Discovering Naples – And Understanding the Stereotypes


Of all the cities in Italy, Naples seems to have the most sordid reputation, although you could argue the point for Sicily. Naples isn’t often on the top list of sights to visit when you’re in the country, but a trip to this port city a few hours outside of Rome is definitely worth your while – especially once you understand the stereotypes you’re going to have to overcome.

Naples Is Dirty – So What?
Naples is a large, bustling port city. It’s not a theme park in Florida. The streets are dirty and there may be a layer of grime around some of the buildings and sidewalks, but it would be a challenge to find another city in the world the size of Naples that would be considered clean. Naples has amazing historical sites and amazing works of culture. Who cares if the sidewalks need a power wash?

Likewise, the streets aren’t full of trash that the trash workers are failing to collect. There have been strikes in Naples before by the sanitation workers who refused to collect trash. This happened primarily in suburban areas – not tourist centers. Besides, it happened years ago and the trash collectors have been collecting trash correctly for many, many months now.

Naples Is a Crime Center – Yes and No.
There is absolutely a larger problem with organized crime in Naples. The city has entities that are controlled by the Italian mafia, but those aren’t something you’d ever notice as a tourist. You’re unlikely to be delving into politics while in the city taking in the sights. There is a high risk of purse snatching and jewelry theft in the city, much like other cities in Italy, so keep your cash close to your body and store jewelry in the hotel safe or just leave it at home so you don’t have to fret about it.

Pizza in Naples Is Amazing! Why Yes It Is!
Naples invented pizza, so you can rest assured that pizza in Naples is by far the best anywhere in the world. It’s unique even from the pizza a few hours away in Rome. If for no other reason, visit Naples to truly experience pizza the way it is supposed to taste.

Naples Is Huge, But the Center Is Small
The sprawling expanse of Naples is impressive, especially looking back on the city from the coast. But don’t let the size of the city fool you – you’re not going anywhere but the center most likely. The center of Naples is the tourist hub, and it’s very easy to navigate and easy to move around on foot. The centro antico is the ancient center of the city where you’ll see the ancient brushing up against the modern. It’s truly impressive.