Naples has a bad reputation. There is no denying or escaping that fact unfortunately. Known as Italy’s most dangerous city, many people are put off traveling to Naples because they are worried about their safety.
Sure, there have been a few instances of people being the victims of pickpockets or seeing their handbags go speeding away on the back of vespas, but pray do tell me which major European cities do not have a problem with petty crime?
Is Naples really that dangerous? I’ve created a photo diary from my Easter celebrations here that may surprise you.
Easter is a big deal here in Italy. Evidenced by the high number of shrines and churches that you see down most of the streets, the majority of the country is Catholic. For Easter, Italians have a longer break than I have ever known in the UK.
The majority of the Easter weekend is a time to be spent with family, but Easter Monday, or “pasquetta” as it is referred to saw the parks all over the city of Naples transformed to make way for cultural events, picnics, and festivals.
From the large Bosco di Capodimonte, to the small local parks. I went to the little area known as Quartiere Green for an event that some Neapolitan friends of mine were organising.
The celebrations ran from the morning until the early hours of the evening. Local designers, artists and creators of handicrafts set up their stalls to sell their wares; Neapolitan musicians came out to perform traditional music, and even though it started to rain in the afternoon, no one was deterred or had their spirits dampened.
Traditional Neapolitan folk dancing saw everyone get on their feet and even myself reluctantly ushered into the circle to join in.
There was a real sense of community as people from all ages got together to enjoy the celebrations. Many travelers and expats came along alone and left having made new friends.
Pasquetta really demonstrated what I love about Naples and the Neapolitan people – their warmth and welcoming nature, and the importance that they place on values like friendship and family.
I suppose one thing about people thinking that Naples is dangerous or “scary” is that it has remained relatively undiscovered so it hasn’t become changed by tourism like Rome, Florence or Venice. So you can let yourself be put off by the pickpockets, or the Mafia, or the crime, but there really isn’t anywhere quite like Naples.