Portanapoli

Car driving in Naples! What you should know

In the historical centres of many Italian cities it is difficult to drive the car. But car driving in Naples, where the city traffic is often described as a “pleasurable chaos”, it is an adventurous challenge. The streets of Naples were built in the Middle Ages and are not made for car traffic. We tell you to what you should pay attention.

Car driving in Naples (© Portanapoli.com)

Narrow alleyways, small places, lacking sidewalks, and many moped drivers, who have a rather artistic driving style, make driving the car a daring game only Neapolitans can play. The Neapolitan driving style is by no means ruthless or aggressive, but has simply its own rhythm. A red traffic light in Naples is a recommendation at best, and some Neapolitans claim that the traffic lights are just a nice Christmas decoration.

And sometimes during Christmas time, they even “pick up the bad habit of stopping at a red light, because they want to be better people”, according to a taxi driver!  At any rate, taking the taxi is a unique experience. But don’t be surprised if even the taxi driver doesn’t stop to pick you up: There’s probably a traffic jam somewhere and you are faster on foot.

Not only in Via Duomo the parking spaces are sparce (© Portanapoli.com)

Not only in Via Duomo the parking spaces are sparce (© Portanapoli.com)

Neapolitans apply the give way rule to “who slows down last”, which stems from the Formula 1 Italian people love so much. The police try to keep the traffic going by clearing the cars through red traffic lights, and calmly notice the creative application of the traffic rules. That may be one of the reasons, why you don’t see a lot of new cars on Naples’s streets. If you enjoy the “pleasurable chaos”, we recommend an insured rental car.

Finding a parking spot in Naples is a thrill

In Naples, you have only a few public parking lots and no parking garages. When it comes to the car radio and other items in the car, you should do what Neapolitans do: Take them with you when you leave the car.

Tourists don’t have advantages by taking the car

The volume of traffic is high, so that you are faster using types of public transportation that are independent of the streets. During the last years, the net of inexpensive public transportation has been well expanded. Especially recommendable is the underground railway (Metro ), which has been expanded by many new stations and lines. The Funiculare (funicular railway), as well, has the advantage of being independent of the streets. It only takes a few minutes to go from the historic city to the Vomero, or from the Vomero to Mergellina Port or Molo Beverello. There is also an adequate number of busses that can take you to your destinations.

We would advice against taking the car to drive around Naples. Should you arrive in Naples by car, we recommend a hotel with a supervised parking lot or underground parking. Leave your car there and use public transportation.