I hated Naples, Italy
At the end of June I traveled to Naples, Italy. I didn’t particularly want to see Naples, but I thought it would be a good home-base from which to see other places nearby (such as Pompeii and the Island of Capri). Turns out, Naples was my least favorite stop on the entire 46 day trip. Here’s why:
- It is dirty dirty dirty. Just disgusting. Broken glass all over the streets, more dog shit than I’ve ever seen in my life, overflowing garbage bags piled in heaps on the sidewalks, restaurants with flies buzzing around them, and a layer of dirt and grime practically everywhere. There were a few times I wondered if it was even safe to wear sandals, I kept seeing so much broken glass and I thought it might get lodged into my sandal like small rocks often do. Ick.
- Traffic laws don’t exist there. I watched an old lady stand at a marked crosswalk for over 30 seconds while dozens of cars and motorcycles zoomed by. She would slowly inch out into the street, only to be forced to retreat back to the sidewalk as a motorcycle loudly zoomed by. Motorists do not give a shit about pedestrians there. They will honk at you if you dare to cross, and a green “walk” sign won’t help you at all. If the city of Naples cared about making the city more friendly to travelers, they would actually bother to enforce the traffic laws. But clearly they don’t care about that, so why should I spend money in their city when they make it so difficult?
- Seriously, you call this piece of trash a subway system? There are only 2 main subway lines, plus another short line with about 4 stops. Most subway systems in the world are pretty efficient – the train pulls in to the station, there is a very small step up into the car, then about 10 seconds later the train pulls away. It travels quickly to the next stop, and repeat. Depending on the city, the subway runs every 2-6 minutes during rush hour. However, in Naples, the subway trains were full-sized tank-like beheamouths, with two large steps up. They are inconveniently filled with seats, so there is no standing room and everyone is crammed like sardines against the doors. They are incredibly slow. I don’t remember seeing a single map or hearing a single announcement about which stop was next, I just knew I only had to go 2 stops. And because there are only 2 lines, I had to walk about 25 minutes to my hostel after exiting. This subway system was absolutely shameful and doesn’t deserve the title of subway. Again, another way Naples is extremely inconvenient for visitors and for people who live there.
- It just didn’t feel safe. I usually don’t feel unsafe in cities. I’ll gladly walk alone at night as long as I know where I’m going. But in Naples I felt unsafe all the time. I felt like I was constantly on alert – Would I step on glass? Would I get hit by a motorcycle? Would a strange man try to grab me? Would that mangy stray dog attack me? Would someone throw a trashbag down from their balcony rather than walking it down? My friend and I carefully chose the streets we walked along at night, and made sure to get back to our hostel as quickly as we could.
The moral of the story is, I absolutely hated Naples and I will never go back there. In hindsight I should have used Sorrento as my home base for the area. From Sorrento it’s very easy to go anywhere in the Amalfi region, and the town of Sorrento is much cleaner and safer. While I was sleeping in Naples I avoided the city as much as possible. The first day, after braving the horrible subway, I stayed inside my hostel the rest of the day making friends, before finally venturing out for dinner and then returning. The second day, I took a day trip to Capri, which I loved, and didn’t return until late in the evening. But, I could have done Capri as a day trip from Sorrento instead.
This is just my personal opinion of Naples. They say it’s one of those cities that you either love or you hate, and I was not a fence sitter at all.
Have you ever visited a place you ended up hating? Why did you hate it? Where was it?