Naples is the third-largest city in Italy which means you won’t run out of things to do on your trip. From visiting the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum to taking a close-up view of Roman and Greek artifacts at the National Archaeological Museum – Naples is such a beautiful destination with fascinating history and culture.
However, it isn’t a perfect city
Sadly, Naples is one of the least safe cities in Europe. While the majority of people are nice and friendly, some can be rude and impolite. Small vendors can be extremely intrusive and demanding and pickpocketers and fraudulent parking attendants are just around the corner.
Naples is also home to one of the oldest gangs in Europe – the Camorra. But you shouldn’t worry about them because their target is usually locals and business owners, not tourists. Aside from the high criminality rate, the city is also threatened by the active volcano, Vesuvius which you’ll never know when will erupt again.
Okay, it can be really scary in Naples. But you don’t have to be paranoid. There’s something special and beautiful in this vast city that makes tourists come back. By following these tips to stay safe in Naples, you can end your trip with a smile on your face.
Get a legit tour guide
Booking a travel agency is a great way to explore Naples without worrying about the threat of criminalities and other dangers. Companies like the online travel agency MustGo can arrange a tour for you so you can confidently navigate the city with peace of mind.
Avoid notorious areas
Much of Naples is fine to visit. But there are places you should avoid, such as the Spanish Quarter and Secondigliano which are known for organized crimes and dealings. If traveling in other crowded areas, wear light and comfortable clothes and avoid wearing elaborate accessories and jewelry.
If you’re walking on pavements, don’t carry bags on your vulnerable side. When taking pictures around the city, opt for a disposable camera instead of a high-end DSLR. High-value gadgets are attractive to robbers and thefts.
Be extra careful when commuting
Naples is a huge city. Most likely, you will be commuting on trains and buses to tour the city. While public transports are generally safe, you still have to be more careful. Since these areas are heavily crowded, expect thieves and pickpocketers, as well as demanding vendors.
Never trust anyone. If you need guidance on directions, ask local authorities like cops or traffic enforcers. If someone asks to carry your bags for you, don’t. Scammers are everywhere just want to steal your stuff.
Be vigilant of your surroundings
The best way to stay safe in a strange city is to act like a local. Blend in the crowd by dressing simply and bringing just a small bag which you should wear with extreme diligence. Look like you know where you are going.
And don’t be on your phone constantly. Lastly, be cautious of swindlers posing as guides (especially around historic sites). The pushier they are, the more you should be suspicious. Consider learning some Italian too. Even just a few Italian phrases can help you get by.
Always keep an eye on your belongings
Losing your belongings is possible not just in Naples but in any other big city (even in your very own hometown!). If you are a frequent traveler, consider investing in some really helpful travel gear like an anti-theft bag and a money belt. Don’t keep your money or cards in one bag or wallet. Spread the wealth!
Know emergency hotlines
In case you had an emergency or became a victim of a crime, it’s important to know how and where to get help. Be sure to write down the following hotlines on a piece of paper (and bring it anywhere you go):
- Arms of the Carabinieri: 112
This is the point of contact for emergency needs in all European countries. Just dial 112 to request the intervention of an ambulance, police, fire brigades, etc.
- State Police: 113
Call this to get intervention in case of robberies, thefts, and other crimes.
- Emergency Health Services: 1500
Managed by the Ministry of Health, it gives you access to information about diseases, pandemics, and other emergency health concerns in the city.
- Anti-Violence Woman (1522)
This supports women who have been victims of abuse and crime.
For a complete list of local emergency hotlines in Naples.
The crime rates in Naples should not stop you from discovering the beauty of this city. With these tips in mind, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip!