Statistiche - Around Naples

english yellow pages

Metro Line 6
by Jeff Matthews
(This Metro line should be called 666 and not simply 6, since they've had the Devil's own time building it.) In any event, two things did NOT happen in Naples in 1990. One: the World Cup soccer matches were played in Italy that year, but Italy did NOT win their semi-final match against Argentina in the Naples stadium of San Paolo. There were mixed feelings among Neapolitans about that; Naples star and beloved poster boy, Diego Maradona, was unfortunately playing on his national team, Argentina, for the World Cup matches. Neapolitans loved him, but he helped beat Italy.

Two: In spite of renovating the San Paolo stadium to conform to international standards, the city of Naples never quite finished the "other project"--the train line known as the Rapid Tram Line, supposed to have been finished in time for those matches played in Naples. It was abandoned, producing one of the juiciest corruption scandals in years in Naples. The general consensus-- expressed pithily by the Man on the Street--was, "The bastards ate the money."

Now, 15 years later, the light at the end of the Rapid Tram tunnel is in sight--if you can see as far as 2011--that, according to plans released to the media a few days ago by the city of Naples. Architects and politicians dislocated major body parts patting themselves on the back as they announced the future of the now rechristened "Line 6" of the Naples Metropolitana--the underground train system.

Using much of the tunnel and station space completed 15 years ago, the Line 6 will go from the Mostra d'Oltremare (Overseas Fair Grounds) in the western part of Naples called Fuorigrotta to Piazza Municipio in the downtown area, adjacent to the port of Naples. The station at the Fair Grounds will also connect to a one-stop shuttle train to the new campus of the University of Naples at Monte Sant'Angleo as well as to the nearby station of Fuorigrotta; that station is a major stop on the state railway line leading to Rome and also a stop on the older Naples Metro that runs all the way to the main train station downtown. The station at the port of Naples will connect to the new Metro lines 1 and 2, which will then be up and running all the way through town and (keep your fingers crossed) maybe even up to the airport at Capodichino. In short, you will then be able to get anywhere from anywhere--by underground train.

After the initial station at the Mostra, Line 6 will stop twice beneath the main thoroughfare, viale Augusto, on its way east into the city. It then tunnels beneath the Posillipo hill and stops at the other side at the Mergellina station (I know, I know--"You leave the Mergellina station 'bout a quarter- to-four." I've heard'em all). It stops again further east at the beginning of the Villa Comunale, the long public park along the seaside, once more in the middle of the park, then swings in and makes two more stops on the way to the end of the line at Piazza Municipio. Predictions call for the stations up to and including the first stop at the Villa Comunale to be open "in 2006". (Between patted backs and crossed fingers, I am getting sore just thinking about it.)

(photos: first page shows current state--July 2005--of the Mostra station. This page: top right, map of entire route; Mostra station; current Lala station, finished above ground.)