Monday, 1 October 2012

NAPLES-ITALY-THOUSANDS OF BEAUTIFUL COLOURS UNDER THE MAJESTIC VESUVIUS-DISCOVER NAPLES WITH ME


Naples is art,music,Vesuvius, theatre,coffee,pizza and sea,sunny, ,intriguing,charming, historical and simply unforgettable city… All those colours,sounds and aromas that capture your attention,win you over and seduce you,there is a song of a famous Neapolitan singer Pino Daniele the title is "Napule é mille culuri" "(Naples is thousand colours) and yes of course,Naples is thousand colours, the colours of its markets, the blue colour of its sea,the colours of its square and houses,the colours of its people, warm and passionate people to give you a very warm welcome.. Naples is the 3rd Italian town (After Rome and Milan) it is known for its rich history, art,culture, architecture,musicand gastronomy.Situated on the west coast of Italy by the Gulf of Naples, the city is located halfway between two volcanic areas, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields.Naples history is really amazing.Many civilisations like Greek,Romans,and then Normans,French,Austrian,Spaniards gave the town this rich artistic patrimony it has today. In the 6th century B.C.this city was abandoned and was given the name of "Palepolis" (old city) and the new city of "Neapolis" was founded next to it.The name of Naples Napoli, is from there .Neapolis,from Greek colonization, (Nea- New - Polis-Town) It was among the foremost cities of Magna Grecia, playing with Sicily a very important key role in the transmission of Greek culture to Roman society.


The current land was colonised around the 9th century BC by sailors and merchants from Greece and Anatolia. The first settlement interested in the area stretching from the promontory of Monte Echia today Pizzofalcone islet where stands the Castel dell 'Ovo. This area was named Parthenope, who according to legend was a siren rejected by Ulysses sought the death at sea.Partenope became Neapolis and further help from Rome to defend the invasion of the Samnite and Oscan becomes foedus neapolitanum. The city reached the prosperity under the reign of Augustus and Martial defines Docta Partenope, for the spirit that characterised the Hellenistic. The 79 A.D. is the year of the eruption of Vesuvius that buried Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae, a difficult period that continues under the Diocletian persecution of Christians, when he was imprisoned and killed Gennaro, bishop of Benevento. With the end of the Roman Empire and the barbarian invasions began in the sixth century, Naples passed under Byzantine rule. In 734 the city became the Duchy and distinguishes it from Byzantium, then falls into the hands of the Lombards, then the Normans. Despite resistance, the city capitulated under King Roger, in 1130, and becomes part of that kingdom whose capital Palermo. The Norman dynasty continues with William I and William II, followed by Tancred and William III, but shall expire and the city came under the control of the Swabian dynasty, during which by Frederick II of Swabia, the University is founded. In 1263 Charles of Anjou took possession of the Kingdom of Sicily and back the capital from Palermo to Naples by building as a residence Castel Nuovo, or Angevin, and the hill was built Castel Sant 'Elmo. But in 1442 Alfonso of Aragon takes possession of the city and brings together the kingdom of Naples and Sicily, marking a period of artistic and cultural flowering. The Spanish domination, after bitter struggles with the French kings, beginning in 1503 and lasted two centuries. Naples grew and the Toledo, is intended for the troops in the famous Spanish Quarter. The 1647 is the year of the great uprising led by Masaniello followed, in 1656, the plague that kills two thirds of the population. Charles of Bourbon entered the city in 1734, under his reign there are the Royal Palace of Capodimonte, the Royal Villa at Portici, the huge hotel of the Poor, and in 1737 the Teatro San Carlo. In 1799 Napoleon's conquest of Naples and King Ferdinand fled to Sicily, the Neapolitan Republic was proclaimed, but he quickly restored the Bourbon power. The French return to Naples by Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, later replaced by Joachim Murat, cavalry general who will pursue a policy of reforms. The Congress of Vienna reclaim the throne of the Bourbons, and in 1848 Ferdinand II granted a constitution. Garibaldi enters Naples on September 7, 1860 and forced the royal family to flee to Gaeta. With the annexation of the Kingdom of Piedmont, the city lost its role and begins a period of time, with political and economic decline that followed, during the two wars a major migration to America. After a long period of neglect, the nineties marked a renaissance both on urban and social.Today Napoli is a a town with many contrasts one of the most controversial city: You'll either love it or hate it.You love Naples if you want to discover it and Naples open its heart and arms, you hate Naples if you do not want to understand its rhythms,its lifestyle,its several contrasts..In Napoli you can respire the air of the Greek and Roman civilisations, with the columns of ancient temples,the Theatre of Nero and other historical attractions as Renaissance,Baroque,Medieval,Gothic and Neoclassical buildings you can find everywhere.
The historic city centre of Naples is the largest in Europe and declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.The port of Naples is one of the most important in Ethe second in the world after the  Hong Kong port for passenger flow.
Naples with its 2,800.000 inhabitants is the largest southern Italian town.A magnificent point to start the visit of the city is "Palazzo Reale" (The Royal Palace).It is one of the most impressive palaces in Southern Italy and ranks among the top tourist attractions in Naples and it is an important landmark of this charming town of course.The building was designed by Domenico Fontana, stands out for its modern forms. It was built in in the early 17th century for King Philip III of Spain,which never came to Naples. The red facade 169 meters long,in brick and piperno with granite columns with three different orders that preserve the original forms except the porch, whose arches were walled. .At the center of the facade is the emblem of Philip III and metope in the representation of its domain and it features statues of the eight kings of Naples in different periods,various dynasties who ruled Naples over the centuries such as Roger the Norman,Frederick II of Swabia, Charles I of Anjou, Alfonso I of Aragon, Charles V of Spain, Charles of Bourbon,Joachim Murat and Victor Emanuel II of Savoy former King of Piedimont and Italy.Numerous renovations and expansions occurred during the 18th century and was enriched by Joaquim Murat and Carolina Bonaparte with Neoclassical furniture.The palace was restored in 1837 but in the 20th century was heavily damaged by bombing during the 2nd World War II.Inside the apartment there is the Museum's historic of Royal Palace,which is accessed from the courtyard of Honour,lined with coloured marbles.On the first floor you can admire the painted ceilings in the 17th and 18th century,while the decor is of the 19th century: neo-baroque style furniture and neorococò, porcelain vases.The stucco and chimneys follow,however,neoclassical designs and shapes.The walls are tapestries Neapolitan paintings from the collection gathered by the French and Bourbon.Many works come instead from Neapolitan churches which over time have been closed and that led to the creation of a large collection of Neapolitan paintings.Of particular interest are the "Sala del Teatro" court theater,which was the great banqueting hall,designed in Rococo Style by Ferdinando Fuga in 1768 with allegoric statues surrounding the hall represent the Muses,Minerva,Apollon and Mercury.In 1994 the G7 members met in this hall.The "Sala del Trono"the Throne Hall,with paintings showing some Kings and ambassadors of Tripoli and Turkey and symbols and representations of the provinces of the kingdom.the "Sala del Gran Capitano"(The Great Captain hall) is a portrait depicting Pier Luigi Farnese by Venetian painter Tiziano Vecellio and the vaults are painted by Neapolitan painter Battista Caracciolo.The room is dedicated to Don Salvo de Cordoba,the Spanish captain who conquered the Kingdom of Naples in 1503.The Study of the King, with two desks and secretary made for Napoleon Bonaparte..Other rooms are The Maria Cristina Hall with some frescoes by Caracciolo and Mura,while the Hall of Hercules contains a large bronze clock with Atlas bearing the globe.Magnificent is the "Cappella Palatina" Palatine Chapel, with its doors carved dated 16th century, the magnificent high altar, the painting of the Assumption, built by Domenico Morelli.The building also houses the National Library of Vittorio Emanuele III, the largest in Southern Italy, the original comes from the private library of Charles III of Bourbon, to which were added other historical libraries. There are currently held about 2 million volumes, 32,950 manuscripts and1,750 papyri from Herculaneum. Among the most precious manuscripts are illuminated manuscript of the "Flora" and the autographs of Torquato Tasso and Giacomo Leopardi.

