MON­U­MENTS & PLACES OF IN­TER­EST

Where Naples Coast & Islands - - MUSEUMS & ATTRACTIONS -

CASTEL DELL’OVO - Ac­cord­ing to an­cient Neapoli­tan leg­end, its name stems from the egg which Vir­gil, the Latin poet, sup­pos­edly hid in its foun­da­tions to sup­port the for­ti­fi­ca­tions. The place where the egg was pre­served was closed by heavy locks and kept se­cret be­cause it was be­lieved that all the facts and for­tunes of Castel Marino de­pended upon it. From that time on­wards, the fate of the cas­tle and the en­tire city, was linked to that egg. The cas­tle’s for­ti­fi­ca­tions and ter­race of­fer a breath­tak­ing view over the gulf – Open Mon-Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 8am-2pm – Borgo Mari­naro – T: 081.2400055

CASTEL NUOVO - Also known as Mas­chio An­gioino, it is one of the most rec­og­niz­able sym­bols of the city built in 1279 by Charles I, king of Naples, as a royal res­i­dence for the House of An­jou. From the time that it was built, it was termed “New” to dis­tin­guish it from the older Cas­tles of Ovo and Ca­puano. Wor­thy of note are its un­der­ground pas­sages, its two tow­ers and its court­yard, from which you can en­joy a fab­u­lous view, its gallery and Pi­azza d’armi.

Open Mon-Sat 9am - 7pm - via Vit­to­rio Emanuele III - T: 081.7955877

CASTEL SANT’ELMO - The first doc­u­mented in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the cas­tle dates back to 1275. This star-shaped cas­tle was orig­i­nally a church ded­i­cated to St. Eras­mus. In 1329 it was en­larged at the be­hest of Robert of An­jou, who trans­formed it into a real palatium for him­self and his court. Later Span­ish viceroy Don Pe­dro de Toledo had it fur­ther for­ti­fied in 1538. Used as a mil­i­tary prison un­til the 1970s, in 1976 im­por­tant restora­tion work on the cas­tle be­gan, re­turn­ing it to its orig­i­nal struc­ture. Open Wed-Mon 8.3am7.30pm - via Tito An­gelini, 22 - T: 081.2294401 - www.polo­muse­ale­napoli.beni­cul­tur­ali.it/museo_se/museo_se.html

CHIESA DEL GESÙ NUOVO - Erected by the Je­suits be­tween 1584 and 1601, its façade is ac­tu­ally part of a 15th cen­tury Re­nais­sance palace. Its in­te­rior is spa­cious and light with a rich cov­er­ing of coloured mar­bles and typ­i­cal Florid Neapoli­tan fres­coes. Af­ter the church was rav­aged by fire in 1639, Cosimo Fan­zago was com­mis­sioned to carry out restora­tion works that gave the Church a Baroque ap­pear­ance. Its in­te­rior boasts a num­ber of mag­nif­i­cent fres­coes while its chapels fea­ture the works of renowned artists of the cal­i­bre of Mas­simo Stanzione and Giuseppe Rib­era. Par­tic­u­larly wor­thy of note are its sculp­to­rial work and poly­chrome mar­ble floor. Open Mon-Sun 7am-12.30pm and 4pm-7.30pm - pi­azza del Gesù - T: 081.5518613

CHIESA DI SAN DOMENICO MAG­GIORE - Charles II of An­jou be­gan the ex­ten­sive re­build­ing that pro­duced the Church of San Domenico Mag­giore. The work was done be­tween 1238 and 1324, but the church has un­der­gone ex­ten­sive mod­i­fi­ca­tions over the cen­turies, in­clud­ing one in 1670 that re­cast the struc­ture in the style of the Baroque. In the 19th cen­tury, how­ever, the church was re­stored to its orig­i­nal Gothic de­sign and is a mot­ley com­bi­na­tion of the two styles. Among the many artis­tic points of in­ter­est in the basil­ica are the frescoed ceil­ing by Francesco Soli­mena and sculp­to­rial works, in­clud­ing the high al­tar by Cosimo Fan­zago – Open Mon-Sun 8.30am-12noon and 4.30pm-7pm – pi­azza S. Domenico Mag­giore, 8 – T: 081.459188

