We tried to purchase a three day Campania Card, downstairs at the entrance to the Circumvesuviana train station. The clerk tried to send us upstairs, but we had already been told by someone in the (upstairs) main part of the station that we had to go downstairs. The clerk acted like he did not know what I was talking about when I asked for the three day Campania Card (that covers transportation in Sorrento, Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, and Circumvesuviana). I had to just stand at the window until he finally turned around and....sold me a three day Campania Card! I don't know if he was being difficult because there was a sign that said they might strike in a few days, or what. Be advised that you may just have to be persistent if you want to buy a Campania Card at this window. I originally wanted the Card with the Museum pass, but settled for the transportation only card. Also, I would advise that you check on bus transportation from Naples to Sorrento....the Circumvesuviana train seemed very unreliable. They would fill up one train, then tell everyone to get off and wait for the next train. They stopped at every stop even if no one was there, and did not do express runs as scheduled. Very shady characters on the train...so watch your stuff like a hawk. It was hot, crowded, and dangerous. Have a backup plan (bus, etc) if you plan on taking the Circumvesuviana. Or just avoid it if possible.
What was "dangerous" about it?
Potential pickpockets. And, a traveler we met while there was told she should not use this train after dark or while alone. She had gotten into Naples late, and was advised to take a taxi to Sorrento because the Circumvesuviana was too dangerous for a woman alone after dark.
Fair enough, although if you're holding your stuff close to you, it doesn't seem different than other trains around the world - it's a typical commuter train so it's bound to get crowded at peak times. And it's a public train so you'll see all kinds of people - again, no different in other big cities. I did use it alone to go back and forth, although not after dark (it just ended up that way, I wasn't trying to avoid it) and found no issues with it. I wonder if they were doing track work...our own subway in DC is super unreliable over the weekends, so I'm used to it.
Sorry to hear of your fear. What did the pickpockets on the train look like? My experience is that they often look like fellow travelers or businessmen in suits. How did yours look? Did they get anything?
I'd be interested to know how you would further describe 'very shady characters'. I'm not challenging you, but am genuinely interested to know what you mean and what they said or did to make you think they were 'shady'. Did anyone actually approach and bother you in some way?
I saw two men who were obviously working together. One would distract the victim, while the other tried to steal something. I saw one of the men take something out of a person's backpack that was on the top storage shelf while the other man was distracting the person. No, I did not report it...there was no one there to report it to. I saw the same men, together, when I rode the train again. And steered clear of them. In fact, there appears to be a group of people who continuously ride the train. Of course, I don't know what their intent is, but I can guess. I have been to Italy before, several times, but not recently. It was very obvious to me that the bad financial situation there has really changed it from how it was before. My heritage is 100% Italian, and I feel sorry for these people who are victims of their corrupt government. My only purpose here is to advise people that they need to be aware of their person and personal belonging, and realize that people may not be as helpful as they were in the past (ticket seller). I believe the pending strike had the workers in a very bad mood.