I returned from 4 days/3 nights in Naples yesterday, and I'm writing a trip report while everything is still fresh. Our impetus for the trip was wanting to visit Pompeii and very cheap airfare. We'd initially been trying for Rome but airfare spiked and we are nothing if not cheap. Being part of the US Military Community, we know many people who had lived in Naples and had strong (positive and negative) opinions on it, but we generally like big cities that many other American tourists do not (like Marseille) and the weather was just average, so we decided to make it a city trip instead of heading to Sorrento or somewhere else with a more pleasant reputation.
I'm glad we did, although Naples is also perhaps the most exhausting city I've dealt with since Bucharest many years ago. While we loved the atmosphere, the incredible stereotypical Italianness of it all, the crumbling elegance, and so forth, the two things that make Naples a tough place to visit are the traffic and the size of the city that seems really underserved by public transit (which explains the scooters). On the plus side, although we were careful, we didn't have any issues with crime or even feel like it was particularly shady. We brought a travel wallet but did not use it. We both carried cross body backs and kept them on when sitting outside or put them at our feet, but honestly Paris, Brussels, Madrid, and Barcelona, while perhaps less sketchy-looking than Naples, certainly seem to be higher risk places for pickpocketing, scams, and mugging - perhaps because it's shoulder season and most tourists appeared to be Italian anyway. The worst we encountered were a couple guys trying to sell us roses, who listened to us when we said no thanks, unlike Venice where we ended up walking away from each other so we wouldn't be spotted as a couple by the rose vendors when crossing busy squares.
We flew Eurowings in, arrived at the airport, and the host at the flat we'd rented had told us to make sure and ask for the set rate for the Taxi from the airport, which was 25. We did, but the guy said it would be 30 for a "Sunday supplement". We kind of rolled our eyes and got in because what are you going to do? This was the first and last taxi ride I'll ever take in Naples. The return via the Alibus was far less terrifying.
Luckily our host, Claudia, who rents out a charming little flat called El Punto Fisso via Booking.com, had been in contact with us extensively via WhatsApp in the days before the trip. I can't recommend her or her flat enough. She was flexible with checking in and out and would message me every day to make sure things were going OK. That's some service! The flat was behind Piazza di Plebiscito, right at the corner of the Spanish Quarter, St. Lucia, and Chiaia, in a building old ladies looking out the window of their bassos and dodging scooter traffic to dry their laundry.
Let's just talk about the traffic. This was for me by far the most stressful aspect of the trip. I had gotten the hang of dodging the scooters and cars by our last day, but on that first day, tired both physically and emotionally, I nearly had a breakdown trying to cross a busy street at dusk. I loved the feel of the Spanish Quarter and we spent a lot of time there, but it was a stressful area to navigate. We eventually also learned routes to take and avoid for ease of getting around.
After checking in, we decided to go up Via Toledo to the Funicular to Castel Sant'Elmo to get some views on a sunny day in the late afternoon. It was magical up there, and when we started to understand just how huge Naples is. After taking tons of pictures we decided to walk down, because taking staircase streets seemed like a good way to take in the atmosphere and avoid scooters. It was beautiful but pretty intense on the legs!