Getting there & around
Official taxis are white, metered and bear the Naples symbol, the Pulcinella (with his distinctive white cone-shaped hat and long hooked nose), on their front doors. They generally ignore kerbside arm-wavers. There are taxi stands at most of the city’s main piazzas or you can call one of the five taxi cooperatives: Napoli (081 556 44 44), Consortaxi (081 20 20 20), Cotana (081 570 70 70), Free (081 551 51 51), and Partenope (081 556 02 02).
The minimum fare for a ride is €4.15, of which €2.60 is the starting fare. There’s also a baffling range of additional charges: €0.80 for a radio taxi call, €1.60 extra on Sundays and holidays, €2.10 more between 10pm and 7am, €2.60 for an airport run and €0.50 per piece of luggage in the boot. Guide dogs for the blind and wheelchairs are carried free of charge.
Taxi drivers may tell you that the meter’s kaput. However, you can (and should) insist that they switch it on.
In Naples, buses are operated by the city transport company ANM(800 63 95 25; www.anm.it in Italian). There’s no central bus station but most busses pass through Piazza Garibaldi, the city’s chaotic transport hub. To locate your bus stop you’ll probably need to ask at the ANM information kiosk in the centre of the square.
Useful bus services include:
3S From Piazza Garibaldi to the airport.
24 From Piazza del Municipio up to Piazza Dante and on to Capodimonte.
140 Santa Lucia to Posillipo via Mergellina.
152 From Piazza Garibaldi, along Corso Garibaldi, Via Nuova Marina, Via Colombo, to Molo Beverello, Via Santa Lucia, Piazza Vittoria and Via Partenope.
201 From Stazione Centrale to the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, down to Piazza del Municipio and then back to Piazza Gariobaldi, via Piazza Dante.
404D A night bus operating from 11.20pm to 4am (hourly departures) from Stazione Centrale to Piazza del Municipio, on to Mergellina and Vomero, and then back down to Stazione Centrale.
C9 From Piazza Vittoria, along Riviera di Chiaia to Piazza Sannazzaro, Viale Augusto, Via Diocleziano, to Bagnoli and Via Coroglio.
C25 Piazza Amedeo to Piazza Bovio via Castel dell’Ovo and Piazza del Municipio.
C28 From Piazza Vittoria up Via dei Mille and on to Piazza Vanvitelli in Vomero.
E1 From Piazza del Gesù, along Via Constantinopoli, to Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Via Tribunali, Via Duomo, Piazza Nicola Amore, along Corso Umberto I and Via Mezzocannone.
R1 From Piazza Medaglie D’Oro to Piazza Carità, Piazza Dante and Piazza Bovio.
R3 From Mergellina along the Riviera di Chiaia to Piazza del Municipio, Piazza Bovio, Piazza Dante and Piazza Carità.
R4 From Capodimonte down past Via Dante to Piazza Municipio and back again.
Regional bus services are operated by a number of companies, the most useful of which is SITA (199 73 07 49; www.sita-on-line.it in Italian), which runs buses from Naples to Pompeii (€2.30, 40 minutes, half-hourly), Sorrento (€3.20, one hour 20 minutes, twice daily), Positano (€3.20, two hours, twice daily), Amalfi (€3.20, two hours, six daily) and Salerno (€3.20, one hour 10 minutes, every 25 minutes). It also connects Salerno with Amalfi (€1.80, one hour 10 minutes, half-hourly) and links towns along the Amalfi Coast. Casting even wider, it runs from Salerno to Bari via Naples (€22.36, 4½ hours, twice daily) and operates a service to Germany, including Dortmund (€112) via Munich (€90), Stuttgart (€90), Frankfurt (€98) and Dusseldorf (€112). You can connect from this service to Berlin (€118) and Hamburg (€118). You can buy SITA tickets and catch buses either from Stazione Marittima or from Via G Ferraris, near Stazione Centrale; you can also buy tickets at Bar Clizia (Corso Arnaldo Lucci 173).
