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Under the Dome: The Galleria Umberto I, Shopping Centre in Naples
Photo: Under the Dome: The Galleria Umberto I, Shopping Centre in Naples

Europe Places: Naples

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Naples

Although people inhabited the region before written history, the city was founded in 470 BC with strong ties to Greece. The late 4th century BC saw it come under Roman influence.

Conquered by the Normans in 1139/1140 it became a university town in 1224, established by Frederick II. St Thomas Aquinas studied here.

In 1738 the Treaty of Vienna made Charles II, son of Philip V of Spain, as King of Naples. During the time of Napoleon, it became part of the French Empire, and a number of buildings that still exist today were built.

Garibaldi’s army entered the city in 1860 and it has remained under Italian control, with the exception of a brief German and Allied interloping during WWII and its immediate aftermath.

Pintauro is credited with the creation of the the Sfogliatella, a classic neapolitan pastry. Here, at a number of small cafes and bakeries, you can taste the world’s best. Filled with soft delicious ricotta they are carefully wrapped with fine layers of pastry and fried.

Famous regional dishes come from here and the rest of Campania, including everything from pastas, sauces and pizzas to seafood.

Surrounds of Naples: Naples Surrounds Map.

Places to Visit

Palaces, churches and catacombs are but some of the historical things to explore in Naples. The cultural centre of the city is also the the Historical Centre, carefully preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Naples has idyllic coastal scenery on the promenade walk from Castel dell’Ovo to Posillipo. In the hills backing the city, you can visit the Capodimonte Royal Palace and the Certosa (monastery) of San Martino, both carefully restored. The museum here houses some of the most important Spanish and Bourbon era artifacts in the world.

The Historical Centre

Protected by UNESCO, the Historical Centre has narrow streets and even narrower alleyways with shops, eateries and buildings from different eras in its long history.

There are ancient Roman ruins, churches and monasteries from the 4th and 5th century A.D., a 14th century cathedral, and the Castel Nuovo, Castel Capuano and Palace of the Prince of Taranto. Despite the different architectural influences and time periods, they are all very much part of Naples.

Santa Chiara Monastery

This monastery has a beautiful and gracious cloister that you can visit. Despite being in the centre of Naples, it offers respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The Umberto I Gallery

This beautiful shopping mall is covered with glass and capped with a stunning dome. Some 57 meters high above an elegant marble floor, the gallery has bookshops, cafés and speciality shops.

Castel Nuovo

Also known as the Maschio Angioino, this castle fortress was begun in 1279 to protect the port, where now enormous cruise ships berth.

Piazza del Plebiscito

The large city square of piazza del Plebiscito, on one side with its neo-classical colonnade is the San Francesco di Paola Church. There are two large statues in the centre, while on the other side is the Royal Palace.

At the square you can visit the Historical Living Quarters Museum, which allows you to see the interior of the palace as it was in its regal splendour, with some 30 rooms of original décor and their furniture.

National Archaeological Museum

At the National Archaeological Museum, regarded as having the best collection of classical archaeology in the world, consisting of artefacts and art from Naples and the many villas buried in 79 BC by Mt. Vesuvius.

San Carlo Theatre

The San Carlo Theatre first opened its doors in 1737, making it the oldes opera house in the world. This somewhat sombre looking building has a rich interiour, decorated with stucco, gilded wood and red velvet.

Conclusion

The coastal city of Naples is busy but does not neglect the arts, history, music, food and theatre. Visit Naples, this scenic and pleasant seaside city of Italy.

Naples Weather and Climate.

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Photo: Under the Dome: The Galleria Umberto I, Shopping Centre in Naples

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