I was told and had read so many different things about Naples before I went here, like:
- it's filled with garbage, not nice at all
- it's beautiful, real Italy
- best place in Italy (coming from Italian friend not from Naples)
- it's really scary
- you should not travel there solo as a woman
- and...: travelling solo as a woman is no problem, just stay away from the central station (stupid advice, as a traveller the central station is very much likely a place you have to visit)
So I had to find out for my self, what was true and what wasn't. I started of by choosing a hotel in a safe and central area because that travelling solo stuff mostly has to do with common sense. And even though Naples is a bit rougher then many of the romantic Italian cities, I never experienced anything scary (not the central station either).
So what about the garbage? When I arrived I definitely did see more garbage on the streets than most other places. But moving in to the core parts of the city it was pretty much like any other city, not super clean, but ok.
What I experienced in Naples was beautiful buildings, cozy narrow streets, authentic living, great food and friendly people. But Naples is a bit more rough around the edges than the average Italia city.
This is stuff I recommend to see/do in Naples:
- Go to see Castel dell'Ovo, the castle is pretty cool and the views from the area towards Naples also.
- Piazzas! Oh, I love them. My favourite one was Piazza San Domenico Maggiore (have some wine and tapas at Jamon while you're there).
- Eat pizza! After all, it is supposed to have it's origin in Naples. And it is really amazing.
- Stay at Hotel Piazza Bellini, a beautiful hotel in so many ways, and the garden! It is also located at another nice Piazza (Piazza Bellini). The restaurant next door La Stanza del Gusto is also worth a visit.
- The main shopping street is Via Toledo with the normal kind of shops. A much more authentic shopping street is Via Benedetto Croce and also the streets around it.
- Tour the narrow streets, that's when you see how people really live.
- If it's not 35 degrees celcius, walk up to Castel Sant'Elmo for a nice view.
- If it is 35 degrees celcius, take the boat to Capri for the day (takes 45 minutes). My pictures from Capri.
- Enjoy the fact that the city is not over filled with other tourists ;)