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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

on 1 August 2004
It seems that many people are fearful of Naples' reputation for crime, squalor and chaos, and so use it as little more than a gateway for Capri, Pompeii and the Amalfi coast. Big mistake! Naples is a wonderful city. It is chaotic, no doubt about that. But it is also energetic and easy-going and its medieval street plan is home to surprising architecture, social contrasts, radical politics and the world's best pizzas. You will enjoy it most if you are a lover of city life, as there is nothing suburban or bucolic there. But Naples is an adventure and this little guide will help you get straight into the heart of it.
Having used the Footprints guides for Bologna and Bilbao, we didn't hesitate to buy this one. As with those other guides, the recommendations here are a good mix of the safe and the adventurous. Its suggested itineraries are reliable and it includes both those places where everyone goes and others you would never find without a guide (including, in the Spanish quarter, a trattoria up an alley with no external signs!). And it has the right attitude and tone of voice for the place. It embraces the characteristic Neapolitan anarchy, describing it humorously and with affection.
Two caveats, however.
One, when we were there (June-July 04), this guide was showing signs of age. The prices were not always reliable (for the ferries to Capri for example).
Two - and this is the major one - the maps are frustrating, bordering on inadequate. They do not go very far north or north-west. If you were staying at the hotel Real Orto Botanico on the via Foria, for example, you would be able to see your location near the botanical gardens, but you would have to guess your route into the centre. Similarly, the NW corner of the Spanish Quarter is not covered. The level of detail is sometimes inadequate as well. Two of the recommended restaurants (the one mentioned above and another near the Galleria Umberto) are in alleys too small to make it onto the maps - you can find them if you are prepared to spend time looking, and they are worth finding, but in the midday heat it can get frustrating. We also found a mistake, a non-existent connection in the admittedly labyrinthine Spanish Quarter.
If an updated edition is ever released, and it certainly deserves to be, the publisher should budget for the extra maps. Until then, however, you would be well advised to get a more detailed map of the city in addition to this very useful little guide.
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on 4 December 2004
A very useful little book - packed with information that we were able to use during a short stay in Naples!
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on 6 February 2003
This guide book makes great reading before, during and after a trip to Naples. Detailed information on every aspect of this region of southern Italy and stunning photographs make you keen to get there and experience it all, and set it apart from other formulaic guides. Great ideas for days out plus hints and tips so you feel like you are doing things that not every tourist will be doing. I strongly recommend this book for any length of stay in Naples or just for interesting reading.
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on 20 March 2003
Well researched, great pocket format, a plethora of excellent tips for eating - too many in fact!
Only criticism would be the lack of a street index at the back so you can find addresses listed easily (cf TimeOut) instead of having to scour the map searching for obscure street names. A map & more detailed explanation of the slightly confusing transport system would also have been useful, but was perhaps excluded due to space constraints.
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