Is Naples a safe city for tourists?

Yes, but take basic precautions as in any large city. Since at least the 1700s, Naples has had the reputation of being a dangerous city, but the actual danger level for tourists is often overstated. Compared to other cities in Italy , Naples appears more chaotic, dirty, and disorganized, with chronically low levels of basic infrastructure such as sanitation and government services, along with high levels of unemployment.

Purse snatching, pick pocketing, fraud at street markets, and overcharging by taxis can occur and visitors should use caution. However, violent crime is very rare. According to the U.S. State Department’s description of Italy, “petty crimes such as pick-pocketing, theft from parked cars, and purse snatching are serious problems, especially in large cities. Tourists should not be lulled into a false sense of security by believing that well-dressed individuals are not potential pick-pockets or thieves. Most reported thefts occur at crowded tourist sites, on public buses or trains, or at major railway stations.”

Caution is especially needed on the platform for the train from Naples to Pompeii - the Circumvesuviano - where pickpockets carry out coordinated and professional thefts of wallets from virtually any pocket they might be in. 

Very few tourists will encounter the violent crime that exists in other large metropolitan areas, and residents of Naples are often recognized for their humane, helpful attitude towards visitors. By taking basic precautions against pickpocket theft, keeping your belongings secure, counting change carefully when making a purchase, and staying near major sightseeing and commercial areas, most visitors can avoid crime in Naples .

Like any city, there can be swindlers out there who will try to take advantage of you. Always keep your eye out for any suspicious behavior and people. Try to travel in a group if you can, and sit near the train conductor or bus driver if traveling at night or alone. Use common sense and be mindful of your surroundings. Be alert when you travel on the Naples bus and metro system. Local buses are always crowded and pick-pockets abound. Leave your good watch, ring, & earrings at home. Money belts are in order and unfortunately even expensive cameras can be a target. In Naples, do as the Neapolitans do. Leave all your valuables in the hotel or at home, use a money belt, and just leave a few euros handy for daily purchases. With some common sense and basic precautions, you can have a wonderful time in Naples .

Reckless driving, particularly by people on motorcycles and motor scooters, is probably a more serious risk than petty crime to health and well-being in Naples. Be very careful walking around the city. Motorcycles and scooters race through the old city's narrow streets—crowded with pedestrians—and even down sidewalks and through pedestrian zones. They fly around corners without looking for pedestrians. Be prepared to dart out of their way at any moment, as your life may depend on it. If you decide to drive through Naples in a hire car make sure that you have very comprehensive insurance cover, including cover for wheels and tyres. Many of the road conditions are very poor with very large and deep potholes. When approaching roundabouts and traffic lights the locals seem to just go for it with very little regard for right of way so proceed with great care. It is a very good idea to only park in secure parking, the general advice being that parking in the streets in a hire car may lead to the car disappearing! Fortunately secure parking is easy to find and very cheap.

If you are ill, local farmacias (pharmacies/chemists) are located in every quarter of the city, and are indicated by an illuminated green cross. Convenient ones are inside the Napoli Centrale/Garibaldi train station near the McDonald’s, and on Via Toledo across from the glass-domed Galleria Umberto shopping complex. Farmacias offer basic toiletries, seasickness pills, medications and more. Ask your hotel for other recommended locations nearby.

Keep in mind that you can always go to the Polizia or Carabinieri for help. If you ever get in some serious trouble, contact your embassy immediately. 

Exert care when in Naples, but do not be paranoid or avoid this wonderful city. While it isn't perfect, Naples is far from a bad town. If you can look beyond the graffiti and litter, which is widespread and prolific, it is a real gem. 

Cautions about Tolls

There are two tollways: the first when just leaving and the second when approaching Rome. On the way out of Naples coming from Sorrento to Rome is the first tollway. As you approach the 'gate' you may see a woman walking to the toll booth. At first you could think she might want a lift and you may not pay much attention. She will then stand in front of the meter (her partner, a man stands just behind the gate) so you cannot read it and she will ask for 10 Euros. This is actually an automatic tollway where you throw 2 euro with no operator.

In the scheme of things this is a rather petty theft, but if you see someone standing outside of the toll booth try to move to  another booth. 

Roads around Naples are frequently in very bad condition, lots of potholes and rubbish in all the emergency stop areas. In addition on the Asse Mediano  there are frequently young ladies waiting in the emergency stop areas. Do not get lost in this area, especially if you have children in the car or you may be seeing some sights of Naples you weren't expecting and definitely didn't want the children to see.