Napoli (Naples), Campania

Napoli (Naples) is the largest town in southern Italy and capital of the Campania region, located halfway between the Vesuvius volcano and another volcanic area, the Campi Flegrei. Its buildings, museums and culture bear traces of all periods of its history, from its Greek birth until the present day.
The city has a population of almost 1 million, and together with its suburbs the metropolitan area reaches 3 million inhabitants. Naples has an important port that connects to Cagliari, Genoa and Palermo, and good ferry connections to nearby islands (Capri, Ischia) and Sorrento, as well as fast rail connections to Rome and the south.


  • Population: about 960,000 inhabitants in 2018
  • Zip/postal code: 80121-80147 - Postal Codes for addresses in Naples
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 081
  • Patron Saint: St. Gennaro celebrated on 19 September, plus 40 more patrons.

Administrative divisions

Naples is divided into 10 Municipalities, each including some of the traditional quarters:
  • Municipalità I: Chiaia, Posillipo, San Ferdinando
  • Municipalità II: Avvocata, Montecalvario, Pendino, Porto, Mercato, San Giuseppe
  • Municipalità III: Stella, San Carlo all'Arena
  • Municipalità IV: San Lorenzo, Vicaria, Poggioreale, Zona Industriale
  • Municipalità V: Vomero, Arenella
  • Municipalità VI: Ponticelli, Barra, San Giovanni a Teduccio
  • Municipalità VII: Miano, Secondigliano, San Pietro a Patierno
  • Municipalità VIII: Piscinola, Marianella, Scampia, Chiaiano
  • Municipalità IX: Soccavo, Pianura
  • Municipalità X: Bagnoli, Fuorigrotta.

History - Antiquity

The city was probably founded by inhabitants of the Greek colony Cuma around the 8th century BC, just a few kilometres from the more ancient town Partenope. For this reason it was named Neapolis (= New City).

In Naples, in the 'Castel dell'Ovo' (Castle of the Egg), Romulus Augustulus, the last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was imprisoned after being deposed by the Goths in 476 AD.

History - the Middle Ages

In the sixth century Naples was conquered by the Byzantines during the attempt of Justinian I to recreate the Roman Empire, and in 1039 was one of the last duchies to fall under the Normans, who had established the Kingdom of Sicily.

Frederick II Hohenstaufen founded a university in 1224. In 1266 Naples and the kingdom of Sicily were assigned by Pope Clement IV to Charles of Anjou, who moved the capital from Palermo to Naples. In 1284 the kingdom was split into two parts, with an Aragonese king ruling the island of Sicily and and Angevin king ruling the mainland; while both kingdoms officially called themselves the Kingdom of Sicily, the mainland portion covering the southern part of the Italian peninsula was commonly referred to as the Kingdom of Naples.

History - Modern Times

The two kingdoms were united under Spanish rule from 1501 until 1715, then for a short time Naples became Austrian until 1734, when theenlightened Bourbon monarch Charles (later known as Charles III of Spain) became the king of both kingdoms (Regno delle Due Sicilie). In 1799, a Jacobin revolution backed by the French Army gave birth to a short-lived republic (from January to June 1799) which was replaced by a Napoleonic monarchy. Then in 1816 the kingdom of Two Sicilies was reestablished, and finally in 1860 the kingdom was conquered by Garibaldi's army and was handed over to the king of Sardinia.

On April 7, 1906 Mount Vesuvius erupted, devastating Boscotrecase and seriously damaging Ottaviano. In 1944 there was a spectacular eruption, and videos of the event were used in the film "The War of the Worlds".


Neapolitan food and recipes are appreciated the world over, and the Neapolitan dialect, by its own right a language, was used in some of the most celebrated Italian songs. The opening of the funicular railway to Mount Vesuvius was occasion to the writing of the famous song Funiculì Funiculà, and many Neapolitan songs are well-known also outside Italy, as "'O Sole Mio", "Santa Lucia", "Torna a Surriento".

Traditionally the home of pizza, Napoli is also famous for its excellent pasta dishes, and Neapolitans also claim that the best espresso coffee in the world is made in their city thanks to the unique Neapolitan air and water.

Naples has seen many of its children spread out through the world, setting up their own 'Little Italy' in many countries. The majority of these Neapolitans who left Italy went to the Americas, especially the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina.

What to see

  • The Villa Comunale (formerly a royal park) stretches along the seafront in the elegant western end of the city. It contains an aquarium which is possibly Europe's oldest and is favoured by the locals for family walks on Sunday mornings.
  • The Museo Archeologico Nazionale, contains a large collection of Roman artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as the Farnese Marbles, some of the greatest surviving Roman statues.
  • The Museo Nazionale of Capodimonte, which preserved art collections including work by Michel Angelo, Raphael, Botticelli and Caravaggio.
  • The Teatro San Carlo, the oldest active opera house in Europe, inaugurated on November 4, 1737.
  • The "Napoli Sotterranea", old Greek-Roman resevoirs dug out from the soft tufo stone on which, and from which the city is built. Guided tours are allowed to approximately one kilometer of the many km of tunnels under the city, where also large catacombs exist.
  • Destinations in the immediate surroundings can be reached by ferry, as the islands of Procida, Capri and Ischia; south of Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, as well as the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum (destroyed in the A.D. 79 eruption of Vesuvius), can be reached by train or bus.
[the text above is partly derived from and based on Wikipedia and is subject to the GNU licence]

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Provinces of Campania
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