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Old 03-06-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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Hi everyone. I'll be travelling to Italy from Late March to early April (1 week). Since it's only one week I decided to visit only 2 cities because there's just too much to see and I don't want to spend less than 3 days in each city. So besides the obvious choice of Rome, I decided to go for Naples (I wanted a city in the South and I heard there's a great gastronomy there). I'll be staying in Rome for 3 nights and 4 nights in Naples. Now, I'm not really worried about my safety in Rome, but I'm getting mixed reviews about Naples. As a solo female traveller (I'm 22), I'm a little worried- I heard it's a dirty city and pickpockets are everywhere. I want to be able to walk freely within the tiny streets with my purse and everything without having to worry about whether I'm in a bad part of town or not. To those who have been to Naples, can you offer some advice? Also, some must sees and dos. Do the locals speak at least a little English, or Spanish? For Rome also, I know the obvious sites such as the Spanish steps, the Colosseum, and Trevi Fountain, but besides that I really don't know what else I must see. Any advice for a solo female traveller would be great also, for example restaurants I can go to on my own without it looking weird, lol. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:33 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,927 posts, read 13,683,308 times
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Never been to Naples myself but my absolute must see would be the ancient ruins of Pompeii or Herculaneum. When I was in Pisa, most people spoke basic English but I would learn a few terms or words in Italian just in case. You know, just stuff like "where is the restroom?" - maybe buy an English-Italian dictionary. If you have an iPhone or similar phone with apps, there are tons of translation apps.

Why would you look weird in a restaurant on your own? Plenty of people travel alone for business and wind up eating alone. I'm sure most people won't notice or care that you're eating on your own.

To be honest, I have heard warnings about pickpocketing in practically every city I've travelled to. Pisa, Prague, Barcelona, etc. Fact is, any major tourist spot is going to attract thieves - that's just life. Keep your wits about you, use common sense and you should be okay. Don't walk down dark alleys at night, keep your purse zipped closed and put the strap across your body, not just over your shoulder. If someone approaches you, keep an eye on your belongings and don't get distracted by what they're offering, even if you're in a restaurant and approached by, for example, someone selling flowers. They may be distracting you with the flowers while they or someone else takes your purse. Stay in populated areas. Particularly since you're alone, do NOT get even slightly tipsy while you're out.

You get the drift - don't travel in constant fear but just be alert and smart and you should be okay. Also, make sure you know Italy's emergency number, just in case. It's only "911" in the US, I think.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
1,845 posts, read 3,890,555 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilamx View Post
Hi everyone. I'll be travelling to Italy from Late March to early April (1 week). Since it's only one week I decided to visit only 2 cities because there's just too much to see and I don't want to spend less than 3 days in each city. So besides the obvious choice of Rome, I decided to go for Naples (I wanted a city in the South and I heard there's a great gastronomy there). I'll be staying in Rome for 3 nights and 4 nights in Naples. Now, I'm not really worried about my safety in Rome, but I'm getting mixed reviews about Naples. As a solo female traveller (I'm 22), I'm a little worried- I heard it's a dirty city and pickpockets are everywhere. I want to be able to walk freely within the tiny streets with my purse and everything without having to worry about whether I'm in a bad part of town or not. To those who have been to Naples, can you offer some advice? Also, some must sees and dos. Do the locals speak at least a little English, or Spanish? For Rome also, I know the obvious sites such as the Spanish steps, the Colosseum, and Trevi Fountain, but besides that I really don't know what else I must see. Any advice for a solo female traveller would be great also, for example restaurants I can go to on my own without it looking weird, lol. Thanks in advance.

Naples always has garbage problems. I have lots of friends that are FROM Naples. I would not base in Naples since the neat stuff like Capri, Sorrento, Pompei and the Amalfi Coast are too far for a day trip and you find places to stay down there.

In Rome there is so much to see. The Vatican and the Museum is a day in itself. You need to see the Pantheon which pre dates so much of the other "newer" structures.

Get yourself a Let's Go Italy. It will outline what you need to see and will safe you lots of money. It is written by students and is mindful of budgets. Besides, you want to meet other people your age. Italy is pretty expensive so try to avoid mistakes.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:21 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,936,227 times
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I agree with the previous advice. I especially agree with what Bob the Builder said about the Pantheon, also about getting yourself a Let's Go Italy.
Get yourself a little phrasebook which you can keep handy.

I've been to Naples, but that was years ago.
The one good thing about Naples is that its Archeological Museum has most of the stuff that was taken out of Pompeii.

