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the biggest open-air museum in the world

Historical centre of Naples, the biggest open-air museum in the world

Naples, is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, for its location and its wealth of natural beauty, and by many is considered one of the gems of Italy. His position is indeed unique: it is enclosed in the Gulf of Naples and the Campi Flegrei, which is dominated by the majesty of Mount Vesuvius. Naples enjoy a full sea view with the island of Capri at the background, surrounded by rolling hills and charming hotels on the street parallel the sea, ending at Castel dell’Ovo: a picture that is simply breathtaking. Naples is starting to discover an unending series of emotions, not only for the natural landscape but also for its rich history and culture, from Piazza Municipio with Maschio Angioino (Castle), the Square of the Plebiscite and the Royal Palace or Basilica of San Francesco di Paola. Ffor your visit in Naples do not miss the Teatro San Carlo, the Monastery of Santa Chiara, Naples Cathedral, the Church of Jesus Castel Sant 'Elmo, Castel dell' Ovo and the splendid Via Caracciolo and suggestive Spaccanapoli with the way the cribs and artisans , San Gregorio Armeno and San Biagio dei Librai.

The historic center of Naples is the largest in Europe. The historic center of Naples has two parts: the first is Pizzofalcone who was born on the city of Partenope; the second is the area where you sort of decumani, originally Neapolis. In the latter in particular, there are obelisks, monasteries, cloisters, museums, streets of crib, catacombs, underground and open-air archaeological site with Roman and Greek theater, including the aforesaid, statues and bas-reliefs, friezes monumental columns to hold up medieval old historic buildings. The historic center of Naples, is also characterized by its churches (over 300!) with its artistic treasures contained within them (among the most important: Caravaggio, Donatello, Giuseppe Sanmartino, Luca Giordano, Cosimo Fanzago), as well as tombs and graves of rulers who succeeded one another at the head of the city over the centuries. Generally, experts believe that throughout the historical center, the number of religious buildings exceeding 400 units, including the churches desecrated or abandoned for centuries and excluding those of modern construction.

Duomo di Napoli the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (better known as the Cathedral of San Gennaro) is the most important church in Naples. It was built on the site where once stood the two temples dedicated to Apollo and Neptune. Surely one of the masterpieces of the city. The Cathedral in Naples is the oldest baptistery of the West. The chapel houses a priceless bust of the saint Gennaro made entirely of gold, a true masterpiece of Gothic architecture

San Gennaro and the miracle

In 305, during the persecution of Diocletian, Gennaro, bishop of Benevento, was beheaded in the sulfur mines of Pozzuoli. A woman picked up his blood into two vials, of which we lost track. A century later, in 431, during the transfer of the relics of the saint from Pozzuoli to Naples, another woman showed up the two vials, saying they contained clotted blood of the martyr. How to prove the sincerity of the woman, the blood suddenly liquefied under the eyes of the bishop and the crowd gathered to attend the ceremony of translation. The miracle, then, takes place every year in one of the dates related to the saint on the eve of the first Sunday in May (date of translation), December 16 (anniversary of the eruption of Vesuvius in 1631 during which the Neapolitans called on the saint to protect) and September 19 (date of martyrdom). The phenomenon has not yet had a scientific explanation: the science itself calls it miraculous.

Museo Archeologico

The National Archaeological Museum of Naples is the most important archaeological museum in Europe, thanks not only to findings of the excavations of Pompeii buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, but also for the numerous collections, an Egyptian section and a series of salt exhibit items of great historical and artistic value. In addition to the aforementioned material came to light at Herculaneum and Pompeii (bronzes, marbles, casts, paintings, suppelletili) and the findings of the excavations of Cuma, are, among the Borgia collection of Etruscan and Egyptian antiquities and the collection of ancient coins Santagelo. Among the rooms to be mentioned with those great mosaic depicting "The Battle of Alexander at Issus," the group of Tyrannicides, el'Ercole the Farnese Bull, the Tablets of Heraclea and the halls of the Temple of Isis.
  • http://museoarcheologiconazionale.campaniabeniculturali.it/?set_language=en

