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A Day in Naples

By: Cityseeker
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Castel Nuovo

Also known as the Maschio Angioino, Castel Nuovo is an impressive fortress built by the French Angevins in the 13th Century. The castle features 14th- and 15th-century sculptures, and frescoes by Giotto, as well as the Museo Civico's collection of Neapolitan paintings. The courtyard highlights the Palatine Chapel and the Apartment of the Viceroys. Once a prime political and cultural venue in Naples, Castel Nuovo remains a grand and arresting sight with its massive, circular towers and sculpted facade.

Piazza Municipio 64, Naples, Italy, 80133
Palazzo Reale Museum

Museo di Palazzo Reale was built in the period of the viceroy Conte di Lemos. It has been home to La Reale Stamperia, la Reale Arazzeria, the 17th-century Palatine Academy, the King's Gabinetto Fisico, the Palatine Library, The Bourbon Archive and the musical archives of the Royal chapel. It has also been the seat of power of the Neapolitan monarchy and that of South Italy. If you pass through the Cortile d'Onore you will reach the museum of the Palazzo Reale which contains the furnishings and decorations of the noble apartment-thirty rooms where state functions and gatherings would take place.

Via Alcide De Gasperi 55, Naples, Italy, 80133
Via Toledo

Dating back to 1536, the street of Via Toledo is one of the most ancient streets in Naples. This 0.74 miles (1.2 kilometers) long street begins near Piazza Dante and stops at the Piazza del Plebiscito. Commissioned by Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, second Marquis of Villafranca, the street houses important buildings like the Santa Maria delle Grazie and most of its renowned structures have been turned into commercial complexes. Today, the street is the fashion capital of Naples with tons of street shops, department stores, and quaint little boutiques.

Via Toledo, Naples, Italy, 80134
Cappella Sansevero

A historic chapel that houses a splendid selection of several artworks by Italian artists, Cappella Sansevero is also noteworthy for its spectacular Baroque style of architecture. It houses many masterpieces by renowned artists like Antonio Corradini, Francesco Queirolo, and Giuseppe Salerno, but the one that stands out is "Veiled Christ" by Giuseppe Sanmartino. Its ceiling is said to have been painted in 1749, and its flooring represents good and evil in black and white. It is a must-visit attraction when in Naples.

Via Francesco De Sanctis 19, Naples, Italy, 80134
Via San Gregorio Armeno

It's Christmas all year round at Naples' Via San Gregorio Armeno. This quaint street is well-known across Italy for its collection of artisan shops selling Christmas decorations, tree ornaments, figurines, houses and anything else you may need to create your own nativity scene. At Christmastime, the street is thronged with locals and visitors alike excited for a glimpse of some of the most elaborate nativity scenes to be viewed anywhere in town, and to shop for the missing pieces to complete their own. The rest of the year, visitors can watch as the artisans' craft each beauty by hand in relative peace. An homage to the city's grand, old traditions, Via San Gregorio Armeno is also a great place to shop for authentic, Neapolitan handicrafts.

Via San Gregorio Armeno, Naples, Italy, 80138
Naples Underground

Hidden away beneath Naples' bustling Old Town is a world of wonder. Constructed over a period of 2,400 years, a series of tunnels, caves, and caverns exist underneath the city streets. Several of these were originally created by the Greeks who quarried tuft for construction, transforming the resulting hollow spaces into reservoirs and water cisterns. During WWII, some of these were repurposed for use as air-raid shelters. Across the ages, each civilization built upon the existing network of tunnels, finding new ways to interweave their lives above ground with the world beneath. Far from being forlorn and featureless, this subterranean labyrinth is riddled with the remains of Nero's lost theater, aqueducts, places of worship, catacombs, and many more veiled pieces of Naples' long and eventful history.

Piazza San Gaetano 69, Naples, Italy, 80138
Castel Sant'Elmo

Castel Sant'Elmo has stood as a witness to the city's major milestones in the history of Naples. Built in 1329 with the origins of a structure under Charles of Angiò's reign, it is shaped like a six-sided star and gives the spectators a fantastic view of the city. Saint Elmo Castle has been restored and now houses the Molaido Library of Art, providing information on all the city monuments. Exhibitions, shows, concerts and even conferences are held in this historical monument. The castle has a 16th-century Church of Saint Elmo and the 17th-century Chapel of Santa Maria del Pilar. You pay a nominal entry fee.