The adjacent beautiful "Piazza del Plebiscito" was built on the model of the Pantheon in Rome. Prolonged by a curving colonnade,today is one of the most important meeting points of the city.Opposite the Palace is the "Chiesa San Francesco di Paola"the church who had stayed in a monastery on this site in the 16th century.Impressing is the Dome 53 meters high.The church was built by Ferdinand I in 1817 as a votive offering for regaining the kingdom after ten years of French rule.The work was begun by Pietro Bianchi revisited forms of the Roman Pantheon, neoclassical in style. Inside there are statues and paintings of the same age and origin of seventeenth-century altar. Part of the semicircular Doric building built in 1810 by Joachim Murat striking effect that wraps around the middle of the square, the centre of which you can see the equestrian statue of Charles III of Bourbon, by Antonio Canova, and Ferdinand I, Canova in the horse.

On the north side of the square is the "Palazzo della Prefettura" Naples Prefecture Palace,adjacent the Palace,in Via Chiaia,1 the elegant "Gambrinus Caffé",it is one of the great classics among the Neapolitan locals,which started its activities in the 19th century.Stylish and elegant,a beautiful example of Art Nouveau,the Gambrinus has always been considered a lively place during the years years of the Belle Epoque here found themselves intellectuals,artists,musicians and politicians.Its interior was decorated by Antonio Curri,who was also in charge of the decoration of the Galleria Umberto I.As customers were people like Gabriele D'Annunzio,Oscar Wilde,Salvatore di Giacomo and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.Today is a great tourist attraction.So.."jamme ia a bevere na' tazzulella e' càffé" It is a typical Neapolitan phrase meaning "let´s go to have a coffe now.."Gambrinus Café" is really a great place so do not miss it.
Next to Gambrinus Café is "Piazza Trento Trieste".In this Square is The "Chiesa di San Ferdinando" built by architects Giovanni Giacomo Conforto and Cosimo Fanzago.The church was originally a Jesuit house of worship and was opened in 1665.Originally dedicated to St. Francis Xavier, friend of St. Ignatius Loyola and one of the members of the first company of Jesuits.It was rededicated to San Ferdinand when the Jesuits were expelled from Naples in 1767.In the centre of the square a neoclassical fountain Neapolitans call it "a Carciofolla" (artichoke) for its appearance."Piazza Trento Trieste" is considered an open door to the Monumental Napoli for its position next to Royal Palace,Piazza Plebiscito,San Carlo Theatre,Via Toledo and Via Chiaia.

From Piazza Trento Trieste starts "Via Vittorio Emanuele" a charming and elegant street and immediately on the right is "Teatro San Carlo" (St.Charles Theatre) one of the most important Theatre in Europe and one of the largest in the world.Has been taken as a model for other major theatres around the world and UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site.
The Theatre was built by Charles Bourbon, who assigned the project to Antonio Medrano.The building was inaugurated on 4 November 1737.Its facade dates back to 1812 and was added by Antonio Piccolini in Neoclassic style with a portico with an ashlar adorned with 5 bas-reliefs dominated by a travertine balustrade and 14 white marble columns to support the triangular gable..The interior is really beautiful,decorated with gold trim and blue upholstery,the stages parapets with golden friezes and silver bas-reliefs the ceiling’s curtain is a work by Giuseppe Cammarano.The main stage curtain, portraying Parnassus was made by Giuseppe Mancinelli.
The interior was rebuilt after a fire destroyed the theater in 1816. Have contributed to his celebrity names such as Donizetti, Bellini, Rossini,Verdi who have staged and directed their most famous works.The Teatro San Carlo, richly decorated with gold and stucco, with more than 1470 people and boasts perfect acoustics. In Naples is the home of the renowned opera and ballet season.San Carlo Theatre inspired other Theatre worlwide,The Lisbon "Sao Carlos Opera" interior was built taking San Carlo Theatre as model,another example is Buenos Aires Teatro Colon Opera.

Opposite the theatre is the grandest interior in Southern Italy, the "Galleria Umberto I".A really amazing artistic masterpiece of architecture.This great glass-roofed arcade,perhaps the largest in the world,was begun in 1887,nine years after the famous "Galleria Vittorio Emanuele" in Milan.The arcade is cross-shaped, with a pretty mosaic of the zodiac on the floor at the centre and its arching dome is 57 meters high.

Walking along "Via Vittorio Emanuele" on the right you can admire another Naples landmark "Castel Nuovo" (The New Castle) well known with the name "Maschio Angioino".In 1266 Angevin established its dynasty in Naples.The term "Maschio Angioino" is from Charles I (male- maschio) and Angioino (Angiovin from Anjou, the county,duchy and province of the city of Angers, in France).The building construction began in 1279 by Charles I of Anjou, from which the monument is named, and was completed in 1282. The project was entrusted to the Frenchman Pierre Angincourt of which was to erect a more suitable royal residence of Castel dell 'Ovo and Capuana. The original appearance of the building, said New Castle just to distinguish it from earlier, is preserved in the Palatine Chapel, with frescoes by Giotto. Indeed, it was under Alfonso I of Aragon in the fifteenth century, the palace was rebuilt after wars, sieges and fires, and turned into the palace of the Aragonese. The building features five towers of "Beverello",which overlooks the sea,"San Giorgio","Di Mezzo","and finally the "Torre dell´Oro"(Golden Tower), the only one that shows the structure of tufa. Of great interest is the Triumphal Arch of Alfonso the Magnanimous, the entrance arch inspired by the Roman tradition, which celebrates the conquest of Aragon, in whose phases intervened Pietro De Martino and Francesco Laurana. Inside you can admire the courtyard, remodeled in the 18th century,the access to the "Sala dei Baroni"(Barons Hall) is via a staircase in the inner courtyard.The fine vaulting is star shaped, formed by the tufa groins intersecting with other architectural features,currently is now home to the City Council.The splendid "Cappella Palatina" Palatine Chapel is dated 1307, features an elegant Renaissance doorway which was previously surmounted by Laurana's splendid Virgin now kept in the sacristy along with other works of the same artist and traces of a precious fresco by Giotto.

 The "Maschio Angioino" is part of "Piazza Municipio" (Town Hall Square) another very important square of the city.It is a vast rectangular square,among the largest in the city, and its location makes it a place of great importance, takes its name from the town hall, established in "Palazzo San Giacomo" (St. James Palace),located opposite the beautiful port on the north side of the square.A fresh garden facing the palace and at the center of the square stands the statue of Vittorio Emanuele II,former King of Italy.On the eastern side of the square, however, have headquarters hotels,offices,bars,shops and in particular the "Teatro Mercadante"a theatre managed by the City of Naples.The theater, built by the will of a military company in 1777, was named "Teatro del Fondo"( Theatre of the Fund) at the beginning and only later dedicated to Mercadante,a former musician from Naples.Restored in 1938 and renovated in 1950, the theater remained closed for about thirty years later but has now resumed its activity with a billboard always very prestigious.

But above all, "Piazza Municipio", as well as connecting the western and the eastern part of the city,it is the main gateway in Naples from the sea, with the presence of "Castel Nuovo" and the "Stazione Marittima Molo Beverello" (the Maritim Station on Beverello Harbour), now constituting a whole with the square and the city in 2001 after the demolition of the fence that enclosed the port area.Finally, the proximity to "Piazza Plebiscito" and "Via Toledo", make it a vital crossroads for the city, a role that will be even more excited when it was opened the subway station.Very close is "Via Medina"where there is one of the most beautiful fountains in the city, the "Fontana di Nettuno"the Fountain of Neptune,built for the Viceroy Henry Guzman Count of Olivares. For thirty years he decorated the space in front of the Arsenal until 1622, when the Duke of Alba made ??her move to the square of the palace, then from there it was again removed and placed in the clearing of Castel dell 'Ovo in 1637.Not even this position was considered suitable because of possible attacks that could be subject to the fortress from the sea, so up to 1900 found the monument in the square of the provisionally registered Fixes, and then to Piazza G. Bovio, where he remained until 2001 before being finally settled in the ancient seat of Medina on the edge of the town hall square.

