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                 I    t is hard to imagine Naples without its iconic pier at the end of 12th Street South. Yet, our wonderful pier, the

                      symbol of our city, was almost lost.
                         When you walk along the pier, particularly during the height of the season, it’s a little “United Nations”
                      of languages. People from around the world leisurely stroll to the end of the pier to catch site of a dolphin, to
                 watch people fish, and to enjoy the wonders of the Gulf and the beach. Spectacular sunsets are enhanced by the 360
                 degree vistas from the pier’s furthest point. It’s hard to fathom life here without this treasure.
                   Construction of the first pier began in the summer of 1888. Until the pier was built, people and goods had to
                 arrive by boat, either in the Gulf or Naples Bay, or travel by ox cart from Fort Myers.
                   During the past 50 years the pier has needed repairs but has suffered no major damage from storms. However,
                 the constant use of the pier did require the floor boards to eventually be replaced in 2015 using a Brazilian hardwood
                 called IPE. The pier was closed for most of the summer but reopened in November, just in time for the tourist season
                 and for the New Year’s Eve fireworks display.
                   Today, fishing from the pier still does not require a license nor is there a charge to walk the pier. A concession
                 stand sits at about the halfway point. It is a favorite place for families to enjoy a hot dog or ice cream while gazing
                 out at the remarkable vistas. Around the world people can also enjoy the wonderful view from the pier due to a
                 webcam located on the pier. To view go to

     6                                                                                                       Naples Visitors Guide | 2018
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