibaldi. 3 may help you too. Click oj the 4. button from top on the left side to blow up the map.
You can reach the Central rail station by bus R2 or the tramway line 1, starting both from the Piazza Municipio square in front of the cruise terminal. Look here
Thanks for all that information including the maps. It is really useful. Ok to recap. It's better to get a taxi from the docks to the Stazione Central railway station. Is it difficult to find the booking office and Hank says the platforms are on the lower level. What signs do we look for?. We book return tickets to Herculiano Scavi and then on the return journey get off at Pompeii Scavi. Is that the best way to do it?
And finally are there taxis at the railway station to take us back to the ship.
it is better to go first to Pompeji Scavi by the train CIRCUMVESUVIANA. On the return journey you make a break at Ercolano Scavi (Herculaneum). From there you can go to Herculaneum in about 5 minutes straight along the street. At the railway station Ercolano there are taxis (you do net need them). At sthe Stazione Centrale there are enough taxis for your way back to the ship.
At the central railway station you may look for the sign CIRCUMVESIVIANA. The platform is on the lower level. Yo may aks there for the way. But it is not difficult to find.
Just a few extra things about the Circumvesuviania Line from Naples. Its actually a private rail company running out of the main train station that also has trains from the main government owned railroad. The Circumvesuviania trains depart downstairs from a few different tracks, but it can get a little tricky in finding the correct train. So, here is my advice. Before you board the train, make sure you verify that its going to Pompeii (actually Pompeii Scavi) by asking. You may find that very few folks speak English, but just keep asking folks (or the conductor) until somebody confirms that your train is going to Pompeii (no time to be shy).