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lone female tourist

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Pensacola
posts: 9
lone female tourist

Hello,

I am an American woman who will be traveling alone in Naples and Procida and I'm starting to get pretty scared from all the warnings folks are giving me. I believe the better prepared I am the safer I will be. Let me give you some details. Then any advice you have, especially on bus/train connections, is greatly appreciated.

I arrive on Easter Sunday. I'll take ANM bus 3S to Piazza Municipio. My hotel is 2 blocks up from there. I'll stay there one night, then take Ciremar ferry to Procida, where I'll stay for the rest of my vacation. The Procida hotel is a 20 minute walk from the Marina, which will be quite unpleasant if local men harras me.

I have bus and train routes written out, according to info from my new guide book. Tuesday, take the ferry from Procida to Pazzouli. Take Metropolitana train to Circumvesuviana train. I plan to make this route 2 or 3 days in a row until I see Herculeneum, Pompeii, and Vesuvius. The day after, I'll take a walking tour of historic Naples.

Don't get me wrong. I expect to be charmed by Naples and Procida. Just getting really nervous about being alone. Even my guidebook tells me to say Che Schifo! (How disgusting!) if someone grabs my butt.

The bus schedules I've found on line so far are in Italian, which I understand only a little of.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

Pensacola
posts: 9
11. Re: lone female tourist

I will practice that! And I look sort of Italian, too. I hadn't heard about that situation with facing a group. Wow.

I've gotten such great advice here. When I come back, I'll let all these posters know how it went.

I appreciate your first hand experience. Thanks :)

UK
Destination Expert
for Venice
posts: 39,999
reviews: 42
12. Re: lone female tourist

I would say travel nothing of value on show,I had a nasty experience in Naples I had a gold chain grabbed from round my neck, but was in a dubious area,so quick you would not believe, I would still go back lovely city,keep to the main Roads, these thing can happen any where, we where accosted by gypsy children in Paris in broad daylight on the banks of the Seine now that was scary.

Pensacola
posts: 9
13. Re: lone female tourist

Hello everyone,

I'm back from Naples. I had a wonderful time.

I did not wear any jewelry, kept my ID and $ in a thin bag that hung around my neck, and did not go out much after dark. Nothing bad happened. In fact a lot of great things happened. But I will say that I had many stressful moments as a lone traveler.

For one thing, the poster who remarked that I would spend 1/2 my time traveling instead of being at sites (because I'd chosen Procida over Sorrento as a pied a terre) was absolutely right. Add to travel time, the time you're just lost or trying to find the bus stop, etc. It's a good idea to travel with a companion just because two heads are better than one. I became so mentally exhausted that I did make many stupid travel mistakes, such as catching the L2 train instead of the R2 bus and winding up in Pozzuoli instead of Naples only to find that the last Pozzuoli ferry to Procida had just left and I would have to bus BACK to Naples . . .

This leads me to mention how incredibly nice the Neopolitans are. So many times I had to ask directions of folks who couldn't speak English, but somehow they always managed to help me get where I needed to go.

On Procida, some folks were really hospitable. I wound up making friends, enjoying dinner at an Americana themed restaurant, drinking lemoncello (the aperitif made from Procida's lemons). Once I went into a produce store and when the proprietor's saw that I just wanted to buy and orange, they wouldn't let me pay for it. That's the kind of niceness I found there. Also, lots of folks were curious about America, wanted to share their experiences in the American cities they'd visited, etc.

It was truly an unforgettable trip. And if you ever get time just to relax in the beautiful atmosphere of Procida, I highly recommend it. Just limit your time on the narrow streets -- all that car exhaust!

Thank you for all your advice!

Pensacola
posts: 9
14. Re: lone female tourist

One more thing:

The reason I originally posted was that I was very apprehensive about how I would be treated by Italian men. They are pretty easy to ignore. They make soft kissy sounds or a whispery sound when you walk by. The only times I got more overt interest it was pretty respectful and flattering. I'm not assuming bad attention can't happen, it just didn't happen to me.