The nearest "Via Monteoliveto"leads to "Piazza Monteoliveto"a charming square with another beautiful Baroque fountain, built by order of Don Pedro de Aragon in 1669 and designed by Cosimo Fanzago. Its name comes from the church of the monks Olivetani, although it seems that you originally wanted to call Charles II of Habsburg, which you can see the statue atop the monument.The fountain was donated to the city, represented the power and magnificence of the royal authority.It is built of white marble and has a large basin on which are placed the mighty figures of lions and eagles, on which stands the bronze statue of Charles II as a young man.In the square is also the Church of Sant'Anna dei Lombardi, founded in the 12th century,
. The exterior is characterized by a façade and atrium Piperno is the tomb of the architect Domenico Fontana.The interior features three chapels of Renaissance Tuscan taste,due to the links between the Aragonese and the Medici court.The connection with Tuscany is also evidenced by the Piccolomini Chapel, left atrium, which is based on that of the Florentine church of San Miniato al Monte, and where is the tomb of Mary of Aragon. To the right atrium, however, is the Chapel "Terranova" where you can admire the Annunciation and Saints by Benedetto da Majano.The "Cappella di Tolosa"( the Toulouse Chapel), isa veritable museum of Neapolitan sculpture of the 15th and 16th centuries.To the right of the presbytery is the chapel of the Sepulchre, with the walls painted by Pietro Rubiales and the Sacristy, with paintings by Giorgio Vasari.

A walk along "Molo Beverello","Via Acton" and "Via Nazario Sauro" is really fantastic enjoying the magnificent maritim promenade of the city admiring Naples Bay dominated by the Volcan Vesuvius until the "Borgo Santa Lucia".St.Lucy District is one of the most historical panoramic and pictoresque area of Naples.The history of Saint Lucy is identified with the history of Naples,from the landing of the Greeks from Cumae,here they decided to found the small "Porto Falero"a little natural harbor,from which came later  including the beach the islet of Megaride and the hill Pizzofalcone, the Partenope (same name as the siren), later known as "Paleopolis"the old town. In Roman times, there would have transferred the Roman general Lucius Licinius Lucullus, which would raise its impressive and luxurious villa,known as "Oppidum Lucullianum", where he would end his days in the last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus."Santa Lucia" has influenced over the years,a lot of artists,especially painters,such as Van Wittel,Degas,Richet,Achenbach and many others,who have immortalized landscapes,panoramas,views of the town and scenes of everyday life in many paintings,particularly before the area was transformed from a sea filled.

Also In terms of movies "Santa Lucia came early in the history of cinema, thanks to French Lumiere brothers,who decided to enter a recovery of the road between those chosen for a short film about the city of Naples,dating back to 1898.The village is named after the cult film "The smugglers of Saint Lucia", inspired by the illegal activities of the Jib to the fishermen became known throughout the world in the immediate postwar period to the end of the 80s. Perhaps for this reason,shortly before,Vittorio De Sica the famous Cinema director was persuaded to turn the story of "Adelina", the first episode of the film yesterday, today, tomorrow,between the steps and the hovels of the most popular in the ward."Santa Lucia" was echoed in the film by Francesco Rosi's" Lucky Luciano": In some scenes, the famous American boss in exile in Naples is sitting at the tables of the "California Bar" a famous local era who used to attend.The poetry of the site has also inspired two of the most famous melodies of the Neapolitan song: the famous song "Santa Lucia" (currently, considered the unofficial anthem of Sweden) and "Santa Lucia luntana" symbol,the latter of Neapolitans immigrants who left the city for the Americas,which gave her the last look as crowded the decks of ships sailed from the nearby port.On stage, the Hamlet is the protagonist of the play "Santa Lucia Nova",two acts in verse,prose and music by Raffaele Viviani.The district was the destination of tourism organized by the so-called "Grand Tour" and during the 18th century the Princes of Francavilla built a mansion which hosted celebrities such as Giacomo Casanova and then became property by famous French writer Alexandre Dumas.

Continuing along "Via Nazario Sauro" to "Via Partenope"where you can admire the beautiful "Fontana del Gigante" (The Giant Fountain) also called by Neapolitans" A´Immaculatella"(The Little Inmaculate) because of its proximity to the Inmaculate building.Dating from the 16th Century it was a wotk of Pietro Bernini and Michelangelo Naccherino.Crafted completely from marble the fountain has a low base on which three round arches rest.Under the arches are statues of the river deities,while on the sides are sculptures of two caryatids and two marine animals supporting the basin.Its original home was "Piazza del Plebiscito" before moving to the port area in 1815 and in 1905 to Santa Lucia quay.Here you have a wonderful view about Naples bay.

 In "Via Partenope" along the maritim promenade is another beautiful Napoli landmark : The Castel dell'Ovo (the Egg Castle).Located on an islet close to the coast of Naples,the castle lies on the legendary islet of Megaride.It is one of the oldest buildings of the city,imposing and emblematic symbol of this important Italian city.Its name comes from what, according to legend, in its catacombs is a vertical egg that was hidden by Virgil.Legend has it that if it is discovered and overturned or destroyed the castle will crumble.The islet of Megaride has a very long story.In the 1st century BC, the islet hosted a large mansion belonging to the political and military Roman Lucius Licinius Lucullus and it was fortified by Emperor Valentinian III. During the 5th century was confined the last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire,Romulus Augustus,after being deposed.Later,the Normans made major restructuring works of the ancient fortress,which would be tweaked again by the Spanish.It is currently allowed public access to the "Castel dell'Ovo".You can see in addition to the impressive defensive structure of this huge building,the terrace with guns and the marina village at the foot of the castle.Along "Via Partenope"is "Piazza della Vittoria" (Victory Square) a beautiful square and one of the historican place for Neapolitans because it commerated the battle of Lepanto that Naples won against the Turkish in 1571.

In the square stands the "Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria",a church built in 1572,,in the centre of the square is"Palazzo Statella" already home of the famous Victoria Hotel ,surrounded by tall palm trees and statues by Giovanni Nicotera and Nicola Amore.Next to "Piazza della Vittoria"the relaxing promenade leading to The "Villa Comunale"(Municipal Villa). The "Villa Comunale" with its public gardens is along the "Riviera di Chiaia" separated from "Via Caracciolo".Its construction dates back to 1780 inspired by the "Jardin de Tuilieres" in Paris,the gardens were decorated with neoclassical statues,temples, fountains, and a beautiful sound box made of cast iron and glass.Inside the Villa gardens there are several buildings,such as the "Press Club" and the "Anton Dohrn Zoological Station",which houses the oldest aquarium in Europe.

The famous "Via Caracciolo"is a long and wide promenade of Naples running from "Mergellina"to "Riviera di Chiaia"the ancient city beach.The name of the street celebrating the Royal Fleet Admiral Neapolitan Bourbon Francesco Caracciolo a supporter of the revolution of 1799, was executed in the same year during the repression that followed the restoration of the Bourbons.With wide sidewalks for walking, sport and breathe the sea air, the road is filled with families,children,athlets,acrobats and occasional street performers. .At the end of "Via Caracciolo"start "Mergellina".Here you are in a romantic and legendary place, sung by poets..The legend is that here the Siren Partenope would love with Ulysses,and tried to attract him with her magic hand and then take him into the sea. But the Greek hero as Homer wrote was able to resist the fatal attraction, sing a trick:he is tied to the mast of the ship by his shipmates.Grief, the young siren killed and her body was picked up by the currents on the rock of San Leonardo at Mergellina.In "Piazza Sannazaro" is the statue of Partenope unfortunate testimony to the vitality of the ancient legend.The district of Mergellina is one of the best place of Naples to enjoy magnificeent sunsets and at night is a splendid view point to enjoy the bay by night.

