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Naples

  • Monuments - Campania

A trip to Naples to discover the ancient civilisation that has left obvious signs on these places. Art and architecture, archaeology and science, and also excursions to the sea and mountains or concerts and unforgettable evenings on the coast and Phlegraean shore.

PIAZZA DEL MUNICIPIO
The port of Naples has been protected by this odd, beautiful castle, looming over the harbour behind the Palazzo Reale and San Carlo, for some 700 years now.
Charles of Anjou built it in 1279: many Neapolitans still call it by the curious name of Maschio (male) Angioino. Most of what you see today, however, including the eccentric, ponderous round towers, is the work of Guillermo Sagrera, the great Catalan architect who built the famous Exchange in Palma de Mallorca.
Between two of these towers at the entrance, the conquering Aragonese hired the finest sculptors from all over Italy to build Alfonso's Triumphal Arch, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture and design inspired by the Triumphal Arch, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture and design inspired by the Triumphal arches of the ancient Romans.
The symbolism, as in the Roman arches, may be a little confusing. The figure at the top is Saint Michael; below him are a matched pair of sea gods, and further down, allegorical virtues and relief panels portraying Alfonso's victories and wise governance.


CASTEL NUOVO O MASCHIO ANGIOINO
View of the massive and impressive Angioino Castle, erected during the French Anjou domination and then rebuilt almost completely by the Spanish Aragonese dynasty who gave it the name "Castelnuovo", New Castle. It is one of the town symbols and it is considered to be one of the most famous castles in Italy. The castle includes five cylindrical embedded towers and a triumphal arch added to the main gate to celebrate Alfonso's of Aragona entrance in Naples in 1443. It was the political and cultural town centre.


THE SAN CARLO THEATRE AND ITS MUSEUM
The San Carlo Theatre was, and still is, the pushing heart of Naples. A city that has always been looking ahead, in the middle of cultural changes, absorbing – like a sponge – all the new trends, a big cradle of experimentations, interconnections and syntheses. Naples – a city destined to leave arts free from rigid schemes. The Museum aims at offering a privileged view of the story of the theatre through interesting visual records – paintings, period printed matters, pictures, musical instruments – and audio materials, as well as a rich musical archive.  Besides, the most recent years are witnessed by several videos.  
The San Carlo steered the taste and history of the opera as well as customs and social trends.
All the major artists performed, sooner or later in their careers, on this stage that many world renowned composers deeply loved, such as: Donizetti, Verdi, Bellini, Rossini.
A cradle for legendary artists but also secular temple for important political and cultural events, the San Carlo has seen performing on its stage undisputable protagonists of the scenes, from Callas to Bergman, from Gigli to Martucci, Visconti and Herzog, from the Neapolitan songs performed by tenors and sopranos to fashion designers and couturiers that walked along the path opened by Coco Chanel and brought to us the precious handiwork by Roberto Capucci and Emanuel Ungaro.  

“MEMUS” (MEmory MUSeum), this is the name of the Museum, is a place where life recalls memories and, at the same time, softly moves towards experimentations of new languages, research and training, heritage and innovation, preservation and re-elaboration, novelty and tradition. Music? But also symbols, marks, customs, scenic illusions, the magic of a complex and versatile art, displayed in an ideal place for exhibitions but also a privileged place for multidisciplinary meetings, thematic events, movie projections, live performances.
A “creactive” Museum that helps us retrace the steps of the history of the San Carlo Theatre, a secular temple among arts, glamour and customs, with its “popular” soul and the devotion to youngsters, pieces of a global view of the “common good” that will contribute to give the Theatre back to its city.


PALAZZO REALE
The Royal Palace, built for the Spanish Viceroy, was the seat of monarchy in Naples. Its front is decorated with blind arches and niches housing the statues of the more illustrious kings of the city which was once capital of the wealthy Kingdom of Napoli. Today it is the National Library and Royal Palace Museum seat. The Royal Palace overlooks the ancient "Largo di Palazzo", Palace Square, the present Plebiscito Square, a wide and spacious pedestrian isle, mainly used for concerts and cultural events.


DUOMO DI SAN GENNARO
A monumental construction, graced inside by 110 ancient granite columns which support its Latin Cross structure, the Duomo was begun by King Carlo I d'Angió in the 13th century and finished by his successor Roberto d'Angió in 1313. The grandiose interior of the cathedral is lavishly decorated. Among the most precious artwork is the painting of the Assunta by Perugino, located on the right side of the transept. Several chapels open from both naves and the transept; the most splendid is the Gothic Cappella Capece Minutolo, with its beautiful 13th-century frescoes and mosaic floor. To the right of the presbytery is another Gothic chapel of great beauty, the Cappella Tocco. You'll also want to descend downstairs to access the Succorpo or Cappella Carafa, one of the most elegant Renaissance architectural structures ever created, in the style of Bramante.

