Safety at Naples trinstation & on Circumvesuviana train.

My husband & I, seniors, will take the train from Rome to Naples and then on the Circumvesuviana to Sorrento in May. Although Rich Steves book and a staff person said that with care we should be safe from crime at the station and on the C.train, another travel agent very much advised against it. Can anyone who has been there recently share their experiences?
Thank you. Linda

Posted by donna
cranberry twp, PA, United States
3102 posts

I always love to hear the exaggerations "travel agents" tell their customers. Did they also suggest a private transfer from Rome to Naples and then from Naples to Sorrento? They are probably trying to pad their fee and have never been to either location before. Just take the suggestions given above to use a money belt, keep a hand on your bags and follow the crowds. I would add not to take help from anyone who offers, especially if they say the work for the train station. These are people who will offer help and then demand payment for it. Don't let anyone frighten you. There is really no violent crime to speak of. The main thing you need to be aware of are the pick pockets. This is why a money belt is so important. Also, keep a hand on your luggage at all times. Try to travel with just a carry-on bag each. There is no one at the train stations to help you with luggage and the steps to get on are very steep. Donna

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3668 posts

Has your "travel agent" ever been in the Naples train station or on the Circumvesuviana train? Has your "travel agent" ever been to Italy? If you can carry your own luggage, if you can NOT put passports & cash & credit cards all in your purse and hang it on your shoulder, if you can follow the little signs to the Circumvesuviana and walk with all the other people going there too, you should be fine. This same advice goes for New York, Chicago, Atlanta, etc. Be wary of Travel Agents who give you advice on places they've probably never even personally visited.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
5849 posts

The Circumvesuviana station is downstairs from the main train station, stop to buy your ticket, which you must validate before boarding. make sure you are going down the stairs to the correct track (binario), follow advice posted above. Trains leave every 30 minutes, Sorrento is the last stop on the line. Journey is about 70 minutes.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
12871 posts

We are seniors, been through the Naples station a couple of times, will be there again this fall and have never had any problems or seen anything that looked like a potential problem. The idea for Naples is the same as for Venice, Rome, etc., just take a few reasonable precautions - money belts, day bag well secured, dress conservatively, and act like you know what is happening even if you don't.

Posted by Kat
49 posts

I agree with Donna. It sounds like your travel agent is trying to set you up with a driver so as to make more money for her/himself. If Napoli Centrale and the Circumvesuviana are safe enough for Italian seniors, they are safe enough for American seniors.

Posted by Charlie
Ventura, CA, USA
66 posts

We did this exact trip in 2010. It is a little sketchy in the naples train station. We saw some Gypsies eyeing people. They work in groups. That being said, with the proper precautions, you should be fine. One policeman at the station told my wife (using hand signals) to put her backpack in front of her. That was his way of protecting her. My wife did feel too uneasy to travel back to Rome on the train, so we took a bus from Sorrento. It was very comfortable, much safer and not expensive at all.

Posted by Furnacefighter
Philadelphia, PA, USA
101 posts

We are pre seniors (late fifties) and have been to Sorrento twice both times getting there via the Circumvesuviana Train without incident. The station in Naples got a face lift a few years ago, brighter lights and a fresh coat of paint. If you can handle your luggage without assistance and you utilize a money belt you'll be fine. Youtube has videos of the Ctrain, check them out and decide for yourself. Be careful of men in uniform and hats shouting "Sorrento" in Naples Centrale. They will take you down to the Circumvesuviana Train Station, then expect a handsome tip, 15 to 20 Euros or more. Ignore them and find the station yourself. It's easy to find. I'm always complaining about Naples being such a lousy hub and the Circumvesuviana kind of contributes to that but it's no worse than the Broad Street Subway in Philly. Have Happy Travels

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21685 posts

Linda, As the others have mentioned, I doubt that your Travel Agent is speaking from first-hand experience. I'd be interested to know if he/she has ever been to Naples or travelled on the Circumvesuviana? I'm a "senior" too (60+) and often travel solo. I'm not worried in the least about returning to Naples or travelling to Sorrento. Undoubtedly there will be scammers working at Napoli Centrale and on the Circumvesuviana, but they tend to operate more by stealth rather than "strong arming". If you're vigilant and take normal precautions, you should be fine. Wear Money Belts, keep an eye on your luggage and try to maintain a demeanor of confidence. You may encounter people who appear to be uniformed offering to "help" you with your luggage. Tell them to "take a hike" and handle your own bags. They're often quite persistent so you'll need to be resolute. Happy travels!

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
5849 posts

One precaution I take is not to wear gold jewelry in Naples, y
a tip I picked up from women on the Circumvesuviana.

Posted by Doug
3313 posts

Waiting for a MAX at Pioneer Courthouse square is far more intimidating. As others have said, your travel agent is likely pushing an expensive private transfer. You might print out the responses to your question and show them to the travel agent... I'd be curious if she or he will still stand by their advice. I certainly wouldn't say they seem predatory, but...

Posted by Susan
Trussville, Alabama
61 posts

The train trip is very interesting....while waiting for the train in 2004 we came some other Americans....we began to talk, watched each others back as we entered the train...good thing, a group of boys starting shoving us on to the train. We had our bags in front of us and were glad. The boys jumped off the train at the last minute...One of the fun things about Italy is when will the next scam happen!!! We love Italy and are leaving in two weeks for a 4 week trip! FUN, FUN!!!

Posted by John
Van Nuys, CA, USA
263 posts

The only thing I'd add that hasn't been said is to be sure to check the signs to make sure the train you are planning on boarding is going to Sorrento. There are 2 lines leaving from the Naples station on the Circumvesuviana and only one goes to Sorrento. Its easy to pick the right one, you just need to know that you should check.