"Piazza Dante" is one of the most charming square of Naples.The square, named originally "Mercatello Largo"(because in the past it was place of a small market), assumed its present structure in the second half of the 18th century, with the intervention of the prominent architect Luigi Vanvitelli: the "Foro Carolino" was to be commissioned a commemorative monument of King Charles of Bourbon.The work lasted from 1757 to 1765, and the result was a large semi-circle, tangent to the walls of Aragon, which incorporates the 17th century "Porta d´Alba" to the north and next to the church of San Michele to the south.The building features two wings with curved top sees,the presence of 26 statues representing the virtues of Charles,at the center a niche that would have housed a statue of the King and a clock tower.Now it forms the entrance of the National School Vittorio Emanuele.At the center of the square stands a large white statue of Dante Alighieri the famous Florentin poet and writer by sculptor Tito Angelini.Next to "Piazza Dante" is "Porta d´Alba" one of the  ancient city gates The gate was popularly called by Neapolitans"Porta Sciuscella'" for fruit, elongated and flat, hanging from the branches of a lush tree locust.Next to "Porta d´Alba" is "Piazza Bellini" a charming rectangular square dedicated to Vincenzo Bellini extends to the edge of the historic center of Naples,closed between "Port' Alba","Via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli" and the adjacent buildings of the "Complesso Policlinico"(The old hospital).Around the square several University faculties,the "Accademia delle Belle Arti" (the Academy of Fine Arts) and the "Conservatorio San Pietro a Majella"(Thr Music Conservatory of St. Peter at Majella) justify the connotation bohemian and cultural fervor that historically characterized by this area.

In the center of the square stands a monument dedicated to Vincenzo Bellini,rhe famous Catania composer dated 1886.On one of the short sides of the square,an elegant staircase anticipates the 18th century facade of the "convento di Sant´Antonio"(Convent of St. Anthony)currently part of Naples University..Behind the monument, however,the presence of numerous locals,bars makes Piazza Bellini, especially at night, a lively meeting place for young people and intellectuals.In the center of the square, a short distance from the statue, a fence is home to interesting remains of city walls in tufa blocks dated 4th century B.C.

"Via San Sebastiano", also known as "Via degli strumenti musicali" (Street of musical instruments) because it is Adjacent to the historic Conservatory is considered the Naples urban heart.Along this street you can admire "Chiesa del Gesú Nuovo" (Church of New Jesus) located in the homonymous small square.Built in the 16th century the building was for the Jesuits on the area of Renaissance "Palazzo Sanseverino"and it preserves the facade in ashlar diamond. Designed by the Jesuit Valeriani,it was transformed by architect Cosimo Fanzago the Church of Gesù Nuovo is one of the most important example of the Neapolitan Baroque.The interior is magnificent,walls with polychrome marbles and the rich decoration of altars and chapels.The main altar contains numerous inlays of precious and semiprecious stones,the apse is dominated by an imposing marble composition with the statue of Saints Peter and Paul.On ceilings and walls are frescoes by some Neapolitans painters.There are various relics preserved in the chapels,including those of San Ciro and San Giuseppe Moscati.Opposite to the church is "L´Obelisco dell´Immacolata" The Obelisk of the Immaculate.The Obelisk was erected in the 13th century by order of the Jesuits to the design of Giuseppe Genuino,thanks to a public collection of money brought by Father Pepe."Piazza del Gesù"was in the ancient Greek-Roman city an important transit point between the old "Agora" or "Forum" and the rest of the city.In "Piazza Gesú Nuovo"you are in "Spaccanapoli" in the ancient Toman Decumanus Inferius.Sometimes you have heard talking about "Spaccanapoli","Via Spaccanapoli",a name often present in some Italian restaurants and pizzerias worldwide."Spaccanapoli" is considerated a complex of consecutive streets cutting in two most of the city,the translation is "Naples splitter".The reality in terms of "Spaccanapoli" toponymic does not exist,it is rather a name given by the Neapolitans to that path,consisting of seven roads:"Via Pasquale Scura" (the highest area in the Spanish Quarter, to the intersection of Via Toledo) "Via Maddaloni","Via Benedetto Croce" (the tangent of street Piazza del Gesù Nuovo square through to Piazzetta Nilo),"Via San Biagio dei Librai" ( the Decumanus Maximum, in the heart of town,up to Via Duomo),"Via Vicaria Vecchia","Via Forcella","Via Giudecca Vecchia" (the street who cross the popular district of of Forcella).

Since the road structure of Naples is a native of ancient Greece,it would be more appropriate to speak of "plateiais" and not "decumanis " the name of the Roman era, which has replaced the original Greek toponymic."Decumanus" is a term used in urban planning in the Roman Empire era,the word comes from the line that drew the augurs from east to west when they made the auspices during the founding of a city.A walk in "Spaccanapoli" is like going through the history of Naples,encountering along the way the evidence of the city's past and its artistic treasures.The Neapolis Decumanus or Plateias are ."Decumanus Inferius"corresponding to the area of "Piazza del Gesú","Via San Sebastiano",and "Porta d´Alba" area, "Decumanus Superior"includes the area of "Via Anticaglia,"Piazza Bellini" and"Forcella, the Decumanus Maximus is the area among the Duomo (Cathedral),"Via dei Tribunali","Via San Biagio dei Librai" If you want to consider the heart of the "Decumanus Maximus"og Naples you could identified it with "Via San Biagio dei Librai"

Walking along "Via San Sebastiano" the street changes name in "Via Santa Chiara" where you can admire the Monastero di Santa Chiara (St. Clare Monastery.It is one of the most famous monument in Naples was built by King Robert I of Anjou and his wife Sancha and was built in 1310 by Gagliardo Primario. The church attached to the monastery of Poor Clares,was  the Pantheon of the Kings of Naples and the famous 18th century craftsmen made it one of the most beautiful interiors of the 18th century. Unfortunately, with the bombing of 1943 was nearly all destroyed and what remained was lost to the restoration of 1953 that reestablished the Gothic styleThe front, preceded by a portico,is characterized by a large rose window, flanked by a huge tower, fourteenth century only at the bottom. The interior consists of a nave with ten chapels,surmounted by a platform.Behind the main altar stands the great tomb of Robert D´Anjou,slightly damaged by bombing,a work by brothers Giovanni and Pacio Bertini, is the seated figure of the King, and is surmounted by an inscription attributed to Francesco Petrarca the famous writer saying in Latin "Sortis Robertum regem virtute refertum",Petrarca was a great admirer of the Angevin King and wrote as a beatification in honor of the monarch .he 9th chapel of the church preserves the baroque structure, and includes the graves of the Bourbons,in particular, the sumptuous tomb of Prince Philip, the eldest son of Charles III,built by Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1777.Opposite is the tomb of the venerable Maria Cristina of Savoy, Queen of Naples.The first chapel on the left, adjacent to the entrance,instead hosts the remains of Salvo d'Acquisto,the Heroic "Carabiniere" a policeman who sacrified himself during the 2nd World War to save a group of innocent civilians by a Nazi reprisal. Of importance is the choir of nuns,which is accessed through the sacristy, which was designed by Leonardo Di Vito as an autonomous church..The facade is simple but impressive, with a large central rosette.The bell towerseparated from the structure,was begun in 1328 and completed in 1500,it had five bells, and these fall for the bombing of 1943,they were put back in place in 1949.The interior is a vast rectangular space, overlooked by the chapel,lit by mullioned windows.Behind the main altar stands the great tomb of Robert D´Anjou,slightly damaged by bombing,a work by brothers Giovanni and Pacio Bertini, is the seated figure of the King, and is surmounted by an inscription attributed to Francesco Petrarca the famous writer saying in Latin "Sortis Robertum regem virtute refertum",Petrarca was a great admirer of the Angevin King and wrote as a beatification in honor of the monarch .he 9th chapel of the church preserves the baroque structure, and includes the graves of the Bourbons,in particular, the sumptuous tomb of Prince Philip, the eldest son of Charles III,built by Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1777.Opposite is the tomb of the venerable Maria Cristina of Savoy, Queen of Naples.The first chapel on the left, adjacent to the entrance,instead hosts the remains of Salvo d'Acquisto,the Heroic "Carabiniere" a policeman who sacrified himself during the 2nd World War to save a group of innocent civilians by a Nazi reprisal.Adjacent to the church is the cloister of the Poor Clares, which preserves the original structure and the remains of the original 14th century frescoes attributed to Giotto and his workshop.The great cloister Delle Clarisse originally in Gothic style,was transformed in 1742 by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro that covers the structure and less than 72 octagonal pillars of beautiful multicolored tiles in Rococo style, designed and made by the same Vaccaro and Neapolitans Donato and Giuseppe Massa.The cloister shows the presence of two large internal corridors that cross the center, and spacious garden areas, primarily designed for citrus trees,as is also discernible from the themes of the decorations,at the time it was characterized more as a pleasure garden as a place simply intended to meditation and prayer. Today is an effective refuge for those seeking a haven of serenity and tranquility in the heart of the city.