Maybe spend half your time in Rome, half in Sorrento. Take the train or bus to Sorrento (we took the bus from the airport) and you can both explore the Amalfi area by bus as well as take the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii. The Amalfi area is very safe.
We stayed here in Sorrento: Hotel Desiree
But you might like to stay here at the convent.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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Thanks BlueWillowPlate, I did some bookmarking!
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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I spent 6 months travelling around Italy at about the same age as you... but some years ago! I was with a group of friends and enjoyed every moment, especially Rome and Naples .. but am not sure that Naples is a place to spend more time alone than Rome - unless you stick to the really touristy spots - which kind of defeats the object!

Are you hoping to see the 'real' naples, or the museums, Vesuvius etc? Some good advice here; Wanderlust women will find a city of contrasts in Naples Wanderlust Women's Travel Dreams

Depends what you want to do... there is a LOT to see in Italy

And of course, the original pizza is from Naples - it's heaven.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:11 AM
 
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Thanks everyone! Very good advice and tips.

Southdown, yes, I intended to stay more time in Rome than in Naples but when I booked the hotels I accidentally booked the wrong amount of time in Rome so now I'm left with 3 days in Rome and 4 in Naples. Oh well, I'm sure I'll love Naples! (I hope.) I'll plan my itinerary beforehand so that I have time to visit all the sites in Rome- I hope 3 days is enough.

I don't plan on visiting only the touristy spots, I want to see the real city- but that's where my concern for my safety comes in. As a solo female traveller I'm afraid I'll look too vulnerable for potential pickpockets, or even worse. What if I were to end up in the wrong part of town? In Italy, are people more bound to know English or Spanish? I have a small Italian phrasebook but I'm so afraid of looking silly and pronouncing things the wrong way that I'm only going to memorize "Do you speak English/Spanish?" .
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:50 PM
 
274 posts, read 764,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilamx View Post
Thanks everyone! Very good advice and tips.

Southdown, yes, I intended to stay more time in Rome than in Naples but when I booked the hotels I accidentally booked the wrong amount of time in Rome so now I'm left with 3 days in Rome and 4 in Naples. Oh well, I'm sure I'll love Naples! (I hope.) I'll plan my itinerary beforehand so that I have time to visit all the sites in Rome- I hope 3 days is enough.

I don't plan on visiting only the touristy spots, I want to see the real city- but that's where my concern for my safety comes in. As a solo female traveller I'm afraid I'll look too vulnerable for potential pickpockets, or even worse. What if I were to end up in the wrong part of town? In Italy, are people more bound to know English or Spanish? I have a small Italian phrasebook but I'm so afraid of looking silly and pronouncing things the wrong way that I'm only going to memorize "Do you speak English/Spanish?" .
You'll be fine. Just dont act like a "tourist" I was in Rome for 4 days just 4 months ago and I walked around like I lived there even at night and I had no fear although I was cautious and used common sense in my travel around Rome. I shopped, went to the laundrymat, food markets, enoteca's and I had minimal language problems. Go to the library and try to get Pimsleurs language cd's and use them on your mp player. Trust me you'll be just fine. There are many, many shop keepers that speak english. Go and enjoy have fun. there is much to see.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Brisbane
3,521 posts, read 5,466,102 times
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Just be aware of your saroundings and you will be fine, I dont think violent crime is a huge problem in Italy, petty theft is however. Its a good idea to carry you bag strapped over the sholder opposite to the side you are carrying it on, and to have some spare cash secreated somewhere else on you just in case.
Also beware of people on motorbikes, when i was in Bari (which i Assume has similar problems to Naples) you get used people on motor bikes creeping up slowly and quietly behind you, and then dramatically increasing their speed and driving passed you. One incorrect move of course and your bag is gone.
Still italy is a wonderfull desination and you will have a great time, unfortunatly i have not being to Naples and cant really offer anything else for you about Rome that other people have not already mentioned.
Have fun

Last edited by danielsa1775; 03-10-2010 at 12:48 AM..
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
182 posts, read 476,344 times
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That sounds like such an exciting trip! If you have time to kill, you should definitely spend an afternoon walking around the Trastevere (other side of the Tiber River). It's a lot less crowded/touristy, and has some beautiful narrow streets, restaurants, and shops. I remember having the best pizza there last summer than any other place in Italy. You mentioned all the major tourist sites, and with your relatively small amount of time in Rome, you will have plenty of time to see them all without feeling rushed. I felt perfectly safe in Rome, even with taking the metro late at night and spending a good deal of time near the main rail station.

As for Naples, it's a beautiful city, but I definitely felt it to be more grimey and slightly less safe than Rome. A day in Naples was plenty for me. If possible, you may want to change your hotel to somewhere on the Amalfi coast, such as Sorrento. That stretch of coastline is the most beautiful in the world. By staying there you can do day trips to Naples, Pompeii, and Capri. The rest of your time you could just relax on the beach or explore the coast. I honestly think staying in Sorrento will make those 4 days so much more pleasant.

Happy travels! Be sure to let us know how your trip goes!
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