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Is Naples a safe city for tourists?
Yes, it's very safe. Just take some basic precautions as in any large city. Since at least the 1700s, Naples has had an undeserved reputation of being a dangerous city, but the actual danger level for tourists is always 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. However, according to the last european crime statistics, the actual crime level in the city is lower than in Milan, Rome, Turin and other big cities in Italy and Europe, and as a matter of fact it's much lower than the crime level in U.S. big cities.
Like in any big city in Europe, 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 in Naples and usually it only afflicts people involved in the crime business. 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 Circumvesuviana -, or in crowded trains and buses, where pickpockets could at times carry out coordinated and professional thefts of wallets from virtually any pocket they might be in.
The probability of encountering the violent crime that exists in other large metropolitan areas is likely to nothing in Naples. The residents of Naples are often recognized for their humane, helpful and sociable attitude towards visitors. By taking basic precautions against pickpocket theft, keeping their belongings secure (a money belt can be an useful tool to avoid pickpocketing), counting change carefully when making a purchase, and staying near major sightseeing and commercial areas (the whole historical center and the Posillipo, Chiaia, Vomero, visitors will never see any crime in Naples .Reckless driving, particularly by people on motorcycles and motor scooters, may seems probably more risky 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 sometimes even down sidewalks and through pedestrian zones. 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) abound in every district 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.
Hospital coverage is very good in Naples, with at least one Hospital or an Emergency Ward in every district of the city. However, due to the economic crisis and the lack of personnel, Hospitals and Emergency Wards could be very crowded. The sanitary emergency number to call is: 118.
Keep in mind that you can always call or go to the Polizia (call 113) or Carabinieri (call 112) for help. If you ever get in some serious trouble, contact your embassy immediately.
Exert ordinary care when in Naples, but do not be paranoid and don't avoid this wonderful city. While it isn't perfect, Naples is very far from a bad town. If you can look beyond the graffiti and a bit of occasional litter, it is a real gem.