Addresses are written with the number following the street name, as in Via Toledo 23. The number after the word ‘int’ (short for interno) is the flat or apartment number. ‘Scala’ and ‘piano’ numbers refer to staircase and floor numbers.
At bars, beer and wine can be consumed from the age of 16, spirits from 18. You must be over 18 to drive and over 21 to hire a car. Over-14s with a licence can ride a moped or scooter with a 50cc engine.
EU citizens do not have to declare goods that have been brought into or out of Italy for personal use, as long as they have arrived from another EU country. Visitors are also allowed to carry up to €12,500 in cash. For all non-EU citizens, the following limits apply:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 small cigars or 50 large cigars or 250g of tobacco
• 1 litre of spirits (over 22% alcohol) or 2 litres of fortified
wine (under 22% alcohol)
• 2 litres table wine
• 50cc of perfume
Naples’ narrow streets are tricky for people who can’t flatten themselves against a wall to let cars by, and cobblestones are tough on wheelchair suspension. Where street-to-pavement ramps do exist, they’re likely to be blocked by a car.
Old buildings often have narrow corridors, lifts that are too small for wheelchairs, and inaccessible toilets. Things are improving, with lifts, ramps and disabled-adapted toilets being installed in museums, restaurants and stations. The law requires restaurants to have disabled access and toilets. Few have made the alterations yet, but if you call ahead, most will try to help.
Capri is more wheelchair-friendly. There are small electric carts to get luggage and people up and down. The main paths are steep, but at least there are no stairs. Getting up to town from the port will involve help up the steps to the funicular, and buses are not disabled-friendly.
Upmarket hotels in major resorts cater best to special needs; cheaper hotels and pensioni can be trickier.
Hydrofoil and ferry lines have begun to adapt for wheelchairs. Book ahead to ensure the ferry is not an older model.
In Naples, certain city buses (180, C12, C14, C16, C19, C34, C38, R2, R3), marked with a wheelchair symbol, have extra-large central doors, access ramps and a space where a wheelchair can be secured. Elsewhere, the situation varies; contact local tourist offices or bus companies for information.
Naples’ Stazione Centrale has a Direzione servizi alla clientela (customer services office) near platform five. It can provide information for disabled travellers (081 567 2991, 7am-9pm daily), take reservations (min 24hrs prior to departure) and provide wheelchair assistance and access. Passengers must be at the office at least 45mins before the train departs.
Via Costantinopoli 28/29, Toledo (081 444 281). Open 9am-1.30pm, 4-6.30pm Mon-Fri. No credit cards.
Wheelchair rental for €3.50 (plus VAT) a day. Book ahead.
800 810 810, www.superabile.it. Open Phone enquiries 9am-7pm Mon-Fri; 9am-1pm Sat.
Italy-wide information on hotels, restaurants and job opportunities for people with disabilities.
Information on disabled access in hotels, restaurants, museums and more, in and around Naples.
If you are caught in possession of illegal drugs, you will be taken before a magistrate. If you convince the judge they were for personal use, you may be let off with a fine or ordered to leave the country. Anything more than a tiny amount pushes you into the criminal category; couriering or dealing can land you in prison for up to 20 years.
Sniffer dogs are a fixture at most ports of entry into Italy; customs police will take a dim view of visitors entering with even the smallest quantities of narcotics.
Most wiring systems work on 220V. Two-pin adapter plugs are sold at electrical shops or airports.
Visiting gays are unlikely to meet hostility from anyone but members of the unpleasant conservative fringe that exists everywhere.
Vico San Geronimo alle Monache 19, Centro Storico (081 552 8815, www.arcigaynapoli.org). Bus C25, R1. Open 5-11pm Fri, 6.30-9.30pm Sun. Closed Aug.
Information, advice and events for the gay, lesbian, bi, transgender and transexual communities.
The Euro is legal tender in Italy. By law, you must be given a receipt (scontrino fiscale) for any transaction. Even if places try to avoid giving you a receipt for tax reasons, it’s your right to ask for one.
Street crime is common in Naples. Pickpockets and bag-snatchers on foot and on scooters are active in main tourist areas and sites in the surrounding region. Be especially attentive when boarding buses and boats, and when entering museums. If you’re a victim of any crime, go to the nearest police station to make a ‘denuncia’ (written statement).
Always take precautions. Look as if you know what you’re doing and where you’re going, and don’t carry a wallet in your back pocket. Keep some small bills and change to hand rather than pulling out a large wad of cash to pay for something.
