Bursting with energy, Naples is not for those in search of a quiet getaway. But if you love an urban adventure, the chaotic tangle of streets threading through this port city is endlessly fascinating, especially the narrow ones in the old Centro Storico district.
Formost among the sights is the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, full of Egyptian, Greek & Roman antiquities, incuding one of the most perfectly preserved statues of Antinous. Many of the artifacts taken from Pompeii are here, with one gallery devoted to the famous erotic arts from the ruins south of here; a town buried by volcanic ash in 79 AD.
Unusual for a port city, Naples doesn’t have a lot of gay bars and clubs. But there is quite a bit of eye contact on the streets, especially around the main gay district near Plaza Bellini. The biggest LGBT event of the year is Napoli Pride, held in May. Naples is a great base for exploring the region. Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius are just down the coast, and ferries skip across the Mediterranean Sea to glamorous islands such as Capri.
Naples Airport is about 4 miles northeast of the city. Buses and taxis wait to take you on the speedy trip downtown. Many visitors opt to travel by rail from Rome, as the high-speed train takes less than an hour.
You’ll get the most out of Naples if you explore it without a car. Buses fan out across the city, all of them stopping in Piazza Garibaldi at some point along their route. The Metro is quick and efficient, running subways, cable railways and commuter trains. Bus tickets can be bought at tobacco stores for just over one euro, good for 90 minutes travel, with transfers permitted. See the ANM website for Metro and bus information, in Italian.
Much of the gay activity of Naples is centered within walking distance of Piazza Bellini, a square of faded elegance, lined with sidewalk cafes and full of students from the nearby university. Here you'll find the gay-friendly Caffe Letterario Intra Moenia (Piazza Bellini 70), a hangout for local artists, writers, and academics.
Corso Umberto - major shopping street connecting Piazza Garibaldi to Piazza Municipo.
Via Chiaia - fashionable shops between Piazza del Plebiscito and Mergellina. Contine past Piazza dei Martiri to Via dei Mille and Piazza Amadeo for designer brand stores mixed with discount shops.
Via Toledo - popular for evenings strolls (passagiata), department stores in the old palazzi and the grand covered mall Galleria Umberto I.
Currency and Money
Italy is part of the Euro Zone, so the euro is the accepted currency. There are plenty of ATMs in the downtown area.
Piazza Garibaldi and Bosco di Capodimonte are at-your-own-risk cruising options. Check out Squirt.org and see below for more.
Media & Resouces
Napoli Gay Press has local news and a guide to the gay nightlife scene. ArciGay Napoli, the local chapter of the national LGBTQ association, has listings of local gay businesses and events, along with information on their activities.
Basement (via Atri 36, down) Arcigay Thursday - Sunday men-only cruise/sex bar, leather/fetish MC, naked, orgy and fisting nights, disco parties.
Cabaret Port'Alba (via Port'Alba, 30, San Giuseppe/ piazza Dante), mixed young crowd, restaurant/ cabaret lounge, shows, Neapolitan comic art.
Caffè Gambrinus (piazza Trieste e Trento at piazza Plebiscito), grand fin de siècle literary café; fine drinking chocolat, pastries, full bar.
Caffè Letterario Intra Moenia (piazza Bellini 70), gay-friendly terrace cafe and cocktail bar at famous publishing house within ancient walls; bookstore, art exhibitions, literary events, musical concerts and poetry readings.
Criminal Candy, pop-up Saturday gay/lesbian disco nights, men/women mix, go-go dancers, stage shows; see website for next date and venue.
Depot Napoli (via della Veterinaria 72), Naples branch of Milan men's gay sex club; leather-and-fetish cruising, open nightly until 3am; blackout and naked parties, fisting, foot and sneakers fetish events, underwear, and bisexual functions. Leather night dress-code: leather, denim, rubber or naked.
Free ID (Vico San Geronimo alle Monache, 17), gay and lesbian Thursday to Sunday nightclub run by Arcigay Napoli.
Ghetto Crime Bar (via Giuseppe Ferrigni 21), a "ghetto of ghettos" upscale LGBT wine and cocktails bar, open to all; tapas, pastries, DJ sets. "Drink to celebrate, drink to forget, drinking to be together."
Macho Lato (via Abate Minichini 62, under freeway), two-level men's lounge and dance club, house, progressive, techno; bear nights, dark room, cruising area, cinema lounge, "sex box," free WiFi. Open Saturdays to 5am, Sundays until 3am. Temp-membership cards for foreign visitors.
Penguin Café (via Santa Lucia 88), southwest waterfront area, below the docks, an alternative, arts and queer bookstore cafe/coffeeshop and wine bar of over 100 varieties; with films, live music, exhibits of photography, design, painting and sculpture, poetry readings, and terrace seating.
Same The Party - a monthly gay men's underground dance night at various venues around town since their start up in late 2015.
Teatro San Carlo (via San Carlo, 98S, piazza del Plebiscito), 1737 opera house; ballet, music concerts, classic and short comic operas.
Two Fires, at various venues, monthly Saturday or Sunday gay dance parties, drag shows, performances, sexy male dancers.
In Vomero to the west of Naples, Accademia (via Piave, 183) is a gay-friendly dance club, sometimes with go-go boys and shows.
Also to the west, in Fuorigrotta, JD Club at La Brasserie (via Barbagallo,115), is a mixed/ gay-friendly restaurant/ nightclub, with dancing, shows, karaoke and theme parties that include La Noche Latina. The official after parade Gay Pride party is here, May 2016.
In Salerno, to the south, Firework does Saturday night gay-friendly party events several times each year, at various clubs.
Sauna & Sex
Blu Angels Sauna (Centro Direzionale Isola A/7), men's sauna/bar, all the usual dry and steam sauna facilities; plus darkroom, labyrinth, smoking room, and massage, bear/leather-friendly, open every day.
Cinema Argo (via Alessandro Poerio, 4, piazza Garibaldi/ Central Station), (CLOSED May 2015/ may have reopened since?), gay and straight sex movies, hard-core gay cruising and hustlers, bar, dark playroom.