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Naples Gay Travel

Gritty and full of gay men, Naples gay travel combines authentic Italy with an awesome gay destination. Read on for local Naples gay bars, safety tips and where to stay.

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The Gay Travel Experience: Naples, Italy

I didn’t know what to expect from Naples. Everyone, including gay Italians from northern Italy, told me it would be unsafe. Generic travel websites said Napoli would be dirty and that tourists are targeted for petty theft. I went to Naples thinking that I might feel too unsafe to explore gay life or to visit the most local areas. This was not the case!

drinking in the streets

Naples was everything I did not expect from Italy. There are tons of gay men in Naples and there is a large local gay scene. In fact, you’re more likely to meet a local gay Italian in Naples than in Florence or Milan.

drinking in the streets
city experiences
city experiences

I never felt unsafe in Napoli, although some areas were definitely gritty enough to feel a little creepy! Nonetheless, the beautiful bustle of Napoli left me in awe. I would surely go back and I of course recommend that you visit.

Naples has official gay bars and such, but these places may not be where you find the gay locals! Read on to find out where local gay men in Naples hang out and the best local spots for gay travelers. I’ll also give you tips on which areas of the city are the prettiest and which have a more jarring, local feel.

Is Naples Gay Travel Safe?

Naples has a reputation for being a dangerous city. When I first arrived in Naples, I had the same perception as all newbies. I wondered to myself, is Naples safe? Will I get robbed here? Furthermore, is Naples gay travel safe?
Naples LGBT travel
local safety
Naples LGBT travel
Yes, the city has an edge to it. It’s filled with speeding motorbikes and dimly lit side streets. However, the feeling is different from what articles online describe.

Business Insider, for example, trashes the city and doesn’t consider the authentic charm and electric nightlife in the piazzas. Naples is quite safe, contrary to what you may read. This is especially true if you can slightly blend in with the locals.

local safety

During my visit, there was absolutely nothing that made me feel unsafe in Naples. Granted, we know it’s not the safest city in the entire world, and so you should follow the same safety tips as you would in any other large urban area. For more specific safety tips, see the Napoli gay travel tips section later in this article.

Where to stay in naples

Gay Naples: Where to Stay

To be in the center of the action, I recommend staying near the Dante metro stop in San Lorenzo. Here is where you can blissfully wander the quaint historic streets. If you prefer to stay on the most well-lit main drag of the city, Hotels along Via Toledo are a great bet. The area near the Toledo metro stop is comfortable with restaurants and shopping only steps away.

Where to stay in naples
Naples gay beach
If you stay too close to Napoli Centrale Train Station or you stay farther south near Santa Lucia, it may be tiresome to reach the main historic center and vibrant nightlife areas by foot. For this reason, I recommend staying nearer to the Toledo/Dante metro stops as described above.
Naples gay beach

If you’re checking out flights to Naples, I suggest comparing airlines with Vayama: International Travel Solved. They have an awesome interface and make it super easy to optimize your route.

Using Airbnb in Naples: Good Idea?

I stayed in two different Naples Airbnb rentals, as I do quite frequently. I preferred not to spend too much cash since I would be out exploring the city each day. After my experience in these two apartments, I can say that budget Airbnb rentals in Napoli are probably not the best option.

napoli airbnb
napoli airbnb
Napoli Centrale train station safe

Why is this so? Cheaper apartments are on the ground floor of buildings, and this can pose a bit of an odor problem. Residential buildings in Naples are old and largely unrenovated. In Naples, low budget equals low quality when it comes to Airbnb/VRBO rentals or the like. You may run into moldy smells, little natural light and/or poor ventilation.