Turning on the left is "Via Benedetto Croce" a street famous for its several workshops of arts and flavors and "Palazzo Venezia"(Venice Palace),former Venetian Embassy from 1412 to 1797.In the open jaws of the lions that adorn the palace symbol of Venice.At the beginning of "Via San Biagio dei Librai" take a look to "Piazzetta del Nilo (Nile small Square)",in the square lies the statue of the God Nile,rhe square is known as "O' corpò e' Napule" (the Body of Naples) as Neapolitans call it.Singularity of the square is that it saves more than 2000 years the same name, and derives from a large number of natives of Alexandria of Egypt settled in the area of the city.The Egyptian Colony erected a statue of the Nile as well to remember their distant land.The main feature of the square is the statue of the God of the Nile as a bearded old man with a cornucopia (the ancient symbol of abundance) along the right arm resting on the side of a stone and standing on a crocodile's head."

Next to "Piazzetta del Nilo" is "Cappella San Severo"(Chapel of San Severo),This is the funeral chapel of the family of Prince Raimondo di Sangro, which was built in the late 16th century, and that he was completely transformed in the 18 century.In addition to the graves of family members in the chapel are preserved sculptures of the 17th and 18th century among which the Veiled Christ, marble works by Giuseppe Sammartino in 1753, one of the most famous sculptures in the world. There are two large boards that retain two skeletons of a man and a woman standing, made by the physician Giuseppe Salerno from Palermo which contribute to increase the reputation of the esoteric Prince.The arterial and venous system is perfectly preserved for over two centuries.

After Piazzetta Nilo"is "Via San Biagio dei Librai" (St.Biagio of Booksellers) the heart of Spaccanapoli or in the heart of the Roman Decumanus Maximus.The street is packed with souvenir shops,craft shops,antique dealers and sellers of local food and wine,you can see also "Palazzo Carafa Maddaloni",one of the most interesting building of the 15th century in Naples.To distinguish it from other residences of the powerful family,is well known as the Palace of Diomede Carafa named after the founder, first count of Maddaloni.The building was completed in 1466.Very interesting is the "Cappella del Monte di Pietà,the chapel is in the inner courtyard of the palace andv current "Banco di Napoli" (Bank of Naples).The street name "San Biagio dei Librai"means "St Biagio of Booksellers" from the guild of booksellers and old book shops in the past.Between "Via San Biagio dei Librai" and "Via San Gregorio Armeno" you can see the old church of "San Biagio Maggiore" located in a small place of worship of Naples.

"Via San Gregorio Armeno",is the famous street of the artisans of the manger, famous worldwide for its numerous shops dedicated to the art of crib.The street and the shops can be visited all year  and the visitor is brought back so every time the magical Christmas atmosphere.For each family Neapolitan Christmas is also a visit to San Gregorio Armeno.Most of the shops are always open and they show off their wares.But at other times of year you can see here the shepherds and admire the craftsmen at work more slowly than the Christmas period, where the great influx of tourists makes the road very crowded.The numerous nativity scenes on display caught the attention of young and old people.The shops offer mostly all the material needed to build or to expand their crib. Who wants, however, can of course buy a crib already done so, then buying separately with the pastors whose decorations.Usually it starts from 35-45 Euros for simple model,but made with great care,for pastors from 5 cms to reach the thousands of for the great achievements based on reproductions of classic shepherds of the 18th century.And some talentuous and creative Neapolitan artisans apart the classic characters figurines, Holy Family,King Magi, shepherds, caricature statues of famous people of the past and present.Neapolitan crib is the place where the sacred and profane, piritual and daily life, prayer and humor as only live in Naples, a city of contradictions where all is possible...you can find statues of some politicians as American President Barack Obama, or former Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona and if you want some "particular" people for your next Christmas Crib you can also find George Clooney and Totó, Pope Benedetto XVI and Sofia Loren,or masks of "commedia dell'arte" as Pulcinella, typical Neapolitan mask and many others.If you want to visit some really fantastic artisans shops in Via San Gregorio Armeno,8 is the shop of Ferrigno family with a long and great tradition awarded in New York,Paris,Stuttgart,Malmö and Zurich, 3 times awarded as the best Cribs in the world and 5 awarded with the title Best Cribs in Europe.Family Di Virgilio,in the same street at nº 18 is another talented family about the "Presepio Napoletano".

In this area worth a visit the "Chiesa di San Gregorio Armeno" located in "Piazza San Gaetano"  a small square adjacent to Via San Gregorio Armeno.The Church and the Monastery were founded by the nuns of St. Basil fled Constantinople with the relics of St. Gregory,bishop of Armenia in the 8th century.Decorated by Luca Giordano,it is a great example of Neapolitan Baroque style.The structure of the church has a nave with side chapels and a central apse.The interior hosts several   magnificent paintings."Piazza San Gaetano" is one of the entrances to the "Napoli Sotterranea"the underground Naples, whose visit is certainly one of the most fascinating ways to explore a hidden patrimony of the city.

"Via San Gregorio Armeno"leads to "Via dei Tribunali"and on the left of the cross is the "Basilica di San Paolo Maggiore".Built in 8th century on the ruins of the Temple (first century AD) dedicated to the Dioscuri, is located in the Forum of ancient Neapolis. The early Christian church dedicated to St. Paul, kept the ancient temple portico with eight Corinthian columns were destroyed after the earthquake of 1688. The present Basilica is the result of the changes which occurred in 500. It rises to the top of a wide staircase with two flights on either side of the front and has two niches with statues of Saints Peter and Paul and two Corinthian columns,with architraves of the original remains of the Temple of Castor.Between the second half of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century the church was renovated and enlarged several times, were added to the nave aisles with chapels were built in the apse and the transept. The plant has a Latin cross divided into three naves.The interior features typically Baroque polychrome marble flooring and marble inlays. Among the artistic works: paintings by Massimo Stanzione in 1644, restored in 800 by Cammarano,in the vault of the nave frescoes by Francesco Solimena, made around 1689,in the Sacristy.

 In front of the church you can admire another historical Basilica of Spaccanapoli,the "Convento di San Lorenzo".The reputation of the church is linked, among other things, the passing of famous writers such as Giovanni Boccaccio where he met the lady called Fiammetta here in 1334, and Francesco Petrarca, the poet who lived in the adjacent convent. The building was built in the 6th century, but followed numerous alterations that made the church a typical example of architectural stratification. The reconstruction ordered in 1270 by Charles I of Anjou, and later by Charles II of Anjou, followed Baroque adjustment.The interior is among the most beautiful medieval cities in the floor and you can see, highlighted with metallic elements, the plan of the early Christian church. Of interest are the Chapel Cacace, a Nativity scene placed in the right transept and the Dormition Verginis, placed in front of the altar, decorated with statues of St. Lorenzo,Antonio and Francesco, the tomb of Catherine of Austria, the tomb of Mary of Durres and the board of St. Anthony fifteenth among the angels. Of note is the chapter house, which overlooks the cloister, where Louis Rodirguez frescoed in 1608 the famous work of the Exaltation of the Franciscan order. Also in the cloister of the convent is access to the greek-roman excavations show that the urbanisation of the city with remnants of Macellum, the city market in the first century, which was erected a Christian church and a medieval building. Under this area were discovered the remains of a previous hole with the plant structures, where the shops were opening.

Next to the Basilic is the "Antica Pizzeria e Friggitoria Di Matteo",in Via dei Tribunali,94. .Probably the best pizza in Naples is in this room of the Neapolitan tradition in the old town, made famous by the visit of Bill Clinton during his visit to Naples.The local is small but of great tradition,it is a symbol in Naples and it is a must to enjoy a real and tastefully pizza napoletana here.

