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Why Everything You’ve Read About Naples is Wrong

Written by Amy

updated on May 19th, 2019

When planning one of our trips to Italy, we were strongly considering visiting Naples, Italy for the city’s proximity to other sites we wanted to visit. We didn’t know a lot about the city so we began some research. After a bit of Googling we came across some pretty negative reviews and other travelers asking some worrisome questions, like “Is Naples, Italy safe?” There were tons of people saying it was dirty, dangerous, had nothing to do, etc. We decided to visit anyway.

We don’t regret our decision at all and think Naples has gotten a bad rap. Here’s a list of the reasons you shouldn’t think about visiting Naples, Italy:

Naples is the birthplace of pizza!

Pizza in Naples Italy
The best pizza we’ve ever eaten!

That’s right, pizza was invented right here. And it’ll be the best pizza you ever eat, so it should absolutely be on any foodie’s travel list. There are so many highly-rated pizza in Naples restaurants and you’ll know you found a good spot when you see locals crowding the street outside.

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The views can’t be beat!

Naples things to do
The Bay of Naples, looking west. Stunning!

Naples is located on the (conveniently named) Bay of Naples. You’ve got sweeping views of the bay and Mount Vesuvius in the distance, along with lovely islands scattered across the ocean. The city is on a hill, and the higher up you travel, the better the view. Make sure you add a trip to Castel Sant’Elmo to your list of things to do in Naples!

We highly recommend our hotel in Naples, Hotel Excelsior, as another place to get phenomenal views. We woke up each morning to a sunrise over the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.

Naples Italy things to do
Overlooking the Bay of Naples

You’ll avoid the heavy tourist crowds

Things to do in Naples, Italy
Wandering tiny streets in Old Town, one of the best things to do in Naples, Italy

Because of the negative attitudes, many people don’t visit, meaning you get to experience an authentic Italian city that isn’t catering to hordes of tourists. Escape the throngs of camera-packing foreigners in Rome and check out Naples to see what regular Italian life feels like.

Naples is a springboard for Pompeii, Capri, Ischia, and the Amalfi Coast

Ferries from Naples
It’s easy to pick up a ferry and hit the nearby islands- another one of the best things to do in Naples, Italy!

Naples is about an hour train ride to Pompeii. You can easily take a day trip by hopping on a ferry to Ischia, Capri, or Procida. You can even take a train or ferry to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. So many convenient day trips, and one lovely city to base them all out of. In all, we spent five days based out of Napoli and didn’t feel like we had enough time. If you want to see these other places, consider visiting Naples, Italy and using it as a starting point.

Naples is safe!

Best things to do in Naples Italy
The lovely waterfront from Hotel Excelsior

We were a little concerned about possibly getting mugged, pickpocketed, or run over by a scooter after reading reviews. The big question: Is Naples safe? We felt perfectly safe on our trip by using a little common sense. As you should do on any vacation, don’t make yourself a target. Don’t wear flashy clothing and keep your wallet somewhere safe, and don’t carry large amounts of cash. Carry purses across your chest, don’t leave your belongings lying around, and look both ways when you cross the street. Simple precautions were all we needed when visiting Naples.

Naples, Italy is definitely worth a visit.

Naples Italy
Mount Vesuvius rises over the Bay of Naples- another amazing view from Hotel Excelsior

We think that tourists from Rome stop at the train station in Naples on their way to Pompeii and only get a glimpse of that area, which was hands-down the worst part of the city. Get yourself out of the train station and enjoy what the rest of Napoli has to offer!

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