Napoli Centrale train station safe

I’m not saying Airbnb overall is bad in Naples, but if you choose to use a home-sharing website, only choose well-vetted options and ask for clarification on any pertinent details. Spend a little more money than I did and get something that will make you feel secure and comfortable. Otherwise, opt for a reputable hotel!

colorful buildings and arches
If you decide to opt for a Naples hotel, I would browse with Agoda.com. Get started and Book your hotel in Italy today!
colorful buildings and arches

Naples Experiences for the Gay Traveler

A classic, fun activity in the grand Piazza Plebiscito involves some blindfolding! For this ancient challenge, you must start near the face of the Royal Palace, close your eyes and try to walk a straight line toward the horse statues. It’s best to have a friend help! If you can pass between the horse statues, you win!
piazza plebscito
piazza plebscito
Italian restaurant
The old Queen Margherita would force prisoners to gamble with their lives by performing this challenge. There is a bunch of history behind this little activity to read about online if you’re interested.
visit Sorrento from naples

If you have the time, take a day trip to Sorrento. There are some clearwater beaches, tons of outdoor restaurants and high-end shopping in town. Sorrento is much larger than the Amalfi Coast towns to the southeast, so you could easily add Sorrento as a completely separate stop to your Italian gay travel route if time permits.

directions to Sorrento
visit Sorrento from naples
directions to Sorrento

You’ll surely find the rest of the main tourist attractions on your own. Don’t pass up the Duomo di Napoli or a walk through the entire street of Spaccanapoli.

I was expecting to see some bubbles popping up from the ground soon after reaching the top of the mountain. Upon arrival, we found out the volcanoes were not active at the time we visited. It was just unfortunate timing. We could still see the dips in the landscape where bubbles have previously formed.

The Best Pizza Restaurants in Naples

Pizzeria di Matteo was definitely a highlight of my trip. Delicious pizza, unique fried appetizers and handsome waiters made this pizzeria stand out. Ask for frito mixto when you sit down for dinner. They’ll send over some divine fried snacks you won’t forget.

best pizza naples Italy

There are a bunch of regular (and cheap) pizza restaurants just west of the Toledo Metro Stop. Wander the narrow pathways that branch off of Via Toledo and find one that looks good! Don’t worry too much about any tourist traps. I don’t think I saw any and I had fantastic pizza at every spot I chose.

Italian restaurant
best pizza naples Italy
pizza places naples
Personally, my favorite part about Napoli other than the food is the chaotic nightlife. I’ll give some recommendations for Naples gay bars below, but overall the city comes alive with locals in the evening. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, then find a spot for an aperitivo and keep your night going from there!

Naples Gay Bars

If you want to hang out with some gay locals in Naples, then make sure to visit Bar Fiorillo in Piazza Bellini. Bar Fiorillo is not an official Naples gay bar, but it is an unofficial place that local gay guys have chosen as their spot. You won’t find any rainbow flags outside or pop music hits blaring, but you will surely see groups of gay guys enjoying a good time.

local gay bar
local gay bar
gay bar in Naples

The local guys that visit this Napoli “gay bar” are seeking only a hangout spot as opposed to the standard, more ostentatious type of gay bar or club. Bar Fiorillo is crowded into the bustling Piazza Bellini, and so the gay men have sort of a “post” in the larger nightlife bustle.

gay bar in Naples

For traditional Naples gay bars, there are two worth checking out. Macho Lato is the most popular gay club in Naples. Macho Lato has a good atmosphere and a ton of space for dancing.

naples gay travel
gay Naples
gay Naples

If you are in the Santa Lucia area Naples, give Ghetto Crime Gay Bar a try. I didn’t get a chance to make my way to this area of town so I couldn’t visit. Ghetto Crime Gay Bar has mixed reviews online and local gay men had mixed opinions. Perhaps leave this place for last and check it out if you have extra time.