Most national buses depart from Piazza Garibaldi. Check destinations carefully or ask at the information kiosk in the centre of the piazza. Marino (080 311 23 35) has buses to Bari (€19, three hours); Miccolis (081 20 03 80) runs to Taranto (€16, four hours), Brindisi (€23.60, five hours) and Lecce (€26, 5½ hours), while CLP (081 531 17 07) serves Foggia (€9, two hours), Perugia (€27.37, 3½ hours) and Assisi (€28.92, 4½ hours).
The following trams may be useful:
Tram1 Operates from east of Stazione Centrale, through Piazza Garibaldi, the city centre and along the waterfront to Piazza Vittoria.
Tram 29 Travels from Piazza Garibaldi to the city centre along Corso G Garibaldi.
Airlines flying to Naples:
British Airways (code BA; 199 71 22 66; www.ba.com; hub Heathrow airport, London) To/from London Gatwick.
Helvetic (code 2L;02 696 82 684; www.helvetic.com; hub Zurich airport) To/from Zurich.
Eight kilometres northeast of the city centre, Capodichino airport (NAP; 081 789 62 59; www.gesac.it) is southern Italy’s main airport, linking Naples with most Italian and several major European cities, as well as New York.
To get there by public transport you can either take the regular ANM (800 63 95 25) bus No 3S (€1, 30 minutes, every 15 minutes) from Piazza Garibaldi, or the Alibus(081 53 11 705) airport shuttle (€3, 20 minutes, half-hourly) from Piazza del Municipio or Piazza Garibaldi.
Official taxi fares to the airport are as follows: €19 from a seafront hotel or from Mergellina hydrofoil terminal; €16 from Piazza del Municipio; and €12.50 from Stazione Centrale.
There can be no greater test of courage than driving your own vehicle in Naples. As a means of locomotion, it’s of limited value. The weight of the anarchic traffic means that cars rarely travel faster than walking pace and parking is an absolute nightmare. A scooter is quicker and easier to park but is even more nerve-wracking to ride. Car and bike theft is also a major problem.
If you’re determined to drive, there are some simple guidelines to consider: get used to tail-gaters; worry about what’s in front of you not behind; watch out for scooters; give way to pedestrians no matter where they appear from; approach all junctions and traffic lights with extreme caution, and keep cool.
Officially much of the city centre is closed to nonresident traffic for much of the day. Daily restrictions are in place in the centro storico, in the area around Piazza del Municipio and Via Toledo, and in the Chiaia district around Piazza dei Martiri. Hours vary but are typically from 8am to 6.30pm, possibly later.
Parking in Naples is no fun. If you’re on a scooter you won’t have too many problems, but if you’re on four wheels you almost certainly will. Blue lines by the side of the road denote pay-and-display parking – buy tickets at the meters or from tobacconists – with rates ranging from €1.50 to €2 per hour. Elsewhere street parking is often overseen by illegal attendants who will expect a €1 to €2 fee for their protection of your car. It’s usually easier to bite the bullet and pay them than attempt a moral stance. To the west of the city centre there’s a 24-hour car park at Via Brin (€1.10 for the first four hours, then €0.30 for every succesive hour).
Away from the city, a car becomes more practical. However, be aware that driving along the Amalfi Coast can be quite a hair-raising experience as buses career round impossibly tight hairpin bends and locals brazenly overtake anything in their path. On the bay islands – Capri, Ischia and Procida – a scooter is an excellent way of getting round.
Naples is on the north–south Autostrada del Sole, the A1 (north to Rome and Milan) and the A3 (south to Salerno and Reggio di Calabria). The A30 skirts Naples to the northeast, while the A16 heads across to Bari.
When approaching the city, the motorways meet the Tangenziale di Napoli, a major ring road around the city. The ring road hugs the city’s northern fringe, meeting the A1 for Rome and the A2 to Capodichino airport in the east, and continuing towards Campi Flegrei and Pozzuoli in the west.
