FREE Parking: White painted lines and a sign with a “P” signify free parking. It is usually along a street or in a large public parking lot unless indicated otherwise (i.e. resident’s permit).
Limited Parking (FREE): White painted lines and a sign with a “P” and a number such as 30’ or 60’ underneath means that parking is limited to 30 or 60 minutes. Use a “disco orario” to indicate when you parked, this is blue and white and has a clock face. Set the hands of the clock to indicate when you arrived. They may be purchased at most gas stations, department stores, or at the Mini Mart.
Pay Parking: Blue painted lines mean you must buy a ticket. Park your car then look for a blue box nearby with a large “P” on it. Parking usually costs more near the center of the town. Purchase as much time as you need by putting your money in the machine. Put the ticket inside your car on the dash. If you do not see the blue ticket machine, walk in the nearest bar. In some towns, bar attendants sell the parking tickets.
TIP: An easy way to figure out mileage: multiply kilometers by 6, then drop the last number. For example: 200 kilometers x 6 = 120 miles.
Naples has a highly developed public transportation system, encompassing buses, trolleys, subway and commuter trains, long-distance trains, cable cars, taxis, ferries, hydrofoils and airplanes. There are also suburban and long-distance services, but these generally do not run as often or go as many places. Public transportation is not usually a viable home-to-work option for the Americans who live in the suburbs. Rather, public transportation is most useful for off-duty recreational travel.
You can purchase a 90-minute ticket, “Unico Napoli,” and use it to travel throughout Naples. Daily, weekly and monthly tickets are also available. Tickets must be bought in advance from bus terminal ticket offices, tobacco stores or newsstands. Once on the bus, validate your ticket by putting it in the ticket-punching machine. Ticket collectors are few but keep your ticket until you get off the bus. It may not happen often, but there could be a time when you are asked to produce your validated ticket. If you cannot do so, you may incur a heavy fine.
Because of the large number of bus lines and stops, it is easy to get confused. Directions in Naples are centered on some of the major piazzas and main streets. For example, you may be at the main train station area (Piazza Garibaldi) and want to get to “Castel Nuovo” (New Castle) near Piazza Municipio, so you would look for a bus that includes Piazza Municipio on its route. If you have access to “Tutta Città,” a supplement to the Naples telephone directory, you can consult the listing of city bus routes. Another option is to visit the Office of Tourism’s website: www.inaples.it.
There are rectangular yellow or silver signs at scheduled stops that list the buses by number that stop there and also list the main areas that each bus covers. Bus stops are of two types: obbligatoria (mandatory stop) and facoltativa (request stop). The sign at each stop will indicate which type it is. If you are waiting for a bus at a facoltativa stop, you must wave at the bus you want when you see it coming otherwise, it will not stop.
There are also many suburban and long-distance routes, such as from Naples to Aversa or to the Amalfi coast. To travel these routes, you need “Unico Campania” tickets.
For €5 one-way, the Alibus circulates between Capodichino Airport, Piazza Garibaldi Central Train Station and Molo Beverello, the main port in Naples (close to the Castel Nuovo, Piazza del Plebiscito and Piazza Municipio). The Alibus runs every 20 minutes. Another alternative to reach Capodichino from the city center is route C68, which connects Piazza Carlo III in the city center with Via Fulco Ruffo di Calabria, the street with the roundabout directly outside Naval Support Activity Naples Capodichino.
There are few trolleys, the most useful being route No. 1. This runs past the port area, the central train station and northeast, near Shoe Alley. This route runs by many points of interest, but can take quite some time when compared to other forms of public transportation.
Subway and Commuter Trains
Metropolitana (Line 1): This subway system runs from Piazza Dante to Piscinola with stops at the Naples Archaeological Museum; three stops in Vomero at Piazza Quattro Giornate, Piazza Vanvitelli and Piazza Medaglie d’Oro; and stops in Colli Aminei and Rione Alto.
Metropolitana (Line 2): This Naples’ subway line is often the most convenient for Allied personnel in Naples. The main segment runs from Pozzuoli to Gianturco in northeast Naples, with stops at Bagnoli, Cavalleggeri, Piazza Leopardi, Campi Flegrei, Mergellina, Piazza Amedeo, Montesanto, Piazza Cavour and Piazza Garibaldi.
