I feel like Naples has a constant stigma of being a mafia safe-haven and unfriendly destination to visit. But, as with everything else, there are two sides to every story — I just read a post written by Jessica Spiegel on Twenty-Something Travel about Naples that gives the positive side of the city.
During my first trip abroad back in 2005 following graduating from University of Washington, my buddy and I were in Naples for 2 nights and 3 days on our way over to Greece from Rome. What do I remember about that city?
- Motorcycle drivers are insane – I remember walking through narrow streets and seeing motorcycles speeding through intersections at close to 40 miles an hour. If a person had mistakenly walked across one of those intersections? They’d be plowed over without any regard. How drivers survive on a daily basis driving at those speeds through crowded, narrow streets is beyond me.
- Guards with guns – when walking downtown and visiting the main mall, there were guards with machine guns on the streets outside. At the ripe age of 22, I have to admit it was a little intimidating.
- Se7en – I had never seen this movie until we watch it at our hostel in Naples; I didn’t sleep well that night.
- Capri – a short boat trip from Capri, totally worth the day trip. We tried to do a boat tour around the island, but missed it — TWICE. We were bummed, but we had a train to catch to Brindisi to catch a long overnight ferry to Patros.
All in all? I thought the city was worth visiting, but wasn’t even close to my favorite spot in Italy having just came from Rome and Cinque Terre. I’m sure the city has changed in the 6 years since I’ve been there, so maybe it’s a little more friendly.