CHIESA DI SAN FRANCESCO DI PAOLA - One of the most char­ac­ter­is­tic and fa­mous of all Neapoli­tan churches. Built in the mid-19th cen­tury, its cir­cu­lar form is rem­i­nis­cent of the Pan­theon in Rome. On the ex­te­rior, un­der a mag­nif­i­cent colon­nade, you can see the stat­ues of the four car­di­nal virtues and the three the­o­log­i­cal virtues while, at the sides of the stair­way you will find two eques­trian stat­ues of king Fer­di­nand and his fa­ther, Charles III of Spain. Open Mon-Sat 6.45am-12-noon and 4.30pm-7.30pm - pi­azza del Plebisc­ito - T: 081.7645133

CITTÀ DELLA SCIENZA - The sci­ence mu­seum pride of the city, which at­tracted thou­sand of vis­i­tors ev­ery year, was al­most en­tirely de­stroyed by an ar­son at­tack that shook Naples, Italy and the whole world on March 4 2013. A huge loss that is al­ready be­ing reme­died with the re­con­struc­tion. The pavil­ions that at the mo­ment are avail­able are few: Sci­ence Cen­tre, Of­fic­ina dei Pic­coli, Teatro Galileo 104, where it op­er­ates the co­op­er­a­tive Le Nu­v­ole, the Congress Cen­tre and the Sci­ence Store – Open Tue-Sat 9am-3pm; Sun 10am-5pm; closed on Mon­day – Via Coroglio, 104 - T: 081.7352424 – T: 0817352220 – www. cit­tadel­la­scienza.it

COM­P­LESSO MON­U­MEN­TALE DI SANTA CHIARA - It in­cludes a Church, a Monastery and a Con­vent. One of the prin­ci­pal mon­u­ments of me­dieval Naples, its con­struc­tion be­gan in 1310 at the be­hest of Robert of An­jou and his sec­ond wife San­cia di Maiorca, who, both devo­tees of

St. Fran­cis of As­sisi and Santa Chiara, wanted to build a Fran­cis­can citadel to house the Clarisse nuns in the monastery and the Fri­ars Mi­nor in the ad­ja­cent con­vent. Be­hind the church is the Clois­ter of the Clarisse, the monastery’s main clois­ter, strik­ingly dec­o­rated with bright ma­jolica tiles and con­sid­ered a mas­ter­piece of Neapoli­tan art. Open Mon/Sun 7.30am-1.30pm and 4.30pm8pm - T: 081.7971231 - Com­p­lesso mon­u­men­tale - week­days 9.30am-5.30pm; Sat, Sun and public hol­i­days 10am-2.30pm - T: 081.5516673 - T: 081.7971224 - via S. Chiara, 49C - www.san­tachiara.info - www.monas­terodis­an­tachiara.com

DUOMO - Known as the Duomo di San Gen­naro or Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta, the Cathe­dral was erected at the end of the 13th cen­tury by Charles of An­jou. Its present ap­pear­ance is the re­sult of the nu­mer­ous mod­i­fi­ca­tions that took place over the cen­turies, par­tially al­ter­ing its orig­i­nal Gothic form. Off the right aisle of the nave is the Chapel of St. Jan­uar­ius (Capella di San Gen­naro), that also func­tions as the cathe­dral trea­sury (Te­soro) and is elab­o­rately dec­o­rated with Baroque art – Open Mon-Sat 8am-12.30pm and 4.30pm-7pm, Sun 8am-1.30pm and 5pm-7.30pm – via Duomo, 147 – T: 081.449097

GAL­LE­RIA UM­BERTO I - A mam­moth steel and glass mas­ter­piece built on the site of an en­tire block that was razed to the ground fol­low­ing the cholera epi­demic of 1884. The Gal­le­ria was built as part of a pro­gram of ren­o­va­tion and mod­ern­iza­tion of the city which be­gan with the Uni­fi­ca­tion of Italy when a ten­der was put out. The win­ning pro­ject en­vis­aged four large build­ings joined to each other by an ar­cade de­signed by the en­gi­neer Paolo Boubée. Mea­sur­ing 15 me­tres in width and 57 me­tres in height, the gal­le­ria was built be­tween 1887 and 1890 and is a won­der­ful late Vic­to­rian mar­riage of tech­nol­ogy with art. The Gal­le­ria has four ac­cess points: via San Carlo, via Santa Brigida, via Giuseppe Verdi and via Toledo.

