Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Naples, Italy

Naples is the third-largest municipality in Italy.  It is home to over 975,000 people, but with more than 4,4 million people in the larger metro area, it is the 9th most populous area in the EU.  Napoli is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities.

The Greeks established settlements here in the second millennium BC.  After the fall of the Roman Empire it was the capital of the Duchy of Naples, then as the capital of the Kingdom of Naples, finally as the capital of the Two Sicilies until 1861 when Italy was unified.

The city's historic centre is the largest in Europe and in 1995 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The city centre spans 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) and covers 28 centuries of history.

Piazza Dante is one of the largest public squares and features a 19th-century statue of Dante Alighieri.

Piazza del Plebiscito is the main city square.

The San Francesco di Paola is a neoclassical church and serves as a minor basilica.

The Royal Palace was one of four residencies used by the Bourbon Kings and today it is a museum.

The Teatro di San Carlo was built in 1737.  It is the country's oldest opera house.

The National Archaeological Museum, formerly the Royal Bourbon Museum, is housed in a building constructed in 1585 originally to serve as calvary barracks.

The Galleria Principe di Napoli is a commercial gallery that was completed in 1883.

Castle Nuovo, also known as Maschio Angioino, is one of the city's landmarks.  The medieval castle was built in 1282.

The Teatro del Fondo opened in 1779.  It was renamed the Teatro Mercadante in 1871.  It was one of the city's two royal opera houses in the 18th and 19th centuries.

There are hundreds of Roman Catholic churches in the city.

The Church of Santa Maria di Caravaggio is a Baroque Catholic church.  Construction began in 1627.

The Basilica di Santa Chiara is another minor basilica.  The complex, completed in 1340, contains a church, a monastery,  tombs and a museum.

La chiesa di Santa Maria la Nova was completed in 1599.

La chiesa San Ferdinando was completed in 1759.

The Naples Cathedral is the city's main church.  It was consecrated in the 13th century.

Santa Caterina a Chiala was originally built as a small family chapel and then given to the Franciscan order which expanded it in 1600.

The church of St. Nicholas the Charitable was completed in 1682.

The Castle dell'Ovo is on the peninsula and is Naples' oldest standing fortification.  The castle was the Royal Chamber and the State Treasury.  It also served as a prison.

The Charterhouse of St. Martin was a monastery complex established in 1368.  Today it is a museum and there's a great view of the city.

The Gulf of Naples opens into the Mediterranean Sea and the port is one of the most important in Europe.  On the east is Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that erupted in 79 AD destroying Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Naples is where pizza was invented so you have to try an authentic Neapolitan pizza.

Here's a Rick Steves video I found out on YouTube.

©Rick Steves

Naples makes for a nice weekend city break.  Next time I would visit Mt Vesuvius, the ruins of Pompeii and the island of Capri. 

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