Unico Napoli tickets may be used on most means of transportation within Naples city limits.
Here are most of the central-section stations and what they connect with:
-Pozzuoli: This station is located next to the Anfiteatro Flavio, the third-largest and one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in Italy. It is a short walk away from the Solfatara volcano and the Pozzuoli port, where you can catch ferries to Ischia and Procida.
-Bagnoli: This subway stop is located about two blocks from the main gate at the old NATO base.
-Campi Flegrei: On Piazzale Tecchio where the soccer stadium is located. Here you can make connections to the Cumana train system, buses and trolley No.1. Only a short walk away is the Mostra d’Oltremare (the expo center) and zoo.
-Mergellina: This stop is near the Mergellina port in Naples. Hydrofoils to the islands can be caught two blocks away (turn right from the station and walk downhill through Piazza Sannazzaro to the waterfront). The funicolare to Posillipo is three blocks away (go to Piazza Sannazzaro, but stay to the right and head down Via Mergellina; the station is on the right-hand side of the street). Mergellina is close to the poet Virgil’s tomb, which is on the hill behind the station. Villa Comunale, the site of Europe’s oldest aquarium and an open air antique market, is a short walk away, as is the U.S. Consulate.
-Piazza Amedeo: From here, you can change to the Funicolare di Chiaia, which connects to the Vomero district. To reach the funicolare, turn left out of the station and walk uphill about 100 meters; the station is on the left. Piazza Amedeo is also close to the shopping area along Via dei Mille.
-Montesanto: Here you can change to the Cumana and Circumflegrea train lines, as well as the Funicolare di Montesanto. As you leave the station, walk across the small square and continue downhill on Via Olivella. Both the Cumana/Circumflegrea and funicolare stations are located at the end of this street on Piazza Montesanto. If you continue walking downhill and bear left at a small square called Pignasecca, you’ll end up at the intersection of Via Toledo (Via Roma) and Spaccanapoli. If you bear right at Piazza Pignasecca, you’ll reach Piazza Carità.
-Piazza Cavour: The National Archeological Museum is at the west end of this square (turn right along Via Cavour as you exit the station, the museum is on the right). If you turn left when you leave the station, you’ll soon reach the intersection with Via Duomo, where the Naples Cathedral (Duomo) is located; the street is also a main shopping street.
-Piazza Garibaldi: The subway is under the main Naples train station. You can transfer here to the Circumvesuviana commuter train, which stops on the level just above the subway platform. On the top level is the Stazione Centrale (Central Station), where you can catch trains for anywhere in Italy and most destinations in Europe. Outside at the street level is Piazza Garibaldi, a main bus terminal. Trolley lines also run through the piazza.
-Funicolari: The world-famous Naples funicolari (singular funicolare) are similar to cable cars. They are not quite like the ones in San Francisco that travel along city streets. Rather, they have their own dedicated tracks. There are four funicolari in Naples. Three go into the Vomero section, an elegant residential and shopping area, and the fourth goes into the upscale residential area of Posillipo.
-Centrale: This car starts at Piazza Duca D’Aosta, a small square off Via Toledo across from Galleria Umberto and near the San Carlo Opera House. It ends very close to Piazza Vanvitelli, in the heart of Vomero’s business and shopping district.
-Chiaia: This car starts at Parco Margherita, about 100 meters from Piazza Amedeo, and ends near Piazza Vanvitelli.
-Montesanto: This car runs from Montesanto to Via Morghen in Vomero, a few blocks from Piazza Vanvitelli.
The train system is a fast and economical way to make your way around Naples, Italy and the rest of Europe. (Photo provided by “Panorama” staff)
-Mergellina: This car runs from Mergellina to Via Manzoni in Posillipo.
-Cumana: This train system runs from the Baia/Bacoli peninsula to Montesanto, with stops in Pozzuoli, Bagnoli (down the hill from the Metropolitana station), Edenlandia, Mostra d’Oltremare (the Neapolitan fairgrounds), Piazzale Tecchio, and Fuorigrotta (near the market).
-Circumflegrea: This train runs from Montesanto around the north of Naples to Licola and Cuma, with stops in Soccavo, Pianura and Quarto.