Gay-Friendly Bars in Napoli

In the main city center, there is a Napoli gay-friendly bar called Museum Shop & Bar. My friend Nicola and I met an older local gay man who took us here. This man knew the guys working at the bar inside and we all sat for drinks. Inside Museum Bar & Shop there are a bunch of phallic mementos, perfect as a gift to a gay friend!

naples gay travel

Best Places to Drink in Naples

Once the sun sets, you will see loads more locals. Piazzetta Nilo is by far the best place to get drinks outside in Naples. There is an insanely cheap bar called O’Cafè 42 with cocktails for less than 3 Euro and beer for 1 Euro! Everyone floods the plaza and it gets quite rowdy.
best spots in naples
gay cruising
best spots in naples

Piazza Bellini is the other classic nightlife area in Naples. This is where the locally-proclaimed Napoli gay bar is, as described in the prior section. There are so many people out and about in these streets, you’ll need to wade your way through the crowds. I’s a ton of fun and I highly recommend.

Piazza Dante is a calmer area to get drinks in Naples. Here you can more easily sit at a table for cocktails or beer. It’s only a few minutes away from Pizza Bellini, so you can try both.
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Naples Gay Cruising

Naples has one gay cruising spot called Depot Napoli. Depot Napoli also has a bar inside but the small establishment is mostly for gay cruising in Naples.

Some gay locals I met in Piazza Bellini mentioned they tend not to go there. Another guy said he only visits once in a while. Their overall opinion was that Depot Napoli can be hit or miss and is usually frequented by tourists.

gay cruising

If you found it fun, send wolfyy an email with your experience, or share your experience on Google so others can decide if they would like to go!

Depot Napoli gay cruising is a bit far outside the Naples city center, so I did not visit. However, if you are visiting nearby Macho Lato gay bar, you should probably stop by and check it out!

sailboat off coast
sailboat off coast

Naples Gay Travel Tips

The Italians you see in Naples act very differently as compared to those in Rome, Florence or Milan. Take note of their informality and don’t be offended when you are not greeted with a formal “ciao, buona sera.” They are not being rude! They simply operate with less formality than the Italians to the north.
naples metro
sweet treats in window display
naples metro

Perhaps this is an odd tip, but you can drink the water from the tap in Naples! Just like the water from the tap in Rome and other cities in Italy, tap water in Naples is safe to drink. I drank gallons from the tap and had no issues.

sweet treats in window display

Many travelers feel much more at ease booking travel to unfamiliar cities when they insure their trip. Let Travelex Insurance protect your trip investment starting at $20!

Napoli is much cheaper than the rest of Italy, which means inexpensive food and drinks! Street vendors sell Aperol Spritzes to go. They’re only around 1 Euro, so don’t be mad if it’s mostly prosecco!

Staying Safe in Naples

As mentioned earlier in this guide, Naples is not any more dangerous than other large urban cities in Europe, in my opinion. There are a few additional things you can do to ensure that you are as safe as possible. For some, taking additional safeguards will help put the mind at ease.
dark alley
Firstly, don’t wear any flashy jewelry. Leave the watch or the gold chain necklace in the hotel. Dressing stylishly in Naples isn’t as much of a priority as it is in Milan or Florence. You can get by with a t-shirt and pants for dinner.
dark alley
church
church
Secondly, don’t wander dark alleys outside the city center way past midnight. I think we can all agree this is asking for trouble in any large city with a questionable safety record. It may also put your mind at ease to stay in a traditional hotel in Naples as opposed to an Airbnb.

Is Naples Dirty?

From photos found in online articles, you may form an image in your mind about how “dirty” Naples is. There are images showing heaps of trash that may make you liken Napoli to a third world city.
Naples dirty
Napoli certainly isn’t impeccably clean and there is a lot of scattered litter in the streets. But during my visit, I did not see any large heaps of trash like the images in Google results.
naples duomo
naples duomo
Naples dirty
Overall, Naples does has a trash issue. There is no doubt about that. Most of the tiny street-side trash bins are overflowing, if you can even spot one nearby. The same word always comes to mind: gritty. Interestingly however, there was never any bad odor! New York City smells terrible in comparison to Napoli!

Naples is one of my top recommendations for Italy. I love this city since it’s authentic, real and the tourists can easily be avoided. The local gay life thrives and there is so much to explore. Let me know how your trip to wonderful Napoli turns out!

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