My wife and I are seniors and after our Rick Steves tour ends in Naples, Italy, we are planning to take the high speed train from Naples to Florence. We are little concerned about things we have heard about the Naples train station. Do we need to worry about our safety and “bad people hanging around”? Of course, we will take all the usual precautions regarding pickpockets, etc. , but we have friends who were actually accosted in that station some years ago. I did hear that the station has been "cleaned up" somewhat since then though. Also wondering if we can just get our first class tickets on the high-speed train right at the station or should we order online in advance? Thank you for your help!
It is much easier and cheaper to have your tickets in advance - up to 120 days in advance for most dates, sometimes a bit less for December and June due to timetable changes in those months. I believe that the Naples-Florence high-speed train follows a ticketless system; you get a booking reference number that you quote to the conductor who checks tickets on-board.
It also means you'll just have to pass through the station on the way to the train: no need to stop anywhere, except for refreshments perhaps. But besides the usual pickpockets, there's no need to worry about your safety. Think about what you would do if you get accosted by someone at home, and do the same if it happens to you in Italy - a firm rebuffal is typically enough.
If you've been in any urban environment (in Europe or elsewhere), the chances of being bothered or solicited for money, etc. by someone or another is not inconsequential. But it's still easy to deal with and shouldn't be a source of worry. Don't let anyone into your personal space, or accept random offers of "help" (carrying luggage, buying tickets, whatever), and be sure to have your luggage under control. I wouldn't give it a thought after that. Typical street smarts (knowing how to deflect trouble) and firm control of your belongings is all you need.
It is seedy , for sure. Secure all your belongings carefully. Do not talk to people or children that approach u. Get your ticket online in advance.
The station is fine. A little dingy and you’re smart to take pickpocket/common sense precautions but it’s not that different from any other train station. Not many noticeably shady characters, probably some pickpockets blending in with everyone else.
It's been modernized considerably since your friends were there years ago, and seems much safer to me. I agree that you should buy your tickets in advance--either online or with the Trenitalia or Italo apps, to save the hassles of lines at ticket windows or ticket machines. To get acquainted with the layout, take a Google Streetview tour that you can access from this website
I did not notice anything different about the Naples train station.. They all look slightly sleazy and with some questionable folks around. Just always keep your wits about you and try not to let anyone get too close to you. You would be wise to have a money belt/ neck strap etc, for your credit cards/ cash, passport etc. I never felt threatened but I was hyper-vigilant. Never engage verbally with anyone.
What do you mean by accosted? They were attacked? Pickpocketed? Stared at? Spoken to?
We took the train from Naples to Rome at the end of a Rick Steves tour in May and we thought the train station was fine - lots better than some we’ve been in. We ordered the tickets ahead of time and I printed the paper with the scan square on it ( I could have kept it on my phone, but as a senior I don’t totally trust that method). The conductor came by, scanned it and we were fine.
I actually did some great shopping at the Naples train station - the souvenir shop was clean, well-maintained, and had stuff that was reasonably priced. On travel days we always use neck wallets or money belts so we don’t have to worry about setting things down and forgetting them. That eliminates one worry, but no one approached us in the station. The cab ride from our hotel to the station was the only cab ride during our trip where the price was the same as expected and the driver gave us a receipt.
The point of all of this is to hopefully put your mind at ease; we loved Naples.
There is nothing scary about the modern Naples train station, less than ten years old, maybe. Even the plazas around it are new and banal. AFAIR, you can get non-changeable, non-refundable Frecciarossa tickets as Print at Home. The conductor scans your bar code, just like other countries.
As a single woman traveling alone, I have always taken normal safety precautions in the Naples train station, but have never had any issues.
Definitely get your ticket online beforehand. You may save some money and you can usually print at home or just use a barcode they will give you when you buy online. My 80 year old parents bought their tickets online last winter for their train travels throughout Italy and had no issues traveling on their own as far as safety goes. Keep on eye on your belongings and don’t accept help from strangers with your bags and you will be fine. Have a great trip!
We went through the station in Naples twice in the last couple of weeks, and it was just fine.
It seems to have been cleaned up and modernized since I was last there in 2013.
It's quite well signposted, and easy to navigate.
Didn't feel unsafe at all.
SIL and I took the train from Naples to Venice in May. I bought our tickets online before we left home. We took our regular safety precautions, ie money belt/neckwallet, latched purses/totes/suitcases, and felt safe. Have your ticket in hand whether paper or app and, if I remember right, your passport when you board. It was our first time taking the train and was very easy.
Edit: Thanks SJ for correcting my poor memory about needing a passport to board. So no passport is needed. As SJ said, keep it in your money belt or neck wallet.
Many thanks to all of you for all your help. I feel much better about everything. Friends of ours were approached, pushed, and surrounded in that station by a group of young men, and made to feel unsafe and that they were going to be robbed - but never were. That was some years back (maybe 10 though), so by your comments it looks like things have been cleaned up since then, Thanks again for your help & suggestions.
You don't need a passport to board a train in Italy, so tuck that away in your money belt.