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Is Napoli truly the most dangerous tourist city in the world to visit?

A Youtube Travel channel recently listed Napoli as the #1 most dangerous tourist city to visit. I was last there in 2009 and I didn't get that feeling at all. Has that much changed? Their reasoning didn't seem right to me. They mentioned the amount of street crime, hazardous waste in the city, the Mafia, and the threat of a volcanic eruption as their reasons for the top spot. The city is gritty to be sure, but my wife and I felt safe wandering the back streets in the daytime. I want to go back for a visit (and pizza).

Posted by
17720 posts

I would consider the threat of a volcanic eruption as a very good reason for its dangerous classification. What part of Pompeii don't you understand?

Posted by
288 posts

I don't know. Maybe I should ask the over 1 million residents of the city.

Posted by
5010 posts

Idiotic clickbait tripe for the ignorant masses.

Naples, eh? Really?

Kabul. Aleppo. Mogadishu. Islamabad. Sana'a.

Need I go on?

Posted by
288 posts

Click-bait yes. But the gist of their top 10 list is the most dangerous places tourist go. Not like Somalia. Other places they mention are the Grand Canyon, Cape Town, the Australian Outback, etc.

Posted by
31055 posts

Ray,

I'm not sure I'd agree with the label of Naples as "the most dangerous tourist city in the world", however I haven't seen the criteria that they used to establish that. As "tourist cities" go, I'd feel safer in Naples than in Johannesburg or Rio de Janeiro. The government warnings for those two cities are significantly stronger than for Naples. While Vesuvius is a concern, no one knows when it might erupt again.

Posted by
694 posts

So basically it's a list of places stupid people go to die? I've been to most of those listed and would take all of them over some of the places I have been not on the list. Tens of thousands of people a year go to Juarez and Detroit and frankly i won't go to either.

Posted by
1160 posts

I have toured all the world with the symphony orchestra I work with. When we went to Naples, the local promoters had us walk from the Teatro di S. Carlo (one of the most beautiful opera houses of the world) to our hotel - warning us that the itinerary was safe but it was better not to step into the Pallonetto a S.Lucia area.

When we went to Sao Paulo in Brasil, where the new concert hall is housed in a former railway station in the very center of the drug trafficking area, local promoters had us driven by bus and kept under armed surveillance. Need I say more?

Posted by
2898 posts

I disliked Naples more than any city I’ve visited in Europe; however, my feelings had little to do with safety. This sounds like one of those fairly meaningless lists that various media come up with. I guess living in the SF Bay Area with the San Andreas fault a few miles away and the Hayward fault a couple of blocks from my house makes me view volcanoes as not much of a threat. At least they give warning, unlike earthquakes.
I don’t think the Mafia are interested in tourists.

Posted by
4012 posts

These lists are pointless clickbait. The criteria used is meaningless, the presence of a volcano makes the city dangerous? So dangerous that it results in the city itself leaping the ranks.

The mafia? Since when have the mafia been a threat to tourists?

Violence? The current run of violent stabbings in London would result in it being placed quite high yet tourists are highly unlikely to be victims of this as it is predominantly confined to gang members.

Posted by
23851 posts

well if it is on You Tube it must be true. Just as true as on the internet.

Posted by
517 posts

I’ve traveled to Napoli many times as a single woman with no issues. Do I hold my purse a little tighter? Yes, but I do the same in any big city.

Posted by
58 posts

An idiotic Youtube Travel warning about Naples that scares away the fainthearted might actually work for me as I am hoping to visit Naples next May and would certainly welcome fewer travelers around me. (To avoid Naples because of the possible threat of a Vesuvian catastrophe is especially laughable.)

As for me, I've heard the pizza in Naples is worth dying for. (Didn't Goethe say that?)

On the other hand, I'm one of those people who are wary of those precious travel articles that suddenly illuminate supposedly remote and less-traveled areas of the world. (The Sunday New York Times travel section specializes in these gems.) You can bet those spots will soon be overrun by tourists who think they're on to something original.

Posted by
885 posts

Hey Ray from St. Helens: I agree with you. Naples more unsafe than many US (tourist) locations? Who writes this stuff? By the way: Did you live in St. Helens in May 1980? I was living in Portland then, and St. Helens was definitely more dangerous that month than was Naples!! And today, I'd say my home city of New Orleans is much more dangerous as a place to walk the streets, especially after dark, than is Naples. My one three-day visit to Naples, several years ago, like yours, was fun, lovely, and safe. Peace. And pizza!

Posted by
288 posts

I was here for the eruption in 1980. Totally safe where i was. Volcanoes are nothing to mess with. But life is a roll of the dice, and with a little education you protect yourself. With a little common sense I'm sure Naples is totally safe. I'd bet its safer than most U.S. cities at night.
I just wanted a little input from folks for our future visit. Ì

Posted by
411 posts

Travel channel top ten lists are such a joke. It once listed the Lahaina Beach in Maui as one of the top ten beaches. Lahaina doesn't have a beach but there is the Old Lahaina luau which I'm sure paid to be featured.

