Map of Naples
WHY VISIT NAPLES?
Visiting Naples is an adventure in itself. Naples is a city with a special soul that is absolutely vibrant and captivating. It is the largest city in the south of Italy and its proximity to spectacular coastal towns and archaeological sites make it one of the must stops for anyone visiting Italy.
If you ask a foreigner why to visit Naples the answer is simpler than one believes, simply because Naples is color, it is Vesuvius, it is archeology, it is Pompeii, it is sea, it is happy people, it is chaos, it is traffic, it is noise, folklore, music, pizza!
A LITTLE HISTORY OF NAPLES
The history of Naples begins with the Greeks of Eubea, who at the beginning of the 8th century B.C founded in the island of Ischia, the first Greek colony of the West, which had the ancient name of Pithecusa. During the same century, settlers fleeing the island by geological phenomena founded the city of Cumae, a century later it became the city of Parthenopes on the hill of Pizzofalcone. Subsequently, from the 5th century B.C the Greeks called her Neapolis.
The 6th century was one of the most prosperous periods of Neapolitan history. The Spanish viceroys, who ruled the kingdom in the name of Ferdinand II of Aragon, Charles I and later Philip II, reestablished order among the local nobility.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, Naples achieved its most prosperous period as the capital of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Under the Bourbon dynasty many of the palaces, buildings and museums of the city are built, which became one of the most important cultural and industrial development centers in Europe. Unfortunately, after the Unification of Italy, successive bad administrations caused the city to fall into decline.
After World War II, Naples began to grow and became a large agglomeration overflowing its ancient historical perimeter. In the old city, typically Mediterranean, the offices of large national and international companies, administrative offices and a poor part of the population dedicated to traditional crafts are established. On November 23, 1980, the earthquake caused profound changes. The city began to spread south and east, in the Nola region and in the belt at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, and north to Caserta along the coast.
WHAT IS NAPLES NOWADAYS?
Naples is one of the largest and most charming cities in the Mediterranean. This city dominates the gulf that bears its name and extends from the Sorrentine peninsula to the volcanic zone of the Phlegraean fields offering a highly suggestive view of the impressive Vesuvius volcano and, in the distance, it is possible to see its three magnificent islands Capri, Ischia and Procida.
Naples (in Italian Napoli) is the most populous city in southern Italy, it is the capital of the Campania region and the metropolitan city of Naples, it has a little less than one million inhabitants, which, joining them to those of its metropolitan area, reached 3.7 million.
The city of Naples has a great historical, artistic, cultural and gastronomic wealth and its historic center has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Many human groups have left a mark in Naples, including: Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Norman, French and Spanish.
CURIOSITIES OF NAPLES
Did you know that there is an underground city in Naples? It is an impressive labyrinth of galleries and tunnels that run through the subways of the historic center of Naples. The Greeks created these underground deposits to accumulate water, later the Romans expanded the inner aqueduct connecting these deposits with tunnels at the same time that they regulated the storage of the water. During World War II, it became a great refuge to defend itself from the bombing of the city.
ATTRACTIONS IN NAPLES
Naples is a chaotic city, but at the same time it is a city full of art and history. It is also the ideal base for excursions to incredible places such as Mount Vesuvius, Capri, Pompeii and Sorrento. Here is a short list of things you can’t miss in your visit to Naples (see the map of Naples):
Castel dell'Ovo (Egg Castle): is a castle located on the Islet of Megaride, in the city of Naples, from which you can contemplate the beautiful panorama of its gulf.
Capodimonte Museum: This museum is housed in a building built in the 18th century by order of Charles III, King of Naples. At the moment it is a gallery with works of great artists like Titian, the Greco, Caravaggio or Rafael, among others.
Umberto I Gallery: a large commercial gallery that was finished building in 1890 and which result is an imposing architectural ensemble. It is located in front of the Opera Theater building.
Via San Gregorio Armeno: This is a street full of shops and businesses dedicated to exhibiting and selling figures for nativities. Here you can literally find pieces for all tastes and sizes, some of them collectible figures of great value.
Piazza del Plebiscito: it is the most famous square in Naples. Here are celebrations, demonstrations and cultural activities, is the heart of the city and is surrounded by buildings and important tourist spots.
The Ruins of Pompeii: Very close to Naples lies the ancient Roman city of Pompeii known for having been buried in lava after the eruption of Vesuvius in 79, even though it was discovered in 1748. Since then it has become an archaeological center and now you can see much of the ruins of the city and even the petrified bodies after so many centuries.