 "Via Duomo"leads to the Cathedral another landmark and symbol of the city.The cathedral was built on the site where once stood two temples dedicated to Apollo and Neptune.
Before the cathedral in this area have followed other places of worship, the two ancient Christian churches of Santa and Santa Restituta Stefania, then incorpored in the great basilica. The building sacred, dedicated to the Assumption, dating from the late twelfth century and was commissioned by Charles II of Anjou, but finished by King Robert of Anjou in 1313. Several changes were followed in the Cathedral which was rebuilt in 1680, from the 15th century altered by neo-gothic facade dating from the 19th century.Inside the cathedral,a Latin cross,you can see the pillars that divide the three aisles consist of 110 ancient granite columns.Famous are some of its chapels, like the 17th century chapel of San Gennaro, ex voto after the plague. In the chapel, a Greek cross,dedicated to the martyr, patron saint of Naples, you can see the dome frescoes by Giovanni Lanfranco, marbles and frescoes by Domenichino in the seventeenth century. Here is preserved the reliquary bust of San Gennaro, the Gothic style, containing the skull and the blood of the saint who miraculously melts twice a year.Of particular interest are the Chapel of the returned, only evidence of the earlier church, baptistery, which was under Bishop San Severo in the late 4th century and which is the oldest baptistery of the West; Minitolo the chapel, of Gothic architecture, richly painted, and the Chapel Tocco, with a 13th century floor.The transept retains the blade with the famous painting of the Assumption, by Perugino, while the altar is a marble statue of the Assumption by Pietro Bracci. Finally under the presbytery you can admire the Carafa Chapel, an elegant example of Neapolitan architecture of the Renaissance, whose design is attributed to Bramante.

Walking along "Via Duomo"at the end of the street is "Piazza Cavour", a wide square,very important city connection point with its underground station.In the square is the "Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie",a church built in neoclassical style in 1820 and in the centre of the square thr "Fontana del Tritone" (The Triton Fountain) one of the ornamental fountains of Naples,built in the early 19th century by architect Carlo De Veroli.Neapolitans call this fountain "Fontana delle paparelle" (Although you can find another Fontana delle Paparelle"in the gardens of Villa Comunale) thee name derives  from the fact that in ancient times was home to a colony of ducks(Paparelle in neapolitan mean ducks).In March 2006 Naples City Council decided to dedicate this fountain to Antonio de Curtis alias "Totó" the great Neapolitan artist,a Naples idol,the fountain is located near the neighbourhood (Rione Sanitá) where Totò was born in 1898.

Crossing "Piazza Cavour" Square is the "Museo Archeologico di Napoli"( National Archaeological Museum of Naples).The building was begun in 1586,in 1612 Pedro Fernando de Castro,Viceroy of Naples from 1610 to 1616,commissioned the architect Giulio Cesare Fontana the construction of the "Palazzo dei Regi Studi",a palace what would become the new home of the University.It is one of the most important archaeological museum in Europe, thanks not only to findings of the excavations of Pompei 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 bronzes,marbles, casts,paintings from Ercolano and the findings of the excavations of the ancient Cuma.The rich Borgia collection consists in Etruscan and Egyptian antiquities and very interesting is also 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,'Hercules with the Farnese Bull,the Tablets of Heraclea and the halls of the Temple of Isis.After the unification of Italy in 1861, the Bourbon Museum became property of the new Italian State and took it the name of National Museum.

From Piazza Cavour taking the bus 178 you can reach the famous Capodimonte Museum a must if you visit Naples.The museum is housed in the "Palazzo Reale" o "Reggia Reale" (Royal Mansion) di Capodimonte.Until the construction of the Palace,the area of"Capo di Monte" was an immense forest.The building dated 1700 designed by architect Giovanni Antonio Medrano, commissioned by King Charles of Bourbon.King Charles of Bourbon,decided to create a great hunting ground and a residence of the Royal Court.The facade is an example of Doric Style in which the traditional Neapolitan red "contrasts with the gray pipern.Inside there are works of art of inestimable value.The collection was created in the 16th century thanks to Alessandro Farnese, the future Pope Paul III.Over the centuries, the collection was enriched with several acquisitions and in 1920 the palace became a property of Italian State.The Museum has three floors.The first floor is the apartment hosting the historical Farnese collection.Among the works there are the Crucifixion by Masaccio,paintings by Botticelli, Parmigianino, Signorelli, Tiziano and Caravaggio's Flagellation probably the highlight of the museum.Very impressive the Flemish collection represented by works of Van Dyck, Rubens and Bruegel. A section of the museum is devoted to 19th century collection of porcelain belonging to the royal residences with pieces produced by Sevres and Meissen.Another hall houses a collection dated 18th century created by Cardinal Stefano Borgia,consisting of objects from missions in different parts of the world.Other sections display a collection of weapons dating from the 16th to 19th century.On the second floor is the Neapolitan Gallery founded by Joachim Murat to collect representative works of the Kingdom of Naples.Among the three hundred pieces that make up is the St. Jerome in his study of Colantonio,works by Vaccaro, Ribera, Solimena,Caracciolo and many more.Finally the top floor houses thee 19th century collection with contemporary works with the famous "Vesuvius"by Andy Wahrol.

In front of the museum  is the Princes House.Owned by the Marquis of Carmignano Acquaviva family, was regarded as one of the finest lodges existing on the hill of Capodimonte."The Bosco di Capodimonte".(Capodimonte Forest) is the only green lung of the city of Naples.Remained intact compared to the structure of 700 offers wonderful walks.Capodimonte is also very famous for its fantastic porcelain and in the forest you can visit the Porcelain Factory.The great tradition of Capodimonte porcelain, famous throughout the world started in this building in 1743 to 1759 and hosted the famous Capodimonte Royal Porcelain Factory.In memory of these origins is the trademark (Bourbon lily) that is still imprinted on the pottery in this area.The factory is the seat of state vocational "Caselli Giovanni" for industry and handicrafts,unique in Italy in charge of the preparation of staff and technicians in the ceramic industry.Do not miss the beautiful "Belvedere di Capodimonte"a splendid viewpoint and one of the most beautiful panoramic spot to admire Naples.On a clear day you can reach from here to look up to "Punta Campanella"part of Amalfi Coast."Belvedere di Capodimonte" is also called "Veduta di Napoli" (View of Naples).

In"Piazza Cavour"is the Underground Line 1 linking to Vanvitelli Tube Station.A pleasant walk leads you to "Castel Sant´Elmo" a beautiful fortress overlooking the town,rising in the area of San Martino on the top of the Vomero hill.The Vomero is one of the most elegant district of the city, middle-class neighbourhood with beautiful 19th century and early 20th century buildings, away from city noise the top is a favourite destination for those who do not want to miss the view opens up here and that goes the city,especially on the historic, as Spaccanapoli".The entrenched position, the system in the form of six-pointed star,and the pattern "double bite", which have allowed the defence forces in a symmetrical position,made it an impregnable fortress.From the castle terrace you can enjoy a picturesque view of the old town and the Bay of Naples.The castle was erected in 1275 during the reign of Charles I of Anjou.

The Angevins chose it as the summit of the Vomero area where police the town and built in 1329 the Belforte, the majestic building visible from anywhere in the city. Two centuries later the Viceroy Pedro de Toledo, we built a massive fortress, six-pointed star shaped, surrounded by deep moats. The original plan was amended, as well as during the subsequent restoration works by Domenico Fontana. During the revolt of Masaniello in 1799 was used as a defence and a prison for revolutionaries. Only a recent renovation has restored to its original splendour the castle which is used as an important centre of cultural events. For about ten years and is home to the Superintendent by a library and very interesting dungeons and terraces where you can enjoy a wonderful view on Naples. "Belforte"(beautiful fort) consists in a wide square with fortified walls and towers on the front. During enlargement with defencive works was modified,so as to be called "Castrum Sancti Erasmi", probably due to the presence of a chapel dedicated to St. Erasmus.Next to the castle you can admire the "Certosa di San Martino"(St.Martin Chartreuse).Founded in 1325 by Charles Duke of Calabria with a dominant position over the city,the original construction was a magnificent Gothic building of which remain today a few elements due to the radical restructuring of the 17th century in Baroque style,attended by all the great Neapolitan artists of the time,under the supervision of architect Cosimo Fanzago.The Charterhouse hosts The "Museo Nazionale di San Martino".The museum offers several sections including the topographic section of Naples, the naval section,with some models of real battleships, the section of the historical memories of the Kingdom of Naples with examples of political, economic and social development of the Kingdom of two Sicilies.In Vomero do not miss "Villa Floridiana" surrounded by large park it was the residence of the Duchess of Floridia Lucia Migliaccio, who married Ferdinand II during his exile in Palermo.The marriage did not allow it to live in the palace,which is why the king gave her the villa, a beautifully restored 18th century farmhouse by Antonio Piccolini, which was renamed the Floridiana.Today the building houses the National Museum of Ceramics of Martina. The magnificent view that embraces the entire Gulf including the views of Capri and Ischia.