Napoli Sotterrranea

A visit to the Naples underground is definitely an experience that changes the way you see the city and better than any other tour to understand the past and the long history of "Partenope". Under the crowded sidewalks and alleys of Spaccanapoli, beneath the city streets covered with slabs of Vesuvius, to more than 40 meters deep, lies a vast and fascinating maze of caves, cisterns, wells and tunnels that make up a city under the city! Already five thousand years ago the first inhabitants of the Gulf had cut the volcanic tuff of underground Naples. Successive Greek colonists also used the tufo material, easy to work, to build their fortifications, temples and houses. The building material was obtained directly from above which are built underground. So as they grew Neapolis was forming deep in a mirror image of the city. The Romans gave a strong impetus to the development of the Naples underground, because not only continued the work of digging to get the building material, but with tunnels linking the various caves, tunnels and canals for conveying water from the Serino, a source at 70 Km from Naples, has been transformed into tanks. In this way, from every house, through a well, you could enter the tank below and sourcing of water. Increased and expanded in later centuries, the system built by the Romans it was used by the city water supply, until the seventeenth century they began to build a new aqueduct parallel tanks went so slowly emptying, having lost their function original, although a part of the system remained in operation until the early twentieth century, when it was finally abandoned. But the story did not end the Naples underground here, indeed, the system lost their original purpose, was used by the Neapolitan variety of purposes like home in times of famine as a hideout and as air raid shelters during the bombing of World War II. And the signs of the recent past, left the thousands of Neapolitans who lived in the underground city, making a visit to the Naples underground is a unique experience. There are several access points to the Naples underground, as there are different historical paths and sections of the city involved. Various citizens' associations have been dealing with for decades to reposition and re-evaluate this wealth of immense value that Naples treasures in her belly. Through these associations, you can take guided tours:
  • www.napolisotterranea.org
  • www.lanapolisotterranea.it

Cristo Velato, Cappella San Severo

The Veiled Christ is one of the most fascinating and exciting sculptures of all time. A masterpiece by Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1735. The amazing game of the shroud, the soft light and shade gave rise to the most absurd legends about its performance, so far as to assert that the veil had been placed after the performance of the marbled with a chemical. In reality 'is a perfect example of technical subtlety, charm symbolic, lyrical feeling. In the work of the Neapolitan sculptor, is not evidenced a clear distinction between the body and the veil, the flesh of Christ in his body gets confused and discards in the shroud and the figure reaches mild effects of intense pathos that are inspired by Baroque .
  • http://www.museosansevero.it/

Chiostro di Santa Chiara

The cloister of Santa Chiara has over time become a symbol of Naples, thanks to the distinctive 'tiled decoration that characterizes it, fourteenth-century structure, consisting of 66 arches supported by 66 pillars, remained unchanged, while the garden has been completely changed. Line the avenues 64 octagonal pillars are covered with tiles with scenes from plants. The decoration of the pottery artisans must Donato and Giuseppe Massa, who brought their polychromy of the cloister with all the architectural and natural surroundings. The pillars are connected by tiled seats on which, by the same technique, are represented scenes from everyday life at the time. The walls of the cloister of the four sides are entirely covered with seventeenth-century frescoes depicting saints, allegories and scenes from the Old Testament.
  • www.monasterodisantachiara.com

Piazza Plebiscito

Plebiscite Square is undoubtedly the most famous square in Naples, but also the largest and most representative. The square is well defined in spaces of four buildings: the church of San Francesco di Paola, the Royal Palace, Palazzo Salerno and the Palace of the Guest. At the center of the square are also two equestrian statues by Antonio Canova, representing Ferdinand I and Charles III of Bourbon.

Piazza Bellini

Piazza Bellini is a tourist destination of great interest in it because it owns part of the ancient walls of tufa in Greco-Roman cities dating from the fourth century BC. The square is a rectangle and its center is a monument to Vincenzo Bellini, Catania, the composer, who from 1819 until 1827 he lived in Naples to study at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Maiella, located just off the square.

Castel dell’Ovo

Castel dell 'Ovo stands the imposing rocky islet Megaride, consisting of two stacks linked together by a large natural arch. Below the castle lies the Borgo Marinaro and its harbor, with low houses, restaurants and warehouses for boats. A short bridge connects the island to Via Partenope, named after the legendary siren of the city of Naples is one of the most beautiful streets, where the eye can embrace the entire span of the Gulf. In its place, until the late nineteenth century, there was a long bench called tuff Chiatamone emerging from the sea, which now is the eponymous street. Castel dell 'Ovo has a long history that dates back to the Duchy of Naples, and, before that, the castrum Lucullanum, and his name is linked to one of the most imaginative Neapolitan legends of medieval origin, according to which Virgil, the great Latin poet, is said to have hidden within a magical cage an egg enclosed in a cage. The place where the egg was kept, was closed by heavy locks and kept secret, because the egg was dependent on the fortunes of Castel Marino.

Maschio Angioino

The castle occupies a strategic location in the center of Naples, between Piazza Castello, Piazza Municipio and the royal palace, and majestically overlooking the harbor and the sea. Construction of the Female Anjou began in 1279 under the reign of Charles I of Anjou, who is not adequately the royal residence of Castel Capuano, although yield magnificent and welcoming by Frederick II, wanted to build a fortified palace, preferably next to the sea. He chose an area outside the walls, the Campus Oppidi, in whose center was a Franciscan church.


Museo di Capodimonte

The Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte is located in the Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte, which lies between the lush green hills from a park where you can admire fantastic views of the city of Naples. The Museum includes over 1700 works of one of the finest collections of paintings of Italy and a large collection of Western and Eastern art objects primarily from the Middle Ages. There is also a prestigious contemporary art section.