If you stop at a pavement café or restaurant, don’t leave bags or coats on the ground or draped across a chair. Wear bags and cameras across your chest or on the side away from the street so you’re less likely to fall prey to a motorbike-borne thief (scippatore). Don’t wear expensive jewellery or watches.
Finally, only take registered, marked taxis.
Smoking is theoretically banned in public offices, bars, restaurants, on public transport or in taxis. For the most part, the law is ignored; still, times are changing and smokers may put out their cigarettes if you diplomatically point out the vietato fumare (no smoking) sign.
Tabacchi or tabaccherie, identified by signs with a white T on a black or blue background, are the only places where you can legally buy tobacco products. Most tabacchi keep shop hours, but those attached to bars are open later. Many have cigarette machines outside for when the shop is closed (9pm-7am).
Dialling & codes
To make an international call from Italy, dial 00 (or ‘+’ from a mobile phone), then the country code, then the area code (for calls to the UK or Ireland, omit the initial zero) and then the individual number.
To call Naples from abroad, dial your country’s international access code (or ‘+’ from a mobile phone), then 39 for Italy and 081 for Naples, followed by the individual number.
All Italian phone numbers must be dialled with their area codes, even if you’re phoning from within the area. All numbers in Naples and its province begin 081; this includes Pozzuoli, Ischia, Capri, Sorrento and Pompeii. It doesn’t include Positano and Amalfi, which are in the Salerno province, area code 089. Numbers in Caserta begin 0823, and Benevento 0824.
Naples phone numbers usually have seven digits; older numbers may have six digits. If you have difficulties, check the directory (elenco telefonico) or ring directory enquiries (12; keep silent through the recorded message and you’ll eventually get a human being).
All numbers beginning with 800 are toll-free lines. For numbers starting 840 you’ll be charged one unit only (just under 7¢ from a private Telecom phone); 848 numbers are the same cost as a local call. Mobile numbers begin with 3. Regardless of where you’re calling from, 199 numbers cost two units a minute. These numbers can only be called from within Italy; some only function within one phone district.
Owners of GSM phones can use them on 900, 1800 and 1900 bands, but reception can be patchy in some areas of Naples and in hill towns. Visit Centro Tim (Via Pessina 24, 081 549 8844) for assistance.
To make a reverse-charge (collect) call, dial 170 for the international operator. If you’re calling from a phone box, you’ll need to insert a coin or card, which will be refunded after your call.
Italian directory enquiries 1254
International operator 170
Customer care 187
Most public phones only accept phonecards (schede telefoniche); a few also accept credit cards.
The minimum charge for a call is 10¢. Phonecards are sold from tabacchi, newsstands and bars; break off the perforated corner before using the card. Cards can be used on any phone, public or private: dial the number on the card, then punch in the card’s PIN. Cards have expiry dates, after which, no matter how much credit you have, they won’t work.
Italy is 1hr ahead of GMT, 6hrs ahead of New York, and 9hrs behind Sydney. The clocks are moved forward 1hr in spring (ora legale) and back 1hr (ora solare) in autumn.
For current information on travel to a specific country – including the latest news on health issues, safety and security, local laws and customs – contact your home country’s government department of foreign affairs. Most have websites with useful advice for would-be travellers.
Republic of Ireland foreignaffairs.gov.ie
New Zealand www.safetravel.govt.nz
Tourist information details are also included in the individual chapters of the Around Naples section.
Ente Provinciale del Turismo (EPT)
Piazza dei Martiri 58, Chiaia (081 410 7211, www.eptnapoli.info). Bus 140, C12, C18, C19, C24, C25, C28, R3. Open 9am-2pm Mon-Fri.
Other locations Stazione Centrale (081 268 779).
Azienda Autonoma di Soggiorno Cura e Turismo di Napoli
Via San Carlo 9, Royal Naples (081 402394, www.inaples.it). Bus 24, C25, C82, E3, R2, R3. Open 9am-2pm daily.
Other locations Piazza Gesù Nuovo, Centro Storico (081 552 3328/081 551 2701); Via Marino Turchi 16, Royal Naples (081 240 0911).
Piazza del Plebiscito, Royal Naples (081 247 1123, www.comunenapoli.it). Bus 140, C22, C24, C25, E3, R2, R3. Open 9am-7pm Mon-Fri; 9am-2pm Sat.
Citizens of Australia, Canada, the European Union, New Zealand and the United States do not need visas for stays of up to three months. After that, they must apply for a permesso di soggiorno.
Getting to Naples
Getting around Naples
When to go to Naples