Opening Hours
Mon-Sat 8am-12:30pm and 4:30-7pm;
Sun and holidays 8:30am-1pm and 5-7pm.
Excavations: Mon-Fri 9am-noon and 4:30-7pm; Sat-Sun and holidays 9am-12:30pm


MUSEO DEL TESORO DI SAN GENNARO
This museum, opened next to the Duomo and the Real Cappella del Tesoro, contains the extraordinary treasures which belong to the Tesoro di San Gennaro, never previously displayed to the public: jewels, busts, statues, ostensories, valuable cloths and priceless paintings, amassed over 500 years and donated out of devotion to the Saint by sovereigns, popes, illustrious personages or simple devotees.
hours
open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 9 am to 5.00 pm
holidays from 9 am to 2 pm


CHIESA DI S. CHIARA
The most famous basilica in Naples, this church was built in 1310 by king Roberto I d'Angió as the burial church for the Angevin dynasty. In the 18th century, it was lavishly decorated by the best artists of the time, but bombings in 1943 destroyed much of the art. A subsequent restoration in 1953 brought it back to its original Gothic structure. A large rose window decorates the facade, flanked by a majestic bell tower that dominates the neighborhood (its lower part is 14th century).


CAPPELLA S. SEVERO
The Sansevero Chapel Museum in the historic heart of Naples is a jewel of the world’s artistic heritage. Here, baroque creativity, dynastic pride, beauty and mystery blend to create a unique and almost timeless atmosphere.
With its masterpieces such as the famous Veiled Christ, renowned world over for the remarkable tissue-like quality of the marble, feats of virtuosity such as Disillusion, and enigmatic creations such as the Anatomical Machines, the Sansevero Chapel is one of the most impressive monuments that the human mind has ever conceived.
A noble mausoleum, a temple of initiation, which admirably reflects the multi-faceted personality of its ingenious architect, Raimondo di Sangro, seventh Prince of Sansevero.
Opening Hours
Working days: 10am-5.40pm
Sundays and holidays: 10am-1.10pm
Closed on Tuesdays
 

MUSEO DI CAPODIMONTE
The Royal palace of Capodimonte, designed by the Bourbons from 1738 houses the Farnese Collection. This is a remarkable rich collection of art with masterpieces by Titian, Parmigianino, Carracci and others. Beside these works of art it is also possible to admire the magnificent works undertaken for the churches of Naples and the surrounding region. These include works by Simone Martini, Colantonio and Caravaggio. In addition there are further prestigious works such as those of the Borgia and D’Avalos Collections.
On the first floor is the Royal Apartment dating back to the Bourbons which are filled with valuable collections such as the famous porcelains. On the second and third floors is a gallery dedicated to the art of Naples and sections which treat eighteenth century and contemporary art.

ARTECARD: the site is included in the Campania Artecard circuit


MUSEO ARCHEOLOGICO NAZIONALE
The history of this museum began in 1734 with the arrival of Charles of Bourbon. His son, Ferdinand, decided to construct a magnificent museum in which to hold objects and items found in the excavations in and around Vesuvius and the rich Farnese collection. The actual museum was located on the old site of the Palazzo degli Studi which was restored firstly by Fuga and then, later, by Schiantarelli. With the unification of Italy the museum became national and was enriched by new acquisitions and a reorganisation of existing collections. In 1957 the picture gallery was transferred to Reggia di Capodimonte and, thereby, today’s national museum was realised; one of the most richly endowed archaeological museums in existence and particularly rich in Greco-roman holdings.
The Epigraphy Collection. This contains documents in Greek, Oscan, Latin and various other pre-roman languages. Among these are both political and religious texts and a selection of inscriptions found in the area of Vesuvius.
The Egyptian Collection. Testifying to the relationship between Egypt and the Roman world from the fourth century B.C., this collection includes a variety of Egyptian artefacts including mummified humans, a mummified crocodile and a statue of Anubis from Cuma.
The Farnese Collection. This is made up of over 400 sculptures, paintings, gems and precious materials. Of the sculptures one of the most noted is the enormous Tirannicidi, a copy of an original Athenean work from the Villa Adriana in Tivoli. Other noted pieces include the Hercules of Farnese and the Bull of Farnese. Frescoes from the ville vesuviane (villas in the Vesuvius region) are also displayed as are the sculptures from the Villa dei Papiri (Villa of Papyri). In all there are 50 marble sculptures and 21 statues which exhibit a Roman interpretation of an artistic style which originated in Lysippus. In one particular section, the so-called secret cabinet, are displayed various objects of erotic art found at Pompeii during excavations there.
The museum also frequently hosts shows and exhibitions of contemporary art.
FREE ENTRANCE for persons under 18 and over 65 years old from the European Union,
ARTECARD: the site is included in the Campania Artecard circuit
NOTICE: access to the Secret Chamber and to the first floor collection are with numbers limited at the entrance reservation required
Timetables:
Opening hours from 9 am to 8 pm.
Closed Tuesday (except during the Cultural Heritage Week), January 1, December 25.
Ticket office close one hour before museum closing time.


