Naples–long known as a stronghold for organized crime–has made headlines lately for heightened violence. In the past two weeks, there have been more than a dozen murders attributed to La Camorra–the Neapolitan branch of the Sicilian mafia. While the violence has targeted members of rival gangs, bystanders and civilians have also been injured or killed simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Italian government–fearful of how tourists may react to the headlines–called for an increased police presence throughout the city, particularly in the historic center that draws the most visitors. Just five days after a thousand police officers were deployed to the Southern city, 32 camorristi have been arrested. Still, tourists remain weary. According to USA Today:
The spike in criminal activity in recent weeks has brought tourism, one of Naples main industries, to a virtual standstill. Alessandra Viti, a manager at the Vesuvius travel agency near the main train station, said the agency mostly has fielded cancellations and postponements this week.
Although foreigners in Naples aren’t particularly prone to attacks–they’re far more likely to fall victim to petty criminals and pick-pockets–those traveling to Naples in the near future should keep an eye on the news and avoid exploring the outlying neighborhoods, especially at night.