For Sorrento head south along the A3 autostrada until Castellammare di Stabia; from here follow the SS145 southeast. The road continues from Sorrento around the peninsula until it merges with the SS163 which runs onto Positano, Amalfi and Salerno.
The major car-hire firms are all represented in Naples.
Avis (081 28 40 41; www.avisauto noleggio.it; Corso Novara 5 & Capodichino airport)
Maggiore (081 28 78 58; www.maggiore.it; Stazione Centrale & Capodichino airport)
Rent Sprint (081 764 13 33; Via Santa Lucia 36) Scooter hire only.
An economy car will cost about €60 per day; for a scooter expect to pay about €35. If possible, try to arrange your rental in advance, as you’ll get much better rates. Similarly, airport agencies tend to charge more than city centre branches.
To rent a car you’ll need to be over 21 (25 for some larger cars) and have a credit card. When hiring always make sure you understand what’s covered in the rental agreement (insurance, unlimited mileage, petrol etc). If the agreement doesn’t cover theft and collision damage, you would be strongly advised to pay extra for it.
An EU driving licence is valid for driving in Italy. If you’ve got an old-style green UK licence or a licence issued by a non-EU country, you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP). Valid for 12 months, these are inexpensive (about US$21 or UK£5.50) and are easily available from your national automobile association; take along a passport photo and your home driving licence. When driving you should always carry the your home licence with the IDP as it’s not valid on its own.
Contrary to all appearances, there are road rules in Italy. The main ones are as follows:
Drive on the right and overtake on the left.
Wear seat belts in the front and, if fitted, in the back.
Wear a helmet on all two-wheeled transport.
Carry a warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest to be worn in the event of an emergency.
The blood alcohol limit is 0.05%.
Speed limits are 130km/h on autostrade, 110km/h on nonurban dual highways and 50km/h in built-up areas.
Italy’s automobile association, the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI; 081 725 38 11; www.aci.it; Piazzale Tecchio 49D) is the best source of motoring information. It also operates a 24-hour recovery service (803 116).
Naples, the bay islands and Amalfi Coast are served by a comprehensive ferry network. In Naples ferries and hydrofoils leave for Capri, Sorrento, Ischia, Procida and Forio from Molo Beverello in front of Castel Nuovo; longer-distance ferries for Palermo, Cagliari, Milazzo, the Aeolian Islands (Isole Eolie) and Tunisia leave from the Stazione Marittima.
Tickets for shorter journeys can be bought at the ticket booths on Molo Beverello and at Mergellina. For longer journeys try the offices of the ferry companies or at a travel agent.
The monthly publication Qui Napoli lists timetables for Bay of Naples services. Note, however, that ferry services are pared back considerably in the winter, especially along the Amalfi Coast. Adverse sea conditions may also affect sailing schedules.
Following is a list of ferry and hydrofoil routes and the destinations they service. The fares, unless otherwise stated, are for a one-way high-season, deck-class single.
Alicost (089 87 14 83; Largo Scario 5, Amalfi) Operates normal and fast ferries from Salerno to Amalfi (€5.50, six daily) and Positano (€7, five daily); also from Amalfi to Ischia (€19, one daily), Capri (€16, eight daily) and Positano (€6, six daily); and from Positano to Ischia (€19, one daily) and Capri (€15.50, five daily).
Alilauro (081 497 22 67; www.alilauro.it; Stazione Marittima, Naples) Operates hydrofoils from Naples to Sorrento (€9, seven daily), Ischia (€13.50, nine daily) and Forio (€15.50, five daily); also ferries between Capri and Ischia (€15.50, one daily) and Amalfi (€13.50, two daily).
Caremar (081 551 38 82; www.care mar.it; Molo Beverello, Naples) Runs services from Naples to Capri (ferry/hydrofoil €7.60/12.50, five daily), Ischia (€5.60/12.15, 13 daily) and Procida (€4.50/9.25, 12 daily); also ferries between Sorrento and Capri (€7.80, four daily).