Via Tito Angelini 22, Naples, Italy, 80129
Basilica of Santa Maria del Carmine Maggiore

Believed to have been founded by the Carmelite friars who fled the Holy Land in light of the Crusades, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Carmine Maggiore is a charming sample of Baroque architecture. Even with its bell tower rising high above the surrounding structures, the exterior of this 13th-century church does little to belay the elaborate treasures that lie within. Rich carvings in wood, elegant stucco furls and filigree, polychromatic marble inlay, and gilded sculptures shape the interiors of this historic church. The square where the church stands was once a part of the Piazza del Mercato - the original center of commerce and religion for the city of Naples - and has been the site of numerous momentous events. Although marked by the city's turbulent past, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Carmine Maggiore stands tall as an homage to the faith of the people.

Piazza del Carmine 2, Naples, Italy, 80133
National Archaeological Museum, Naples

Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli boasts the Farnese collection, a sizeable art collection in Italy. It includes precious paintings by Titian and other great masters, antique sculptures and great Renaissance pieces from Barbo and Fulvio Orsini. The collection is enriched by the significant archaeological collection in history, consisting of the precious remains of towns buried by Vesuvius during the eruption of 79 AD. Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli or National Archaeological Museum of Naples also has pieces from Etruscan and Roman civilizations from cities such as Capua, Nola, Pozzuoli, Baia, Miseno, Capri and many more. The museum is prominent for featuring artworks and artifacts from several periods, including the Egyptian collection.

Piazza Museo 19, Naples, Italy, 80135
Naples Cathedral

Built in the Gothic style at the end of the 13th Century upon the wish of Carlo II d'Angio, the Cattedrale di San Gennaro sits on the site of the old cathedral Stafania. It has been subject to numerous restoration works in the subsequent centuries, and the facade has been restructured significantly during the restoration work carried out following the earthquake of 1349. The three portals survived from the original structure. Under the second arcade on the left side of the central nave in the cathedral, there is a baptismal font made of an Egyptian basalt basin decorated with Bacchic masks. The upper parts of the nave feature multi-colored marble from 1618. Also, the 18th-century organs and the episcopal throne are under the last two arcades of the central nave.

Via Duomo 147, Naples, Italy, 80138
Museo Madre

Museo Madre occupies three floors of Palace Donnaregina. It is known to be the oldest museum of contemporary arts in the historic center of the city of Naples. The museum houses temporary and permanent exhibitions of contemporary arts. They also organize several activities and events, details of these can be found on their official website.

Via Settembrini 79, Naples, Italy, 80139
La Villa Comunale

Villa Comunale lies between the Via Caracciolo seafront and Chiaia riviera, close to Piazza Vittoria and Piazza della Repubblica. Opened to the public at the end of the 18th century and later enlarged and embellished, it is now one of the Neapolitans' favorite places for a walk, bike ride, skate ride or just sitting in the shade of its huge trees. The avenues are adorned with monuments and statues of famous citizens and fountains that celebrate classical mythology. One of the first you see as you come from Piazza Vittoria is that of Flora Capitolina; further up on the left is that of Oreste and Electra, then there is the fountain of St. Lucy, which is one of Naples' most beautiful. Close to the entrance to the Aquarium, another fountain celebrates the myth of Castor and Pollux. Then there are the Fountain of the Four Lions (whose basin comes from the Temple of Poseidon in Paestum), and the fountain of the Flora del Belvedere (near the Casina Pompeiana, home to the Società di Belle Arti Salvador Rosa). Further on, you will find the fountain of the Rape of the Sabines, then that of the Rape of Europa. An equestrian statue is that of Armando Diaz on a pedestal 16m high. Then there is the statue of the Pellicano that celebrates the support received by Naples from the Italian people during the cholera epidemic of 1884.

Piazza della Repubblica, Naples, Italy, 80122
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