Naples, or Napoli is situated on the Mediterranean Ocean in southern Italy with access to islands destinations via hydrofoil or ferry. The Marina located on the Naples Port is located directly across the street from the imposing fortress Castel Nuovo. From this port, travelers can travel to surrounding islands by hydrofoil.
I was able to take day trips via the hydrofoil to the islands, Isle of Capri and Ischia. I also took a trip to Sorrento, which is not an island, but the water route is shorter than traveling over land by train or car. Procida is another small island that can be reached by hydrofoil or ferry.
The marina can be reached by foot from downtown Naples, if you are a hardy walker. One of the bus lines stops across the highway from the marina. Taxis can transport you right to the port, making taxi the most convenient method of getting to the port. The taxis also line up for passengers looking for transportation away from the port.
The port can be very confusing at first. There are several windows in a row, each representing a different cruise line. The lines offer several trips a day, so upon arrival I would try to determine which line was offering the next departure to my desired destination. The signage was usually located right next to the window, so it was difficult to read from a distance. It was not easy to figure out which line offered the next departure, but one gets used to the craziness.
The price for the hydrofoil trips I took ranged from 7 Euro to 17 Euro, each way. Some people recommend purchasing one way tickets so you have flexibility on selecting your return trip.
The hydrofoils at the port in Naples are within easy walking distance from the ticket counters. There was more walking at some of the destination ports, so the walking can be strenuous for people with physical limitations.
The hydrofoils set up with ramps for boarding. Inside, the hydrofoil looked similar to the inside of an airplane, only wider. There were rows of seats across the vessel.
The hydrofoil glides across the water. I had been told that the hydrofoil trip was bumpy did not feel it was overly bumpy. Only one of hydrofoils that I rode was crowded. Most of the vessels had plenty of seats available. The trips lasted from about 60 to 90 minutes, depending upon the ship line and the destination. There were some refreshment and beverages available onboard for purchase.
Beggars and Pickpockets
One must be very careful at the port, as the area is known for pickpockets and beggars. I was approached by beggars several times at the port. Some of them may actually appear to be working for the ship lines, until they start begging for your change.
A young woman stood next to a window and directed me to the window hen it was my turn in line, leading me to believe that she worked there. After I purchased my ticket she begged for my change. Apparently the beggars are tolerated by the officials. Another beggar actually had the nerve to tap my shoulder while I was at the ATM. Shaken, I ignored him and walked away; but he followed me and tapped my shoulder again. I shouted ‘No’ loudly, drawing stares, but I noticed my beggar problem decreased substantially after that. I guess word got around that I was not a good prospect.
There is a refreshment stand at the marina, with beverages, food and other snacks available for purchase. There were public restroom facilities for men and women at the port. The hydrofoils also had restrooms on board.
Overall, I recommend the hydrofoil transportation to travel to the islands near Naples. According to my friends in Italy, the ferries can be even better.
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