ORTO BOTANICO - Founded in 1807 with a de­cree signed by King Joseph Bon­a­parte, Napoleon’s brother, the botan­i­cal gar­dens ex­tend over a sur­face area of al­most 12 hectares. Ded­i­cated botanists will be im­pressed with its rich col­lec­tion of al­most 10,000 species of plants in­clud­ing those from the ma­jor Amer­i­can, African, Asian and Aus­tralian deserts. Open Mon, Tues and Fri 9am-2pm by ap­point­ment only; Wed -Thurs 9am-2pma - via Fo­ria, 223 - T: 081.2533937 - www. or­to­b­otan­ico.un­ina.it

PALAZZO REALE - En­vis­aged as a 16th cen­tury mon­u­ment to Span­ish glory, it was erected at the be­hest of viceroy Fer­nan­dez Ruiz de Cas­tro who, in 1599, de­cided to build a palace ca­pable of lav­ishly host­ing his sov­er­eign, king of Spain and his en­tourage. The nu­cleus of the en­tire build­ing is the Royal Apart­ment which can be ac­cessed via a mon­u­men­tal white mar­ble stair­way with a dou­ble ramp whose lower part is dec­o­rated with al­le­goric bas-re­liefs – Open Mon-Sun 9am- 8am – pi­azza del Plebisc­ito, I - T: 081.5808111 – www. palaz­zo­re­ale­napoli.beni­cul­tur­ali.it

REAL ALBERGO DEI POVERI - One of the largest, most im­pos­ing build­ings in Europe it was de­signed by ar­chi­tect Fer­di­nando Fuga in 1751, at the be­hest of King Charles III of the House of Bour­bon. Orig­i­nally de­signed to be 600 me­tres long with five court­yards and a church in the cen­tre, due to a se­vere lack of funds, only the three in­ner­most court­yards were built. Plans to com­plete the build­ing ac­cord­ing to the orig­i­nal de­sign were fi­nally aban­doned in 1819 – Open Sat 9.30am-12.30pm by ap­point­ment only – pi­azza Carlo III – T: 081.5636062

UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI FEDERICOII - This es­tab­lish­ment was founded in 1224 with the spe­cific aim of train­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive and skilled bureau­cratic pro­fes­sion­als for the cu­ria regis (the king­dom’s gov­ern­ing ap­pa­ra­tus). It was also used to pre­pare lawyers and judges who would help the sov­er­eign to draft and ad­min­is­ter jus­tice. Via Mez­zo­can­none, 8 - T: 081.2531111 - www.un­ina.it

VILLA COMUNALE - Its gar­dens run par­al­lel to the sea in via Carac­ci­olo on re­claimed land fea­tur­ing al­most one kilo­me­tre of holm oaks, palm trees, eu­ca­lyp­tus trees and spa­cious flowerbeds em­bel­lished by Neo-clas­si­cal sculp­tures, foun­tains and build­ings in­clud­ing Casina Pom­peiana and the Cassa Ar­mon­ica. De­signed by Carlo Van­vitelli the Villa Comunale was built in the 1780s by Bour­bon King Fer­di­nand IV as a “Royal Gar­den” for mem­bers of the royal fam­ily. Fol­low­ing restora­tion work by Mi­lanese ar­chi­tect Men­dini with coloured chalets and a gold gate, it as­sumed a more mod­ern ap­pear­ance. The cen­tre of the villa houses the Stazione Zoo­log­ica An­ton Dohrn, an im­por­tant re­search cen­tre and home to one of the old­est aquar­i­ums in Europe. Open Mon-Sun 7am-12-mid­night - pi­azza Vit­to­ria - T: 081.7611130

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