-Circumvesuviana: The main train station is located on Corso Garibaldi, just down the street from the main train station. However, you can also catch this train at Piazza Garibaldi. It has several lines that go to Ercolano, Pompei and the resort towns of Vico Equense and Sorrento.
Trains connect you easily and conveniently with the rest of Italy and Europe. Depending on how many people are traveling, trains can be cheaper than driving, and in many cases (such as going to a crowded city like Rome or Florence) cause less hassle.
These can be caught at the main Naples train station, as well as from stations in Aversa and Formia.
Tickets can be purchased online, at the stations or from Information, Tours and Travel. Train tickets are valid for travel on a particular train in a particular seat. You may need to make a reservation for that train; some trains can only be ridden with a reservation.
There are four major types of trains, listed here in descending order of speed and cost. Examples are given of standard travel times from Naples to Rome:
-Alta Velocità: Travel between major cities at 200 kilometers per hour (1 hour, 15 minutes).
-EuroStar: Travel between major cities (1 hour, 45 minutes).
-Intercity: While they are slower than AV or ES trains, IC trains have more comfortable second class cabins, and arguably more personality. Since they are older, they are likelier to be dirtier, however. Intercity “Plus” trains are somewhat newer and inexplicably cost less (2 hours to 2 hours, 13 minutes).
-Regionale (sometimes also called “Espresso”): These stop in every town along the way. Some are basically modern commuter trains; some look like they were left over from Mussolini’s regime (w hours, 16 minutes to 2 hours, 43 minutes).
For overnight travel, you can reserve a “cuccette,” which is a train car that converts to sleeping bunks, or a sleeper car that has beds. This can often be a convenient way to travel long distances, since you don’t have to pay for a hotel room that night, and you arrive first thing in the morning. On some trains (such as Intercity second class), if there is room in a compartment, you can also push together two facing seats to make a horizontal bed.
Naples’ taxis operate 24 hours a day, but taxi fares are very expensive compared to other forms of local transportation. If you use a taxi, make sure it is a city-licensed one (it will have a Naples crest on the door and a taxi number) and use one with a meter. Insist on the meter being turned on before you get in the car. Many routes and destinations have pre-determined fixed rates. If you do use a taxi without running the meter, agree on a price before you get in.
Certain additions to the figure shown on the meter are legal, including fees for traveling at certain times of the day, crossing zones or city limits, carrying extra luggage, and service to and from Capodichino Airport.
For U.S. military members, the NSA Naples Chief Petty Officers Association runs a “Tipsy Taxi” service to prevent drunk driving; call the NSA command duty officer at 335640-6597 or the NSA Quarterdeck at Commercial 081-5685547.
Ferries and Hydrofoils
Ferries and hydrofoils depart frequently from Naples and Pozzuoli. Most routes serve the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida and many will take you to the city of Sorrento. There are also some longer-haul ferries that run to the Pontine Islands, Aeolian Islands, Sicily and Tunisia.
There are three main ferry and hydrofoil landings: Molo Beverello (the primary downtown Naples port), Mergellina port and Pozzuoli port. Ferries are cheaper, but take longer.
There are four main airports nearby to consider for air travel:
Capodichino Air Terminal: Military flights depart from NSA Naples Capodichino using the same runways as the civilian flights. Space-A opportunities are available, and flights go to various locations in Europe, with some going to the United States. For military flight information, call passenger services at Commercial 081-568-5283.
Naples Capodichino (NAP): This is the closest and most convenient airport, although it does not have as many flights as Rome’s airports. The Naples airport is located at Capodichino, where you can get flights to other Italian cities and connections for international flights. You can park your car at the Capodichino base and walk to the terminal in just a few minutes.
Roma Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci Airport, FCO): This is Rome’s major airport. Although using this airport involves getting to Rome first, it is sometimes cheaper and easier since Rome has more flights than Naples.
Roma Ciampino (CIA): Formerly a military-only airport, Ciampino now caters to low-cost airlines such as EasyJet and RyanAir. It does not have direct rail connections, but there are still various relatively cheap transportation options. If driving, do not follow signs for “Ciampino Centro” (shown with a target), only Ciampino Airport (with a picture of an airplane).