MUSEO PIGNATELLI CORTES
These is a rare example of a house-museum. The objects within are found in their original locations in their original rooms. This princely residence radiates with the taste and prestige of its previous occupants, among them the Acton family, the Rothschilds and the Pignatellis. The villa, a harmonious and elegant example of Neapolitan neoclassical architecture, was designed by Pietro Valente in 1826.
The museum was created in 1955 when the princess Rosina Pignatelli donated the park and villa, together with all its furnishings and collections to the Italian State. It displays a variety of furniture, domestic objects, silverware, ornaments and furnishings in bronze, small bronze statues and statuettes and porcelain, all of which demonstrate the interests of the Pignatelli family. The grand staircase leading to the upper floor takes us to a collection of art from the Bank of Naples with treasures from the 16th to the 19th century. The basement floor, completely restructured, hosts conferences and exhibitions while, in a pavilion at the end of the garden, there is the Museum of Carriages.

ARTECARD: the site is included in the Campania Artecard circuit
Timetables:  
Opening hours from 8:30 am to 2 pm.
Closed Tuesday (except during the Cultural Heritage Week), Easter Monday, August 15.
Ticket office closes one hour before Museum closing time.


MUSEO DUCA DI MARTINA
The splendid holdings on the hill of Vomero were acquired by Ferdinand I of Bourbon as a summer residence for the Duchess of Floridia, Lucia Migliaccio. Thus was born the exquisitely refined neoclassical villa, designed by the Tuscan architect Antonio Piccolini. The villa and the surrounding parks were acquired by the state in 1919 and since 1927 the Ceramics Museum of the Duke of Martina has been housed here. This museum contains one of the most prestigious collections of Oriental and European decorative art and includes over six thousand objects made of various decorative materials, from glass to amber, coral to enamel, but mostly porcelain and majolica.

ARTECARD: the site is included in the Campania Artecard circuit
Timetables:  
Opening hours from 8:30 am to 2 pm.
Closed Tuesday (except during the Cultural Heritage Week), Easter Monday, August 15.
Ticket office closes one hour before Museum closing time


CASTEL SANT'ELMO
The first mention of the imposing fortified structure which dominates the city of Naples from high on the nearby hills dates from 1275 when the fortress was the seat of the family of King Charles of Angiò. In 1329 Robert of Angiò decided to enlarge the fortification and commissioned the Senese architect Tino di Camaiano to head the project. Between 1537 and 1547 the castle was reconstructed by the viceroy Don Pedro of Toledo and here it took its particular star shaped structure with six points. It became a compact and strong castle which protected the city under the auspicies of Pedro Luis Escrivà of Valencia, one of the periods most noted military architects. In 1604 the structure began life as a prison for political prisoners and, afterwards, as a prison for military prisoners until 1952. In 1976 rebuilding began which lasted seven years so that today the original structure is again visible. Today, the Castle of Saint Elmo is a multifunctional centre offering  art exhibitions, shows, concerts and a conference centre. For these and other functions the castle is particularly well suited as it offers breathtaking views of the city and Bay of Naples.
Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale Napoletano
ARTECARD: the site is included in the Campania Artecard circuit
Timetables:
Opening hours from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm.
Closed Tuesday (except during the Cultural Heritage Week), Easter Monday.
Ticket office closes one hour before Museum closing time.

MADRE - CONTEMPORARY ARTS MUSEUM DONNAREGINA DI NAPOLI
Madre is the first contemporary arts museum open in a city's historic centre. The Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza has trasformed the antique palazzo Donnaregina into a splendid and functional modern space for the needs of the contemporary arts. In the hidden heart of Naples, the Madre museum is also the excuse to renew the touristic appeal of the area, a part of the city rich in social values that need to be revitalized.
It’s the most important terminal of a visit that takes you from the installations in piazza Plebiscito to the grand exhibits at the Archaeological Museum of Naples and Castel Sant'Elmo, to the contemporary arts wing of the Capodimonte Museum and the stations of the new metro line, down to the birth of the PAN, a documentation centre for the visual arts.
 Timetables:
Open from Sunday to Friday from 10 am to 12 pm (last entrance 11 pm).
Ticket office closes one hour before.
 

