Historic Centre of Naples
Culture, industry and port.
Capital of Campania and chief city of the province.
Location and siteIn Italy's Campania region, 185 km. southwest of Rome, Naples is situated at the foot of Mount Vesuvius in the midst of a volcanic area at the rear of the Bay of Naples. Beyond a series of islands and peninsulas is the Tyrrhenean Sea.
Throughout the long history of Naples, the fortifications were enlarged, reinforced and updated; in places, the original wall is still visible. From the time of ancient Neapolis, some of the east-west roads have survived, and today these form, with the transversal roads, a series of blocks running perpendicular to the slope. Elsewhere in the city, an irregular network and the orthogonal layout testify to the medieval and Spanish eras in its history. Other urban features of Naples, such as the Piazza del Mercato, which dates to the 19th century, reflect its more recent period.
This exceptional urban framework also includes major monuments and sites, including the Castel Nuovo and its triumphal arch near the port, the "Charteuse" of Saint Martin on the Vomero Hill and the Villa Floridiana at the edge of the city. The city's religious and secular architecture illustrates a succession of styles, including Romanesque, provincial Gothic, Catalan, Tuscan, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Neoclassical. Sprinkled with religious buildings adorned with rich interiors, the urban fabric is extremely dense.
Naples is one of the oldest European cities whose present-day urban fabric conserves the elements of its long history, which was rich with events. The layout of its streets and the richness of its historic buildings dating to numerous periods, as well as its situation on the Bay of Naples, give it an exceptional universal value without equal, and it has exercised a profound influence on a large part of Europe and beyond. (II) and (IV)
- Neapolis was founded by the Greeks of Cumae following the naval battle which put an end to the Etruscans' ambition to dominate the Tyrrhenean Sea. It is surrounded by a wall. Although conquered by the Romans in 327 B.C., the city maintained good relations with Athens.
- Although it was taken by Byzantine General Belisaire in 537, Naples, a dependency of Ravenna, resisted the Lombards. It attained autonomy in 763 and later became the capital of a Byzantine duchy. The city developed around two nodes: the Bishop's Palace and the ducal palace.
- In 1140 Naples was integrated into the Kingdom of Sicily under the Normans. In 1189 it became part of the Hohenstaufen Kingdom. Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily, founded a university there in 1224.
- At the Pope's incentive, Charles I of Anjou, who was the King of Sicily from 1265 until 1285, put an end to the Hohenstaufen domination of Naples and relocated the capital from Palermo to Naples. Under the authority of Anjou, Naples enjoyed two centuries of prosperity. The Castel Nuovo was constructed in 1279 and several Gothic churches were erected.
- The succession of the Aragon Dynasty in 1442 and especially that of King Ferdinand I were followed by a period of architectural and urban achievements.
- After being ruled by the French, then becoming a province of the Spanish Empire in the 16th and 17th centuries, Naples became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1860.
|M. Luigi de Magistris|
|Municipalité de Naples|
Palazzo San Giacomo Piazza Municipio, 1
Napoli, Naples, Italia
|Ing. Giuseppe Contino|
|Servizio Portale Web e Nuovi Media|
Palazzo San Giacomo Piazza del Municipio, 1
80133 Napoli, Italia
|Mme Rosa Ivervolino Russo||Palazzo San Giacomo|
Piazza del Municipio,1
I-80133 Napoli, Italia
+39 81 795.1111
+39 81 551.2969