Finding Your Way In the Naples Area
- A1 (MI-NA or "Milano-Napoli", "Autostrada di Sole", or E45): North/South road leading to Rome and further north (Umbria, Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, and finally Milan)
- Tang (Tangenziale di Napoli, A56): East/West road leading between Capo (the airport) and the Campi Flegrei
- A16: connects A1 (near Afragola) with Eastern Campania (towards Nola/Avellino) and eventually to Bari (in Puglia)
- A3: heads south from downtown Naples past Vesuvius, the Amalfi Coast, Southern Campania, and eventually to Reggio Calabira (in Calabria)
- SS7qtr: north/west road that runs parallel to the coast from Pozzuoli up to Lago Patria (and JFC), and eventually up to Lazio near Gaeta
- "Hooker Highway" (so called because women of a certain profession sometimes linger on the shoulder, technically the SS7bis): east/west road that connects A1 with Gricignano/Aversa (and the Support Site), Casal di Principe, Villa Literno, and eventually SS7qtr
Many people find it useful to have a GPS unit. Several are on sale at the NEX, which are pre-loaded with both US and European road maps. Naples All Hands has a handy PDF of useful GPS coordinates
Directions to Capo
40°52'37"N 014°17'10"E. Capodichino is relatively easy to get to, since you can just follow the signs for Capodichino Aeroporto Civile (Civilian Airport). When you get to the roundabout that leads to the terminal/parking, make a right to head into the front gate.
Directions to Support Site
- From Capo or Naples: Take A1 north (towards Roma). Follow the signs for Villa Literno. Just after an Agip is the exit for Gricignano.
- From the West/Southwest (the "back way"): Take the Domitiana (SS 7 quater, the road that the Tangenziale turns into) north (towards Roma). Take the Giuliano exit. After you get past Auchan, take the Caserta exit. Finally, take the Barra exit. Soon, you will see signs for Gricignano/US Navy Support Site. (Alternative: take the Domitiana all the way north to the Villa Literno exit, which leads directly to the Gricignano exit. Longer distance, but easier and sometimes quicker because it has less traffic.)
The following are landmarks commonly referenced by Americans when giving driving directions:
- Carney Park - 40°51'03"N 014°06'31"E an extinct volcano crater with recreation facilities; also features the Carney Park "Circle of Death" 40°50'34"N 014°07'01"E (so called due to occasionally bad traffic, not fatal accidents!) which connects the Tang with Carney Park, the Quarto Ibercoop, or Via Solfatara Variente to Pozzuoli
- Touchdown Jesus - 40°50'43"N 014°04'24"E at the intersection between Arco Felice Vecchio (which leads to the "bamboo road") and the Domitiana, a useful landmark when traveling near Monterusciello
- Bumpy Tunnel - 40°50'18"N 014°05'38"E under Monte Nuovo, it connects the Tang with the Western Campi Flegrei (Baia, Bacoli, Fusaro/Lucrino, and Monte di Procida), so called because if its ridiculous number of speed bumps.
- Blue Bridge - 40°49'47"N 014°07'48"E connects Via Solfatara Variente (a generally quick thoroughfare) with Pozzuoli
- Nisida NATO Base - 40°47.82'N 14°10'E good departure point for sailboats, as well as Nisida service projects.
Traffic and Tickets in Naples
It's often difficult to tell when the roads will have traffic, as the Italian rush hour seems so long (many people get off at 4-5, but also many people get off at 7-8, and schoolchildren mostly leave school at 6). For the Tangenziale, check out the Tang traffic cameras
to get a feel for traffic.
The hated Safety Tutor system sends out automated tickets based on the same cameras. To find out which cameras are on when for a given week, go to the Polizia di Stato website
and take a look at the Campania PDF.
Driving in Downtown Naples
Downtown Naples (especially the centro storico
or historic center) is one of the hardest places to drive/park, thanks to its narrow, mostly one-way streets (although there are still scooters that will go both ways). Thus, the main tip to driving in downtown Naples is don't do it! A good option is parking at the old JFC and taking the Metro from there (the Agnano stop isn't far, although unfortunately the Metro closes around 11 PM).
If you have to go downtown, it's usually not that hard to get in/out of (and find parking on) the Lungomare near the Villa Comunale and Castel del Ovo (technically it's the "Via Francesco Caracciolo" and "Via Partenope" but everyone calls it the "along-the-sea road" or Lungomare...Napoli Unplugged explains more). This gets you reasonably close to the fashionable Chiaia district and Piazza del Plebiscito, although it's still a bit of a hike to the core centro storico.