Traffic in Naples may be extremely heavy, very similiar to New York’s. Traffic around the train station is nuts. Before attempting to cross the street, observe the locals. The idea is to spot a gap in the traffic and start across and hopefully people will stop.
There are several ways to see Naples and the surrounding area. These include by taxi, train/subway, bus.
Taxis are the quickest way to see Naples, but also the most expensive. Before getting into a taxi, make sure it is licensed. Licensed taxis will have a city crest on the door and a taxi number. Also, make sure it has a meter. By law, licensed taxis must display a list of pre-agreed fares in a number of languages (Italian, English, French, German, Spanish). Check the presence of such fares and agree to them before starting the journey.
You will be surprised how easily you can get around by foot, too. Interesting spots are almost on every corner and most distances – especially in the (historic) centre – are small and can easily be walked in a matter of minutes.
Naples is served by several major motorways. The Autostrada A1, the longest motorway in Italy, links Naples to Milan. The A3 runs southwards from Naples to Salerno, where the motorway to Reggio Calabria begins, while the A16 runs east to Canosa. The A16 is nicknamed the autostrada dei Due Mari (“Motorway of the Two Seas”) because it connects the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Adriatic Sea.
Naples has an extensive public transport network, including trams, buses, funiculars and trolleybuses, most of which are operated by the municipally owned company Azienda Napoletana Mobilità (ANM). Three public elevators are in operation in the city – one within the bridge of Chiaia, one in via Acton and one near the Sanità Bridge. The city furthermore operates the Naples Metro, an underground rapid transit railway system which integrates both surface railway lines and the city’s metro stations, many of which are noted for their decorative architecture and public art. Suburban rail services are provided by Trenitalia, Circumvesuviana, Ferrovia Cumana and Metronapoli.
The city’s main railway station is Napoli Centrale, which is located in Piazza Garibaldi; other significant stations include the Napoli Campi Flegrei and Napoli Mergellina. Naples’ streets are famously narrow (it was the first city in the world to set up a pedestrian one-way street), so the general public commonly use compact hatchback cars and scooters for personal transit. Since 2007, Naples has been connected to Rome by a high-speed railway run by Treno Alta Velocità, with trains running at almost 300 km/h (186 mph), reducing the journey time to under an hour.
The port of Naples runs several public ferry, hydrofoil and SWATH catamaran services, linking numerous locations in both the Neapolitan province, including Capri, Ischia and Sorrento, and the Salernitan province, including Salerno, Positano and Amalfi. Services are also available to destinations further afield, such as Sicily, Sardinia, Ponza and the Aeolian Islands. The port serves over 6 million local passengers annually, plus a further 1 million international cruise liner passengers. A regional hydrofoil transport service, the “Metropolitana del Mare”, runs annually from July to September, maintained by a consortium of shipowners and local administrations.
The Naples International Airport is located in the suburb of San Pietro a Patierno. It is the largest airport in southern Italy, with around 140 national and international flights arriving or departing daily.
By public transportation on land – It is fairly difficult to get a clear picture of the public transportation system in Naples, since different lines are operated by different companies. Nonetheless, one can buy a daily pass for € 3,60 valid on all vehicles. With a €1,30 ticket, instead, you can travel for 90 minutes on as many lines as you want (Bus, subway, funicolare). This pass is under the Unico Campania banner which has great integrated maps of the various lines in the city on their website.
• Metropolitana di Napoli. There are three lines of underground subway in Naples. Many subway stations are regarded as fine examples of contemporary architecture and artistic urban decoration, being part of the Stazioni dell’Arte project. They are generally safer than the other public transport, because they are always monitored by cameras and security officers. But the subway does not run frequently, so do not rely on it if you are in a hurry. The most important ones:
• Linea 1, built recently, connects the city center to the hill quarters, like Vomero and the hospitals area.
• Linea 2, much older, connects the three main train stations to Pozzuoli. The tracks are shared with the ordinary railway
• Linea 6, a new light subway connecting Fuorigrotta to Mergellina.
• Funicolare. The subway company also operates four cable cars: three of them connect the city center to Vomero, the last connects Mergellina to Posillipo.
• Trams. ANM operates two tram lines (1 and 4), of which one goes along the shore of Santa Lucia – Castelnuovo – Garibaldi (Central Station).
• Buses. ANM also operated all bus lines within Naples, most of which are circular. Naples suffers from a serious problem of traffic jam and usually buses are overcrowded, so if you can (unless in the evening or on the weekend) try to avoid them. Another point to note is that unlike in Rome, tickets are not sold on buses. The bus company assigns staff to check if a passenger has a ticket. The staff members are notorious for targeting at tourists who are unfamiliar with the ticket-selling system. Once they see the tourists get into a bus, they will ask to see a ticket. No matter how much you explain, they will insist on getting your passport first and then requiring you to pay a penalty of 41.2 Euro. If you do not pay, they will threaten to call the police. Again, if you can, try to avoid taking a bus.
There are three different regional train services that operate in Naples and the surrounding areas. They are listed here:
• Circumvesuviana. The Circumvesuviana railway operates from “Napoli Porta Nolana – Corco Garibaldi” and stops at the lower level of the central train station at Piazza Garibaldi and has six routes that service the local Naples area. One route goes from Naples to Sorrento with several stops in between, including Ercolano (Herculaneum) and Pompei Scavi (Pompeii) for the ruins. Another route travels around Vesuvius. Other routes go to Acerra and Nola-Baiano. The Circumvesuviana website has more information on timings, routes and cost of tickets.
• Cumana. This railline that operates from Montesanto in Naples and follows the coastline for approximately 20 km before ending in Torregaveta (Bacoli). The Cumana runs the urban centres of Montesanto, Fuorigrotta, Bagnoli, Pozzuoli, Arco Felice, Baia, Fusaro before reaching Torregaveta.
• Circumflegrea. This railline also starts in Montesanto and ends in Torregaveta. However, it runs along the western edge of Naples through the districts Soccavo, Pianurat, Quarto Flegreo, Licola and Cuma. It also approximately seven kilometers longer than the Cumana. because the Cumana and Circumflegra start and end in the same places one can quickly transfer from one train to the other. Both services are owned and operated by the same company and more information can be found at the S.E.P.S.A website.
• Regional Trains. In Addition to the aforementioned trains, Trenitalia operates regional trains from Naples to Salerno.
There is fast express train service to Rome and points north, as well as points south. Naples is the ultimate terminus for the FR7 line of the Rome commuter rail network, which runs from Roma Termini to Minturno-Scauri, Sessa Aurunca-Rocca or Naples. There are also local Italian Railway trains to Pompeii, but for such short distances, it is easiest to take the Circumvesuviana commuter train.
The Roman Empire • Locations & Activities