In"Piazza Vanvitelli"is the "Funicolare Centrale",the Central Funicular linking the Vomero to Piazza Trento Trieste.

Naples offers you many shops and different area to do shopping."Via Chiaia" next to Piazza Trento Trieste,is one of the most famous shopping street in Naples,a pedestrian area and reference point for shopping in the city.You can find Tramontano Shop where you will love the extremely valuable handbags mad by hand according to ancient tradition Neapolitan, you can find important fashion brands such as Luisa Spagnoli,Guess and Burberry,in "Via Filangieri" and "Via dei Mille" the prolongation of Via Chiaia crossing Piazza dei Martiri are also among the most exclusive shopping streets in Naples with the splendid windows of the most famous brands such as Gucci,Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo,Cartier,Prada,Dolce & Gabbana,Hermès and Bulgari.

"Via Toledo"also called "Via Roma", behind the Taxi Station of Piazza Trento Trieste has some interesting shops too.Over 1200 meters long, starts from Piazza Trieste e Trento and ends at Piazza Dante, by intersecting streets and major thoroughfares.Along the way are historic buildings, palaces, monumental churches, theaters, cafes and famous bakeries, banks, and of course countless shops and boutiques of prestigious brands.Hardly, however, a Neapolitan, especially if you are getting older, that you call her by her name, because until a few decades ago the road was called Via Roma, and this name is still indicated by most.The current name of Via Toledo is in fact even his old name and celebrates the architect of its construction, that the Viceroy Pedro de Toledo, who in 1536 entrusted the project to the royal architects John Benincasa and Ferdinand Manlio. The idea of the viceroy was to link the area outside the walls of the offshore market (now Piazza Dante) to the booming new neighbourhood of Chiaia, thus giving the city what is now one of his main arteries.It was only after the unification of Italy, in 1870, they decided to call Via Roma in honour of the new capital of the Kingdom.

Pizzofalcone is a charming neighbourhood of Naples, home to very different realities, environments popular seventeenth-century palaces and streets. Reach Via Monte di Dio, which starts from Piazza Santa Maria degli Angeli. Along the way we meet one of the most famous theaters of Naples, the Teatro Politeama, and the town of Cassano Serra, which houses the Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies. We continue to follow it, up and away Nunziatella reach the summit of Mount Echia, site of the first settlement of the then Palepolis. The top opens wide the lookout with the blue bay dominated by the profile of Vesuvius, and on the other side of the hill of Posillipo. Via Posillipo is a beautiful scenic road, built by Joachim Murat in 1812, which begins on the coast and then up the hill that separates the Gulf of Naples and Pozzuoli. Once the elegant residences were surrounded by large parks, of which little remains. Among the most important residences in the area remembers Donna Anna Villa, built for the unique environmental position, which was built in 1642 by Cosimo Fanzango for Donna Anna Carafa, wife of the viceroy.The building remained unfinished while retaining the charm of a ruin.From the top of the hill you can admire the splendid panorama of Naples, the most popular one in the pictures that depict the city, the bay and the typical profile of Vesuvius. This view was already known in the eighteenth century, a period of expansion to Chiaia, as numerous paintings and engravings.
Naples is an artistic town,Neapolitan culture is very famous all around the world,its music has played a vibrant role worldwide.Music,Commedia,Theatre,Gastronomy,Folk dances as "Tarantella" and "Tamurriata"..Napoli is all that..Neapolitan songs" like "O Sole Mio", "Funiculi Funiculá",",O Surdato nnamurato" and many others are very popular worlwide.The Song "O Sole mio"(Oh my sun), have inspired Opera and great artists everywhere.The Tenor Enrico Caruso was the pioneer, launching Neapolitan Music in the best Opera scenaries all around the world.Caruso had 864 appearences at the New York Metropolitan Opera..a record..Then,simply conquered the World with performances at La Scala in Milan,At Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, Mariinsky Theatre of Saint Petersburg, Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires and many other theaters in the world were seduced  by Neapoliran Opera.The lyrics of this song were written by Giovanni Capurro in 1898 and the melody was composed by Eduardo di Capua.The successor of Caruso was Italian-American tenor Mario Lanza,later Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras and Placido Domingo,(Luciano Pavarotti won the 1980 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Performance for his rendition of "'O sole mio") Also Elvis Presley heard the recording and put to tape a private version of this beautiful song and Tony Martin recorded "There's No Tomorrow" using the melody "O sole Mio" other important artists performed this sunny song such as Bryan Adams,Andrea Bocelli,The Canadian Tenors,Dalida.James Last and other composers have performed "O Sole Mio" in several instrumental versions.In Japan is one of the most all time famous songs..In 1961, while becoming the first person to ever orbit the earth,Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin hummed "O Sole Mio."The song has also been the personal favorite of  the former Soviet leader Gorbachev,Polish Pope  Karol Woytila,American singer Frank Sinatra,"Canzone Napoletana", Neapolitan song..The origin of the Neapolitan song came around the 13th century,from passion for poetry and choral people invocations to the sun,as spontaneous expression of the people of Naples optimistic,positive about the life and with popular sentiments.The artistic concept is very deep anyway..It is a generic term for a traditional form of music sung strictly in Neapolitan language, the male voice singing solo,expressing genres such as the lover's complaint or the serenade.It consists of a large body of composed music,very melodic,with typical mediterranean sounds,with a clear idea to transmit and express emotions and surprises.About singers the city has always been and a mine of talents,"Neapolitan singers school" la Scuola Napoletana" is really very important..Enrico Caruso,Roberto Murolo,Sergio Bruni,Giuseppe Di Stefano,Renato Carosone,Bruno Venturini are the Masters of typical "Canzone Napoletana"later Napoli has produced new generations of pop singers such as Pino Daniele,Teresa De Sio,Massimo Ranieri,Eugenio and Edoardo Bennato,Eduardo De Crescenzo,Nino D´Angelo,Alan Sorrenti,Gigi D´Alessio,Sal Da Vinci and others..Many of them have kept the "Neapolitan soul music identity" in their pop performances never forgetting the origins. The "Teatro San Carlo" is the oldest continuously active venue in Europe about Opera and it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.It was one of the favorite Theatre of important composers like Haydn,Bach or Bellini and many other Operas in the world took inspiration from Teatro San Carlo, such as the Opera Theatre Sao Carlos in Lisbon and the Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires.From Napoli are the composer Ruggero Leoncavallo and an icon of actual Classical music as Riccardo Muti director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma,He is honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire KBE, awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the Universitat de Barcelona and awarded Russia's Order of Friendship in Moskow.Recently He won Birgit Nilsson Prize in Sweden,it is like an Oscar about Classical Music..Neapolitans are also the invention of the romantic guitar and the mandolin..The earliest six-string guitar ((known as the romantic guitar) was created by a Neapolitan named Gaetano Vinaccia in 1779.Vinaccia family had also developed the mandolin.And talking about Theatre...Commedia Napoletana, Neapolitan Commedy and the Theatre has produced several great artists like "The Neaples Prince" Antonio De Curtis alias "Totó"(Theatre and Cinema actor but also singer,writer and composer,Naples dedicated him a Square in 2006),the Family De Filippo (Eduardo,Peppino and Titina) Lina Sastri also the great actor and cinema director Massimo Troisi came from theater..Naples has influenced a lot the literature the "Sirens" from the epic Greek poem the Odyssey by Homer.It is a town of famous writers and poets as Torquato Tasso,Matilde Serao,Salvatore Di Giacomo,or great philophers as Tommaso D´Aquino and Giordano Bruno.This town has inspired many writers worldwide like the French Alexandre Dumas with "La Felice",the Dutch writer Vincent Monnikedam wrote "Zielen van Napels" (Naples Souls) American writer Susan Sontag wrote "The Volcano Lover" English writer Norman Lewis wrote "Naples '44".. Napoli is cinema, the Italian town has been scene of many italian and foreign films,some.."L´Oro di Napoli" (The Gold of Naples)  by director Vittorio De Sica with the famous actress Sofia Loren,or American films by John Torturro with "Passion" or "It started in Naples" by Melville Shavelson famous movie with Clark Gable and Sofia Loren,"Neapolitanische Geschwister" (The Naples Kingdom) by German Director Werner Schroeter,"Helsinki-Naples All Night Long" by Finnish Director Mika Kaurismäki or "Les amours de Lady Hamilton" by French Director Christian Jaque. Naples was also the scenary of animated cartoons by American Hanna & Barbera with Tom & Jerry in Naples or Japanese cartoons in a series called Guslinger Girl.Neapolitan panoramic scenary is also artistic inspiration in paintings, french painter Degas, painted "Vesuvio" and Caravaggio" St Martin Church" but also in the Pop Art Naples is present .. Artist Andy Warhol painted "Vesuvius".From Napoli is the Baroque Master Gianlorenzo Bernini famous for his masterpieces in Rome like Piazza Navona Fountains, The Vaticano Colonnade, David,Apollo and Daphne and important painters like Giordano,Morelli,Stanzione and many others.The University of Naples Federico II,was founded by emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Frederick II,It is the world's oldest state university,One of the most famous students of this university was Roman Catholic theologian and philosopher Tommaso d´Aquino.The "Naples Eastern University" (Università degli studi di Napoli L'Orientale) is the oldest school of Sinology and Oriental Studies of the European continent and awarded as"Royal Asian College" and in constant cooperation with famous Universities such as Ayn Shams University of Cairo,Fudan University of Shangai, Tarbiyyat Modarresi University of Teheran and Waseda University of Tokyo.

