Web sites, USO, local tour offices have information on Naples for newcomers
January 5, 2009
Drinking the water off base could be worrisome, but that shouldn’t keep anyone who just arrived for duty at Naval Support Activity Naples from getting out, taking in the history and seeing the sights.
The major base in Naples, Capodichino, can be reached within minutes walking from the airport. Planes flying in and out to the base’s air terminal actually share runways with the airlines.
The USO office in Capo’s air terminal is one source for learning the ins and outs of Naples, with information about local public transportation, tours and other services. Its Web site for Italy is www.uso.it. The USO office at the Navy’s Support Site is across from the Navy Lodge.
"We do free events. Our mission includes helping (servicemembers) out," said Louisa Mazzella, program coordinator.
Helping out includes having holiday parties and travel deals, providing maps of the area and selling tickets for trains, planes and ferries for a variety of destinations. The USO also suggests places to eat and visit, and lists important contact numbers to see on its Web page.
Another good way to discover Naples is to get out and see the city, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Shaun Knittel, a mass communication specialist who has been based in Naples for three years.
Knittel said he learned his way around by hopping on the Alibus at the airport, getting off at the port — the Castel Nuovo stop —and walking around.
"If you make local friends, it is the best way to find out where to go in Naples," Knittel said.
Popular clubs include Millennium and the restaurants and pubs in Bar Alley in downtown Naples. A lot of the restaurants and pubs downtown transform into clubs at night, and many of those hot spots are tucked away in alleys. The busiest nights at the clubs are Thursday through Sunday, Knittel said.
"Here the clubs really begin at midnight. Things close down around four or five (in the morning)," Knittel said.
Fleet and Family Support Services is another good tool for newcomers who want to get acclimated to the area and see the sights. It can be reached by calling DSN 629-6327.
FFSS can help servicemembers get used to their new surroundings through its four-day long orientations, which start every Friday. People learn about housing in the area, the command and the bases.
Fleet and Family Support also offers brief courses on intercultural relations and the public transportation system by having newcomers ride buses and other modes of transportation with someone who is more experienced. The office also provides pots, pans, dishes and furniture for new arrivals until their furniture and household goods arrives.
A good way to take in the region — Campania — and beyond is through the local Information, Tickets and Tours offices on the bases. Information about day and longer trips can be found on ITT’s Web site at www.mwritt.org.
"Almost everyday we have a trip," said Charlie Di Palma, the office operations manager at ITT on Capodichino. "We do a lot of wine trips … they have a nice lunch or dinner and a variety of wines."
Popular ITT destinations include guided tours of Pompeii, Naples Castles, Salerna and the Caserta Royal Palace and Gardens.
ITT also has plenty of trips to area markets that specialize in clothing, shoes and other goods, Di Palma said. And ITT has longer trips to places like Pisa, Florence and other European destinations, he added.