The Golden Mile
In 1738, King Charles of Bourbon commissioned the building of the Reggia di Portici, introducing the fashion, among Neapolitan noblemen, of constructing residences at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. Many of the city’s wealthy noble classes built elegant dwellings along the stretch of the Royal Calabria road that connected Naples to the southernmost provinces of the kingdom. Today, the surviving estates are collectively called the ‘Vesuvian Villas. Specifically, this term covers 121 of them which are protected by a special foundation that was established to recover them from the ravages of the previous 250 years.