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Naples Italy Travel Guide

Naples Travel Guide

One of the most utterly fascinating places in Italy

I won’t say another word about the beauties of the city and its situation, which have been described and praised often. As they say here, “Vedi Napoli e poi muori! See Naples and die!”. One can’t blame the Neapolitan for never wanting to leave his city, nor its poets singing its praises in lofty hyperboles: it would be wonderful even if a few more Vesuviuses were to rise in the neighbourhood. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Naples - Origins

Of rather uncertain origins, the city of Naples is believed to have been founded around the 9th Century B.C. by the Greeks who, pressed by the need to discover new lands, moved from Asia Minor towards the Sicilian and Italian coasts finally settling down. The first colony to be established was Cuma later renamed Neapolis (Naples) or New Town, to differentiate it from the pre-existing Phoenician centre called Partenope.
Naples gained Roman citizenship in the 90 BC : under the rule of the Roman Empire the city enjoyed economic and cultural prosperity. The area became popular for holidays due to its beautiful coastline. Luxury thermal spas, along with theatres and splendid temples sprung up around it attracting politicians and intellectuals such as Cicero and Virgil.

Aristocrats started building their most beautiful villas and splendid holidays resort around Posillipo, Chiaia and the island of Megaride. The town started to swarm with jewellers, smiths, perfume manufacturers, marble workers, poets and famous writers fell under its cultural spell.

In 476 AD "the most beautiful bay in the world" witnessed the overthrown and the confinement of Romulus Augustulus, last emperor of the Roman Empire.

In the 6th century Naples was conquered by the Byzantines and constituted into a duchy; some 5 centuries later it was conquered by the powerful Normans and annexed into the Kingdom of Sicily.

In 1266 both Naples and the kingdom of Sicily were handed over to the French King Charles of Anjou by Pope Clement IV. The capital of the Reign was then moved from Palermo to Naples until 1284 when the kingdom was split in two to form the so-called kingdom of Two Sicilies. Before the unification of Italy, occurred in 1861, Naples had had a quite vexed history: it had been under the rule of Spain, of Austria and of the Bourbons.

More about Naples

Naples' elated charme transcends simple monumental and historical beauty: it rather radiates from its singular and unique atmosphere pervading roads, alleys, castles, churches and museums. Your sensations will be suddenly overwhelmed by views worthy of an artist's painting as well as by the colors, the smells and the sounds of warm-hearted people enlivening every corner of the town.

That's Naples: breathtaking beauty treasuring splendind palazzi and piazze (squares) imitating ancient roman amphitheatres.

Whether or not pizza was invented in Naples, as the Neapolitans claim, it is a great source of local pride. Don't miss a slice of Margherita: its recipe is believed to have been invented in 1889, in honor of Queen Margherita, the Savoy queen of the then less than 30-year-old unified Italy.

Squeezed between Europe's second-largest active volcano and the sulphurous springs and boiling mud pools of the Flegrean fields, hemmed in by bay and sea, Naples looks like a small corner of heaven.
Sea and sailing enthusiasts will be delighted to discover untouched spots of "the most beautiful bay in the world" which they will be able to enjoy in total peace and quiet.
Pullution, drug pushing, local organised crime (called Camorra) might disrepute Naples but with such a unique and bizarre scenery it will bewitch and fascinate every visitor. Come and discover it... You won't regret this enchanting experience!