LMP (Linee Marittime Partenope; 081 704 19 11; www.consorziolmp.it; Via Guglielmo Melisurgo 4, Naples) Runs hydrofoils from Sorrento to Capri (€12, 20 daily) and Naples (€9, eight daily); also ferries from Sorrento to Positano (€7, three daily) and Amalfi (€7.50, three daily); and from Capri to Positano (€13, six daily), Amalfi (€13.50, seven daily) and Salerno (€14.50, five daily).
Medmar (081 551 33 52; www.med margroup; Stazione Marittima, Naples) Operates services from Naples to Ischia (€8.50, four daily) and weekly sailings to the Aeolian Islands (€42), Sardinia (€55), Corsica (€55) and Tunis (€90).
Metrò del Mare (199 44 66 44; www.metrodelmare.com) Runs summer-only services between Naples and Sorrento (€4.50 three daily), Positano (€9, four daily), Amalfi (€10, four daily) and Salerno (€10.50, two daily) as well as between the main Amalfi Coast towns.
SNAV (091 428 55 55; www.snav.it; Stazione Marittima, Naples) Runs hydrofoils to Capri (€14, 11 daily), Procida (€11, four daily) and Ischia (€14, four daily); also ferries to Palermo (€16, one daily). In summer there are daily services to the Aeolian Islands (€85 to Lipari).
Tirrenia (081 720 11 11; www.tirrenia.it; Stazione Marittima, Molo Angioino, Naples) From Naples runs a weekly boat to and from Cagliari (deck class €34.89) and Palermo (deck class €43.83). The service increases to twice weekly in summer. From Palermo and Cagliari there are connections to Tunisia, directly or via Trapani (Sicily).
TraVelMar (/fax 089 87 29 50; Largo Scario 5, Amalfi) Operates from Salerno to Amalfi (ferry/hydrofoil €4.50/5, seven daily) and Positano (ferry/hydrofoil €6.50/7, seven daily); from Amalfi to Positano (ferry/hydrofoil €5.50/6, seven daily) and Sorrento (€8, three daily); and from Positano to Sorrento (€7, three daily).
Naples is southern Italy’s main rail hub. Most Trenitalia (89 20 21; www.trenitalia.com) trains arrive at or depart from Stazione Centrale (081 554 31 88) or, underneath the main station, Stazione Garibaldi. These include slow regional services and the faster InterCity (IC) and Eurostar (ES) trains. There are up to 30 trains daily to Rome (IC €17.53, two hours), some of which stop at Mergellina station, and some 20 to Salerno (IC €6.37, 35 minutes).
The Ferrovia Cumana and the Circumflegrea (800 00 16 16; www.sepsa.it), based at Stazione Cumana di Montesanto on Piazza Montesanto, 500m southwest of Piazza Dante, operate services to Pozzuoli (€1, every 25 minutes) and Cuma (€1, six per day).
The Circumvesuviana (081 772 24 44; wwww.vesuviana.it; Corso G Garibaldi), southwest of Stazione Centrale (follow the signs from the main concourse in Stazione Centrale), operates trains to Sorrento (€3.20, 70 minutes) via Ercolano (€1.70, 20 minutes), Pompeii (€2.30, 40 minutes) and other towns along the coast. There are approximately 40 trains daily running between 5am and 10.30pm, with reduced services on Sunday.
Naples’ Metropolitana is, in fact, mostly above ground.
Line 1 (6am-10.20pm daily) Runs north from Piazza Dante stopping at Museo (for Piazza Cavour and Line 2), Materdei, Salvator Rosa, Cilea, Piazza Vanvitelli, Piazza Medaglie D’Oro and seven stops beyond.
Line 2 (5.30am-11pm daily) Runs from Gianturco, just east of Stazione Centrale, with stops at Piazza Garibaldi (for Stazione Centrale), Piazza Cavour, Montesanto, Piazza Amedeo, Mergellina, Piazza Leopardi, Campi Flegrei, Cavaleggeri d’Aosta, Bagnoli and Pozzuoli.
Metro journeys are covered by Unico Napoli tickets.