Not a single BBQ joint in Texas made their top ten list. But a couple in NYC & Malibu Beach did. There are more.

Posted by
20718 posts

I think any top ten list of anything has to be taken with "a grain of salt." as the saying goes. Without knowing the criteria used, the analysis is nearly worthless. Just in the last three week the Denver airport made two top ten lists. One list ranked Denver as the second or third best airport in the US. The other list ranked Denver as the fifth or sixth worse airport to be avoided. The local TV stations had lots of fun with the lists.

From the three times we have been in Napoli, it did not appear to us to be much different than Rome.

Posted by
69 posts

No, but it is one of grittier and potentially less safe cities in Italy.
I've felt WAY less safe in New Orleans, Detroit, and some places in Florida to name just a few.

Once, 20-something years ago while wandering the backstreets of Naples alone, an old woman sweeping her doorstep gave me the "occhio" gesture, suggesting that perhaps I was in a place I shouldn't be. A couple blocks later, a beautiful Italian girl about my age (early twenties then) stopped me and asked for a light. I lit her cigarette, she said, "grazie" I said "prego". The conversation didn't get much farther before she switched to English "Wait, You're American?!?! What are you doing here? You shouldn't be in this neighborhood!" She escorted me back to the main street and suggested that I not hang around in that area.

Posted by
20718 posts

Curious ---- potentially less safe cities in Italy. What does that mean? Every city has dark alleys and some thugs hanging around. If I avoid the alleys, stay with main streets and crowds of people, normal hours, etc., what is my potential for risk?? Pretty low. I think these lists are silly and really do nothing for preparing the tourists. A lot of inexperience travelers/tourists read this stuff, hear about all the pickpockets, quick change artists, scams, street people, etc., to the point that they think they are entering a den of thieves and will be stripped naked within the first hour.

Posted by
996 posts

Well, let's face it. Any city near a volcano could experience volcano day. Any city which rests on/near a fault line could have earthquake day. Any city which has ever experienced a tornado could have a massive tornado day.

I live in a highly touted tourist city. We have seen a reported doubling in pickpocket incidents over 2018. We have also seen fatal flooding and tornadoes over the years. I have yet to see anyone report us as a dangerous city, mainly because we're located in the US.

What's that Tolkien quote? Something about it's dangerous business stepping out of your front door? I rarely pay attention to these types of articles. Each day is a gift. If Naples is on your todo list - the way it's on mine for next year - I'm going. My only wish is to try the pizza before something awful happens. ;-)

Posted by
6438 posts

Take it from someone from Chicago out of all the places I've been to Rio de Janeiro is way more dangerous than Naples.

Posted by
11700 posts

Any list that puts the Grand Canyon in the top 10 most dangerous places is to be disregarded. Sure, the place can kill you if you disregard all the well-published warnings but it's not even the #1 U.S. NPS location for annual SAR incidents. That would be (as of 2017 figures) Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and by nearly double the count.

But mixing nature/adventure and urban/cultural tourism on a 'danger' list doesn't make any sense to begin with. They're different animals.

Posted by
23851 posts

"SAR incidents"? I don't know that abbreviation? Self Aiming Rifle? I can't work it out.

Posted by
4292 posts

I have been to 76 countries on six continents and Naples, in my opinion would not be one of the most dangerous cities.

Having been to Naples and the area twice, I have read and heard of street crime like pickpocketing, even muggings, but in my mind, Barcelona is the pickpocket capitol of Europe, due to the fact that the justice system doesn't punish the culprits, even when apprehended.

Take precautions, money belts or pack safe purse and only carry what you need for the day. Don't go into questionable areas.

Posted by
390 posts

Nigel, I just looked it up....Search and Rescue!

Dumb people can get themselves in trouble anywhere....maybe that's what that list means?

Posted by
11700 posts

Katherine is correct: SAR = search and rescue. Sorry, should have explained that.

Posted by
1728 posts

Personal experience, March of last year. Took the Circumvesuviana from Sorrento to Napoli Centrale. Found the taxi stand outside the station, and a bunch of cabbies were standing around, talking & laughing. We approached, asked for a ride, first guy up volunteers to take us to the Archeological Museum. He spoke fair English, asked where we were from, and gave us a running historical commentary on the way. It was hilarious, and we couldn't have felt safer. Got to the museum in minutes, which was beautiful and spectacularly chock-ful of artifacts from Pompei and the Farnese Marbles. Staggering.

It reminded me of my first trip to NYC in many years, in 2003, how noticeably nice & helpful folks were, admittedly different than my expectations from past experience.

Posted by
69 posts

"Curious ---- potentially less safe cities in Italy. What does that mean? "

Frank, in my opinion, it means you have a slighter higher chance of finding trouble in Naples than in some other Italian tourist centers like Venice, Florence, or Rome. Don't wander dark backstreets late into the night (especially alone) and you should never have a problem.

I've never felt the least bit uncomfortable in Venice. Ever. Even when completely lost at 2:00 in the morning (in the days before smart phones.)
In Rome, I was once targeted by a pair of pickpockets working the metro. Nothing violent, and they didn't get anything.
Florence, never had a problem, though I've only been there once.