Posil­lipo

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he hill of Posil­lipo is one of the most ro­man­tic places in the city, an en­chant­ing cor­ner lined with sump­tu­ous vil­las fronting the seashore and tucked away be­tween trees, slop­ing paths lead­ing down to small se­cluded beaches and steep cliff s from where you can en­joy a breath­tak­ing view of the pic­turesque city of Naples. Its virtues are embodied in its name: “Pausi­ly­pon” which ac­tu­ally means ‘ a respite from work’. In fact, it was not mere chance that Posil­lipo be­came the favourite hol­i­day­ing des­ti­na­tion of the Span­ish dur­ing the 17th cen­tury. Start­ing at the end of via Mergel­lina, the fi rst part of the beau­ti­ful, panoramic via Posil­lipo runs along the shore­front, sub­se­quently slop­ing more and more steeply up­wards. The fi rst stretch of the road is home to one of the most fa­mous build­ings in Naples. Palazzo Donn’Anna which, on ac­count of its stunning lo­ca­tion and un­usual struc­ture, was one of the sub­jects most fre­quently de­picted by 19th and 20th cen­tury artists. Built in 1642 by Cosimo Fan­zago for Anna Carafa, wife of Span­ish viceroy Me­d­ina de Las Tor­res, it was never com­pleted, grad­u­ally as­sum­ing the sem­blance of an an­cient ruin that seems to blend in with the sur­round­ing

Baia di Trentaremi nat­u­ral grot­toes. Over the cen­turies, the leg­ends sur­round­ing the villa and its owner ( who spent the last days of her life here de­voured by an in­sane jeal­ousy caused by her lover’s infi deli­ties) has fu­eled the fan­tasy of po­ets and writ­ers, from Benedetto Croce to Matilde Serao and Raff aele La Capria. By tak­ing a de­vi­a­tion onto via Ferdinando Russo, you will fi nd Villa Rose­bery, owned by the Gov­ern­ment and home, since 1957 to the Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic. A truly beau­ti­ful villa set within a park ex­tend­ing over a sur­face area of some 66,000 square me­tres perched on a cliff over­look­ing the sea fea­tur­ing paths lined with age- old pine trees and cy­presses in­ter­spersed with lau­rel and myr­tle bushes, palms, cy­cas, prickly pears, bougainvil­lea, ole­an­ders, hibis­cus and camel­lias, as well as a num­ber of other rare, ex­otic species. Af­ter reach­ing the cross­roads of Capo Posil­lipo you can choose be­tween two itin­er­ar­ies: on the one hand, you can walk down to­wards Marechiaro, along the same road, which snakes amidst vil­las and trees as far as the sea while, on the other, you can take the road lead­ing down to Coroglio, to reach the Pausi­ly­pon

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