Brits have been flocking to Italy for as long as affordable air travel has been possible. Food, history, culture and fabulous weather make the southern Mediterranean country a must-visit holiday destination.
However, holidaymakers eying up the Italian summer have been told to avoid a city in the southwest of the country – Naples.
Social media have been expressing their very mixed reviews about Italy’s third-largest city, claiming that its first impression leaves much to be desired.
Taking to Reddit, a user under the name FoldedTwice wrote that Naples was “crowded, dirty and smelly” and had an “intimidating” atmosphere.
Not pulling their punches, the reviewer said: “It’s quite run-down, with some of the most visible poverty I’ve seen in Europe”.
The reviewer said he found the city difficult to navigate and got “hopelessly lost”, ending up in Rione Sanitá, described as an “obviously impoverished area”.
Continuing the scathing review, it was claimed that wandering the streets was fraught with danger.
They said: “The Centro Storico is a maze of winding passages and narrow streets with tall buildings, and can feel quite claustrophobic.
“Much of this area is pedestrianised, but outside of it, the traffic is insane, pedestrian crossings are meaningless, and you’ve got to get used to just walking out into the road and hoping that cars will stop.”
In defence of Naples, known as Napoli to locals, the reviewer did note: “…there’s a character to this place that’s unlike anywhere else I’ve been. It’s lively, loud, and proud.”
Reddit users took to the comments to share their experiences of Naples, with women in particular, noting the harassment they suffered on their travels there.
One female user, called icanhe, said: “I wouldn’t say it’s unsafe, but the catcalling (as a woman traveler [sic]) was really annoying. Essentially non stop.”
“I live in NYC I’m familiar with a catcall here or there, but it was way more in Naples and sometimes followed by someone grabbing my a** which would make anyone uncomfortable. [sic]”.
Another female user detailed her experience of being stalked in the city and said the misogyny is the worst she’s ever experienced.
The user, called, xyla-phone, said: “I also found it way more frequent in Naples than I’ve experienced anywhere else – I had a man follow me around the train station for a while after I turned down his offer for coffee, and then another man follow me around a park at 2pm in broad daylight after I asked him to leave repeatedly.
“Not to say this can’t happen elsewhere, but it’s definitely the worst I’ve personally experienced in my travels.”