CASTEL DELL'OVO
Built over the small island where the first Greek colony was created in the 9th century B.C., this castle is one of Naples's most famous sites; its profile graces most pictures of the bay. According to legend, its name, "Castle of the Egg," refers to the magic egg that the classic poet Virgil -- the author of the Aeneid and a reputed magician -- placed under the foundations to protect it. The fortress evolved from the villa of the Roman Lucullus (a celebrated gourmand), which was fortified in the Middle Ages and transformed into a castle by Frederick II. Enlarged and strengthened between the 16th and the 18th centuries, it remained a royal residence until the 20th century. Part of the castle now houses the Museum of Ethno-Prehistory, which is open only for special exhibits.

free entrance
Opening Hours: from 9.00 to 18.00
Sundays from 9.00 to 14.00


TOMBS OF VIRGIL AND LEOPARDI
Constructed during the Fascist era, the Park was restored in 1976. In it are: (a) the tomb of the poet Giacomo Leopardi, created in 1934 in imitation of a Roman funerary column. Until that time, the poet's remains had been kept in the church of San Vitale a Fuorigrotta. The priest of that church had been the only cleric to agree to Count Ranieri's request that he accept the poet's body. Leopardi had died during a cholera epidemic, during which burial in common graves was mandatory. (b) The Neapolitan Crypt, constructed during the Roman era by Cocceius. The Crypt provided a much more rapid link between Neapolis and the Phlegrean Fields than was possible along the hillside routes then available. It is currently unusable because of the collapse of a section of its vault. (c) The tomb of the poet Virgil. It is located next to the Crypt, on some high ground. There is absolutely no certainty that this is the actual tomb of Virgil; but, following ancient tradition, everyone comes here to give homage to the great poet. This is a Roman funerary monument, called a columbarium (a "dove-cote") because of the recesses cut into it. Inside there is a tripod, on which aromatic herbs were burned in honor of the dead.


CATACOMBS OF SAINT GENNARO
These catacombs attached to the church of San Gennaro extra Moenia are the most important in southern Italy, prized for both the length of the period they were in continued use -- from the emergence of Christianity until the 10th century -- and the well-preserved fresco cycles that decorate their corridors and chapels -- spanning from the 2nd to the 10th centuries. Organized on two levels, its broad corridors and halls distinguish it from the narrower Roman catacombs. Among the most interesting things here is the Cripta dei Vescovi, a bishop burial chamber magnificently decorated with mosaics dating from the 5th century. The lower level holds the Basilica di Sant'Agrippino ipogea ("ipogean," or subterranean) where St. Agrippino, the 3rd-century bishop of Naples, is buried. Also nearby is the Cubicolo di San Gennaro, with the tomb of the patron saint of Naples, whose remains were moved here in the 5th century.

Guided tours every hour
 Monday to Saturday from 10.00 to 17.00
 Sundays from 10.00 to 13.00


PIAZZA DEL GESU' NUOVO
Gesù Nuovo is the name of a church and a square in Naples. They are located just outside the western boundary of the historic center of the city. The existence of the square is a consequence of the expansion of the city to the west beginning in the early 16th century under the rule of Spanish viceroy Pedro Alvarez de Toledo. The square is marked by three prominent landmarks:

The Church of Gesù Nuovo
The Church of Santa Chiara
The Spire of the Immaculate Virgin
The Church of Gesù Nuovo (New Jesus) was originally a palace built in 1470 for Roberto Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno. The Jesuits had already built a church in Naples, now called Gesú Vecchio. Political intrigues caused the property to be confiscated, and eventually sold in the 1580s to the Jesuits for 45,000 ducats to construct a church (1584–1601) under architect Giuseppe Valeriano. When the Jesuits were expelled from Naples in 1767, the church passed to the Franciscan order. The Jesuits returned in 1821. The unusual facade, unusually plain for a Baroque style church, is of rusticated ashlar and is the original façade of the palace.


CITTA'  DELLA SCIENZA
Part of a major redevelopment of the Bagnoli steelworks area, this huge, high-tech museum takes the 'geek' out of science. Get clued up on physics at the science gym, walk through constellations in the high-tech planetarium or just go plain silly pressing lots of funky buttons.

Opening Hours
Tue-Sat 09:00 - 17:00 , Sun 10:00 - 19:00


NAPOLI SOTTERRANEA
In the underground of Naples lies a labyrinth of tunnels, tanks and cavities that form a real city which is the negative of the city on surface.

The underground city spreads below the entire old town, its myths and legends are still alive in the imagination of all the neapolitans.

The underground of Naples fascinates and impresses for the grandeur of the cavities, and therefore for the spaces, and for the maze of tunnels that cross each other for several miles below the streets and the buildings.

Opening Hours
Thursday at 9 p.m. Saturday at 10 a.m. - 12 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday and holidays at 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - 12 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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