SEE NAPLES AND DIE!
So recites an ancient proverb, meaning that everyone should visit Naples at least once in his life.
History in every corner
Naples‘ historical city centre, heart of one of the most ancient and fascinating cities of Italy and Europe, is an unmissable cultural wonder for its history, art and architecture. Starting from the most ancient urban core: Greek colony called Partenope – founded by ellenic sailors landed in Ischia first, island in the gulf of Naples –where Santa Lucia district stands today.
According to the legend, the city takes its name from a mermaid (Partenope) who committed suicide for love on a rock where today stands Castel dell’Ovo, first called Marine Castle. Its name was changed after that the poet and magician Virgilio hid in its foundation an egg that, in case of removal or break, would have provoked the ruin of the entire fortress.
Built on ancient myths
When a new Greek colony (Neapolis = new city) was founded where today stands the ancient city centre, the name of first settlement was changed from Partenope in Palepoli (ancient city). After Greeks came Romans and Naples took a leading role also in history of Rome, with Pompei, Ercolano, Pozzuoli and other surroundings which are nowadays very interesting archeological sites. Not only Virgilio, but also Lucullo, Nerone, Augusto and many other distinguished people spent their time here. Greek-Roman archaeological sites and finds can be visited in Naples and Baia and their museums.
From Middle Ages to the half of 1800, Naples and almost all of southern Italy where governed by Swabian monarchy first (Federico II), than from the Angevin, from the Aragonese and Borbone at last, until Italian Unity which annexed the Kindom of two Sicilies to the Piemontese Kingdom. Great architectures date back to the Angevin and Aragonese dominations: military such as Castel dell’Ovo
, Castel Sant’Elmo and Castello di Baia, royal and defensive (Maschio Angioino), monastic (Santa Chiara with its majolica cloister, San Martino, San Domenico Maggiore, San Lorenzo Maggiore, the Duomo with the Treasure of S. Gennaro, ecc.), Sanitary (Ospedale degli Incurabili), residential; all perfectly preserved and open to visitors. The monastery of San Gregorio Armeno, founded in Roman times, has undergone many transformations, from the Angevin period to the Baroque.
Borbonic Naples has left a wonderful cultural, artistic and architectonic heritage whose most important examples are the San Carlo theatre built nearby Royal Palace (Aragonese/Borbonic), Caserta royal palace, as well as the most important treasure of ancient city centre: San Severo Chapel, built by will of alchemist prince Raimondo di Sangro during the XVIII th century, where is kept one of the most beautiful sculptures of the world: Sanmartino’s Veiled Christ. More architectonic marvels are in churches and noble buildings projected by architects such as Luigi Vanvitelli, Ferdinando Fuga, Filippo Juvarra, Ferdinando Sanfelice (Spagnolo’s building), etc.
The place to be and see in the city centre
This and much more else can be seen mostly in city centre. Ideal starting point for a city tour of one of the most interesting cities of the world is:
B & B Il Viaggiatore Via Cisterna dell’Olio
n° 13 Napoli
Tel: (+39) 081 – 42 06 173
Located in ancient city centre, in Via Cisterna dell’Olio, n° 13, between Piazza del Gesù e Piazza Dante, Il Viaggiatore is a few meters away from the Basilica di Santa Chiara and its maiolic cloister and from San Lorenzo Maggiore archeological excavation, from Pignasecca market, dal Archeological Museum and Royal Palace, from via San Gregorio Armeno, Decumani, underground city and from Greek-Roman Naples.
Ideal place for a comfortable and elegant stay at good price, the B&B, with its ancient furniture, has 3 double rooms with private bathroom and a living room with kitchen for breakfast and entertainment. Perfectly connected to railway station and harbour, it’s the ideal starting point also for visiting the gulf islands and Sicily, Campi Flegrei archeological and natural sites (vulcano Solfatara, Rione Terra di Pozzuoli, ecc.) and Vesuvian area (Pompei, Ercolano, Villa Campolieto, ecc.), Sorrento coast, Castel Sant’Elmo and the Certosa-Museo di San Martino.