VISIT Naples

The Historic Centre of Naples - UNESCO World Heritage

The History of Naples

Located in southern Italy, Naples is a major port city in the centre of the ancient Mediterranean region. Its origins go back to its foundation as Parthenope or Palaepolis in the 9th century B.C., subsequently re-established as Neapolis (New City) in 470 B.C. It is therefore one of the most ancient cities in Europe, whose current urban fabric preserves a selection of outstanding elements of its long and eventful history, as expressed in its street pattern, its wealth of historic buildings and parks, the continuation of many of its urban and social functions, its wonderful setting on the Bay of Naples and the continuity of its historical stratification.

Naples was among the foremost cities of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the transmission of Greek culture to Roman society. It eventually became a major cultural centre in the Roman Republic, civitas foederata. In the 6th century A.D., Naples was conquered by the Byzantine Empire, becoming an autonomous Duchy, later associated with the Normans, Swabians, and the Sicilian reign. Evidence of this period includes the Castel dell'Ovo, one of the most substantial survivals from the Norman period, although subsequently remodelled on several occasions.

With the Angevin dynasty (1265-1442), Naples became the living symbol of the prestige, dignity, and power of the dynasty. The city expanded to include suburbs and neighbouring villages. The convents of Santa Chiara and San Lorenzo Maggiore and the churches of Donna Regina and I’lncoronata, San Lorenzo Maggiore, San Domenico Maggiore and the new Cathedral date from this period.

From the 15th to 17th centuries, Naples was governed by the Aragonese. The period of Spanish rule is marked by the Royal Palace built in 1600 along one side of the imposing Piazza del Plebiscito, the Monte dei Poveri Vergognosi charitable institution, the convent of Sant'Agostino degli Scalzi, and the Jesuit College on Capodimonte.

From 1734, under the government of the Bourbons, Naples emerged, together with Paris and London, as one of the major capital cities of Europe. The architectural heritage of Naples from this period was widely influential, and is expressed particularly in the interior design of the royal palaces and associated noble residences that were part of the territorial system extending far beyond the city itself. Important palaces of the 18th century include the National Archaeological Museum.

"Naples is the flower of Paradise" - Alexandre Dumas


Posillipo - A breathtaking view

Posillipo Hill offers one of the best views of Naples and the bay and is also a perfect place to watch the sunset. Named by the Greeks to mean "a respite from worry", the picturesque views do seem to eliminate any cares in the world you may have. Hike your way up, or take a leisurely stroll up the hill after taking the 140 bus or metro line 6 and enjoy the incredible scenery. There's even a small market at the top if you need refreshments, or perhaps a bottle of wine.

Pizza - A taste of Heaven in its own city

The popular pizza Margherita owes its name to Italy's Queen Margherita, who, in 1889, visited the Pizzeria Brandi in Naples. The Pizzaiolo (pizza maker) on duty that day, Rafaele Esposito created a pizza for the Queen that contained the three colors of the new Italian flag. Neapolitan style pizza had now spread throughout Italy and each region started designing their own versions based on the Italian culinary rule of fresh, local ingredients. Neapolitan style pizza is not only special for its relevance in the history of the dish, but also because, since 2010, it holds a STG qualification granted by the EU. STG means that Neapolitan pizza, or Pizza Verace Napoletana, as it is known (original neapolitan pizza), is a specialità tradizionale garantita (guaranteed traditional specialty): its ingredients are controlled and regulated by law, just as its shape, the way the dough is prepared and cut, and where it can be consumed. The STG qualification is a guarantee for the consumer that the product roots its origins in the culinary tradition of a certain area and, even more important, that it has been made following regulations apt to keep it authentic.

The Neapolitan desserts . representation of La Bella Vita

Baba al Rhum, Sfogliatelle (riccia o frolla), Aragoste, Tiramisu, Zeppole di San Giuseppe... and all of these other desserts you will never want to give up on after tasting them. You can buy them around the city in coffee shops, or directly in the streets! The smell of the freshly baked ones in the mornings will inebriate you and immediately brighten your day.

The Archaeological Museum - a journey through History's heroes

The National Archaeological Museum of Naples houses one of the world's most precious collections of Greek-Roman works of art. Step back in time on this 3-hour tour of the Archaeological Museum of Naples and discover a trove of ancient Greek and Roman art. Accompanied by an expert guide, browse archaeological treasures unearthed in Pompeii and Herculaneum; marvel over colorful mosaics of Alexander the Great and ancient frescos; and see iconic sculptures like the Farnese Bull and Atlas.

Hike on the Vesuvius - Discover what a crater looks like

Mount Vesuvius is perhaps best known for its eruption in Roman times (79 AD), when Pompeii and Herculaneum were destroyed. The eruption left a large crater which has grown and shrunk with subsequent eruptions and this can still be visited today. It is a currently a dormant volcano that occasionally emits streams of lava. At the top of the volcano is a crater rim that affords a view into the crater that still fumes slightly. Besides that you will have (only on clear days, but the mountain is notoriously covered in fog or clouds) a stunning panorama overseeing the Bay of Naples, Naples, Capri, Ischia, the edge of the Amalfi Coast and more.

Pompei and Herculaneum- where going back in time is possible.

The archaeological areas of Pompeii and Herculaneum make up one of Italy’s 51 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The ruins of the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 B.C., but they still offer an unparalleled window into the quotidian life of classical antiquity.Since the discovery of the two buried cities in the 18th Century, scholars have excavated countless ruins that bear witness to the cities' architectural importance.

Still not sure whether or not to come?

Not all of the amazing places and things you could do in Naples were included here. Here is a little video to show you all of them... Ti aspettiamo!

"Vedi Napoli e poi muori!"


Created with images by maurocacciola - "Golfo di Napoli" • andyrusch - "Italy, Naples - 033" • Nicola since 1972 - "Naples - IMG_4877" • City Foodsters - "Margherita - San Marzano tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh basil, sea salt" • Vanenitalia - "food sicily dish" • kudumomo - "Alexander the Great" • Arpit Gupta - "one of the crater @Mount Vesuvius" • jmhamann - "Pompeii 26" • Hannibal8height - "naples prince of naples gallery campaign" • Hannibal8height - "naples gallery teatro" • martineci999 - "naples opera italy" • martineci999 - "naples opera italy" • (Imagine) 2.0 - "'Real Ray Ban' vendor" • (Imagine) 2.0 - "Accordion player"

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