Charlottesville...
posts: 1,666
reviews: 11
15. Re: lone female tourist

misnomer17,I was with my husband when in Naples last year;we had similar experiences ie:friendly,helpful people. It is true I did not wear jewelry,and had a moneybelt around my waist(under skirt).that may not have been necessary,but I wanted my hands free of a sometimes cumbersome bag. We heard of a woman alone who had her bag ripped from her shoulder-it knocked her down,and she had a broken arm.

bad apples exist everywhere..

i am glad you were able to enjoy your trip.

London
posts: 33
reviews: 59
16. Re: lone female tourist

I don't know how anyone can travel alone. I don't see the point unless you share your experiences with someone else. I suppose its easier for a woman though, you don't even have to make an effort and will get chatted up everywhere you go

Charlottesville...
posts: 1,666
reviews: 11
17. Re: lone female tourist

roger 10,sometimes there is no alternative to travelling solo(timing of vacations,widowhood,etc..). sharing experiences is so rewarding,but I have travelled alone and have had much success in regards to seeing particular museum exhibitions,and shows,etc..and in meeting interesting people. my preference is to travel with a loved one,but,if no one is able to accompany me i still travel.

i think misnomer is justified in her concerns;behaving "streetwise",being cautious,I think she can still have a worthwhile trip.

New York
posts: 1
reviews: 3
18. Re: lone female tourist

Where did you stay in Procida? We have booked in Sorrento but Procida sounds nicer.

iWe want to go to Capri, Ischia, Naples and Pompeii while we are there for 5 days. Was it difficult getting to the mainland from Procida?

Were there many beaches in Procida? I cannot seem to find much information about the island but it seems so lovely. I read Arturo's Island by Elsa Morante years ago and have dreamed of Procida ever since.

Thanks so much

Pensacola
posts: 9
19. Re: lone female tourist

Hello,

I loved Procida and consider it vacation worthy in itself. I stayed at the Tirreno Residence hotel. Tirreno is best experienced if you expect it to be somewhat like camping. The heat doesn't work on chilly nights. The showers leak. But I found it charming and would definitely stay there again. There are two rooftop terraces, a scenic overlook, and the hotel property itself is canopied throughout by lemon trees. Tirreno is a 10 minute walk uphill from the marina--if you walk fast. I loved the walk, especially in the morning. You're right there among residences. You get to greet folks sitting at their windows. You get to pet the stray cats sunning themselves on car hoods.

There are two beautiful beaches that I know of on Procida. Be sure that you get detailed instructions about how to get to these beaches before you set out. If you wing it and realize on the way that you need better directions, you'll find that the average Procida resident does not speak enough English to guide you (though they will try very hard to help you by speaking Italian LOUDER!) I still managed to find one of these beaches, the cove featured in the film IL Postino. There's a cabana stand there where you can buy drinks. The man who owns the stand sometimes plays 60s Italian pop music, which sounds a lot like Bobby Darin, Anette Funicello stuff. The atmosphere is fantastic.

The people on Procida were very nice to me. On the mainland too. I cannot say enough about how warm and helpful they are.

The ferry is about $7 dollars each way. A ferry ride is an hour to the Naples port. Smelly fumes, cigarette smoke. But the view of Procida and Ischia (which is right next door) from the top decks is fantastic. If you stay on Procida and intend to visit Pompeii, add 20 minutes to the SITA bus stop, an indeterminate wait for said bus, an hour bus ride. Factor in time to get lost. It can take you all morning to get to Pompeii. People are right to recommend Sorrento as a base if that's the side of Naples you're most interested in. I have heard Sorrento is really lovely. There is no ferry to Capri from Procida. Capri is on the Sorrento side of the bay.

Sorry I wrote a travelogue! I hope I answered all your questions.

Charlottesville...
posts: 1,666
reviews: 11
20. Re: lone female tourist

misnomer,get in touch with my friend,Francesco Marrapesa..he is a guide,but he also will tell you who to contact for information about that area of Italy;he helped me so much when I was there last year.