Napoli is a gastronomic paradise, Neapolitan cuisine offers you a great range of specialities..In this town was invented the famous Pizza.This is the real history of Pizza Napoletana. The city's oldest Neapolitan pizza was born in 1600. This is called "mastunicola", a food consumed mainly by the poor of the city. The women and boys came down the hill of Vomero bringing the head of the famous "stub" that kept them warm focaccia intended to feed the poor. But soon the pizza also won the wealthier classes, from kings. It is said that King Ferdinand IV of Naples, impatient to court life, had taken refuge in a pizza shop are won over by this delightful dish. Back at court, Ferdinand spoke so well of pizza that the rest of the aristocracy decided to try it. Thus were born the first pizzeria with wood oven, counter where the pizza is prepared and a shelf with the exposure of the filling ingredients, all of which are found even today in Neapolitan pizza that populate the corners of the city, including hotels in Naples and the many shops.The famous Pizza Margherita (with tomato,mozzarella, oregano,basil and olive oil) probably, began in 1847, year in which French writer Boucard mentioned it in his book "Customs of Naples", in fact Neapolitan people used to eat pizza with tomato and mozzarella. Then, on the11th June of 1889, historic date for Neapolitan pizza, Queen Margherita of Savoia convoked at the Palace of Capodimonte, in Naples, the pizza chef Raffaele Esposito to make pizza.The pizza-chef prepared three kinds of pizzas, but the Queen most liked the one with tomato and mozzarella.From that time on, in honour of the Queen, Neapolitan people called that kind of pizza "Margherita".But Napoli is not only Pizza.There is a wide variety of foods you can enjoy, fish and seafood,Parmigiana di melanzane",( a dish with aubergines, mozzarella, tomatoes, cheese), cheese and friarielli, swordfish, cod,clams,mussels,marinated and grilled fish,pumpkin gnocchi with mussels,scialatielli (pasta) with seafood,spaghetti with clams,Spaghetti with shellfish,scampi, prawns,Caprese (a starter with Mozzarella, Olive oil, tomato)excellent pastries and pies such as "Sfogliatella", "Pastiera", "Babà","Delizie al limone".

The airport of Naples-Capodichino airport, located a few miles from downtown, specifically in the San Pietro a Patierno and Casoria, and although limited in its development by the excessive proximity to the city, and throughout the Metropolitan area very densely inhabited, was the sixth of Italy in 2005 for number of passengers after Rome Fiumicino, the two airports in Milan, Venice and Catania.In Naples there are 2 lines approved by metro (line 1, also called "Art Underground" and line 6) that connect the centre with the neighbourhoods as "high" of the city, reaching the periphery;The historic line 2, approved as a "through-train" operated by Trenitalia, which connects the station with different areas of the city to the port;
 4 cable car lines that connect the hilly area to the city centre, until at last modernised streetcar line, which connects downtown with the eastern suburbs of Naples.

Naples offers a vibrant nighlife,in Chiaia area is Chez Moi a famous club,DugOut,in Via Mergellina,6 very good DiscoPub, Miami in Vomero District is a charming and fascinating club Velvet Zone, one of the clubs historic city, located in Via Cisterna dell´Olio.The Mutiny Republic was founded in the wake of the Rising South: a room especially for fans of art and music. One of the strengths of the Mutiny Republic is the environment: the unique decor consists of beds, sheets and pillows oriental by different shapes and colours. Belle also the statues of the Venus of Botticelli and the Venus of Milo that adorn the interior.

It is impossible to summarise all over this charming Mediterranean city so can offer,Naples is a lively place whose history is transformed and transmitted from generation to generation like a real genetic.This strong identity is fed directly from its long history. A past that the city lives in the present tense for 3000 years with the same gestures, the same voices and the same theatricality.Naples has the views of poignant beauty. A stop in Mergellina, Posillipo,and certainly the visit of the city will forever remember the dawn of sweet, red sunset over the Castel dell 'Ovo, the silvery light that lights up the daytime sea in Via Caracciolo or romantic places as Borgo Santa Lucia with the Vesuvio view..Naples has as other towns in the world its problems,(unemployment,traffic,urban problems,criminality,etc) and forget.. all the scare stories you’ve been told, Naples is like any other big city,anyway talk to a Neapolitan child and ask him.." talk to me about your town Napoli..he will answered you "Signó.. Napule é Napule é a cittá a chiú bell ro munn"..Dint' à stu core tengo sul' a ttè Napule!" (translation :Mr./Mrs.. Naples is Naples it is the most beautiful town in the world and in my heart I only have you Naples !) And yes as in that song by Pino Daniele, "napule é mille culuri Napule é a vocce di criatture" Naples is thousand of colours Naples is also the voice of the children").. Naples is beautiful for these things too..

Francesco Mari
 uk.linkedin.com/in/francescomaritravel/


RECOMMENDED HOTELS IN NAPLES

HOTEL PALAZZO DECUMANI
HOTEL ROMEO
GRAND HOTEL PARKER´S
GAND HOTEL VESUVIO
HOTEL GALLERY PALAZZO CARACCIOLO
HOTEL DE CHARME DECUMANI
HOTEL PIAZZA BELLINI
GRAN HOTEL VESUVIO
HOTEL DE CHARME CHIAIA
HOTEL EXCELSIOR


RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS IN NAPLES

RISTORANTE SORBILLO
RISTORANTE PALAZZO PETRUCCI
RISTORANTE ZI TERESA
RISTORANTE LO SQUALO
RISTORANTE CALABRITTO
RISTORANTE LOCANDA NTRETELLA
RISTORANTE CARUSO ROOF GARDEN
RISTORANTE LA TAVERNA DELL´ARTE
RISTORANTE DA CIRO

RECOMMENDED ETHNIC RESTAURANTS IN NAPLES

RISTORANTE KUKAI (JAPANESE CUISINE)
RISTORANTE IL DRAGO D´ORO (CHINESE CUISINE)
RISTORANTE ZORBAS (GREEK CUISINE)
RISTORANTE LA CUEVA (ARGENTINIAN CUISINE)
RISTORANTE CASA BASCA (SPANISH CUISINE)
RISTORANTE MALIA (MOROCCAN CUISINE)
RISTORANTE EL PICARO (MEXICAN CUISINE)

www.comune.napoli.it
 www.turismoanapoli.it
 www.inaples.it 
www.partecipiamo.it
 www.portanapoli.it
 www.naples.world-guides.com
 www.youtube.com
 www.wikinapoli.com
 www.incampania.com
  www.tours-italy.com
traveltips.usatoday.com
www.napoliunplugged.com