The city is divided into 21 zones, and it has so many monuments that it is rightfully known as an open air museum.
Meanwhile, here is a little guide to allow you to choose the most significant places of interest and tourist attractions, should you find yourself in this glorious city, but with time as your enemy.
San Ferdinando – Chiaia – Posillipo – The places, monuments and landscapes in this triangle are probably the ones which have made Naples famous, and they also offer one of the best itineraries for tourists whowould like to visit these areas.
The tourist who lands in Naples finds themselvesimmediately immersed in the scenery of the Piazza Municipio which is itself dominated by the impressive mole of the Maschio Angioino or Castel Nuovo; the Teatro San Carlo, the splendid Galleria Umberto I and the spectacular Piazza del Plebiscito behind the façade of the majestic Palazzo Reale, the semicircular colonnade and the domes of thesplendid Basilica di San Francesco di Paola are all close to one another and just waiting to be seen.
Heading down towards the sea, you’ll come upon Santa Lucia and then Borgo Marinaro where the Castel dell’Ovo stands in all its glory.
Chiaia – is the area which faces the bay; you must visit this area and take a long walk along the promenade from Via Partenope past Via Caracciolo until Mergellina or stop by at Villa Comunale blessed with trees dating back centuries, neo classical statues, artistic fountains; it is here that you’ll find the oldest acquarium in Europe.
The most important monument in the zone is theVilla Pignatelli which today is home to one of Naples museums.
Posillipo – offers up thechance to enjoy a splendid view of the bay and the incredible mount Vesuvius, the promontory of Sorrento and the island of Capri.
Looking eastwards, you will behold the Bay of Pozzuoli as well as the islands of Nisida, Ischia and Procida and the historical Campi Flegrei (Phlegrean Fields).
Il Centro Antico – Naples is characterised by its uniformity in town planning.
In fact, the quarters that makes up the ancient centre still faithfully adhere to the Greco-Roman plans for the city of Neapolis.
In these quarters are layer upon layer of history which unfolds before the eyes of the unsuspecting visitor likean enormous history book.
The alleyways overflowing with life in quarters such as San Lorenzo, San Giuseppe, Porto e Pendino are the same ones in which Greeks would tradeand build temples during the 4th century.
It is practically impossible to list all the monuments that you will find in the three decumani and the numerous side streets (i cardi) which run perpendicular to them, but mention must be made of the following churches: San Paolo Maggiore built upon the foundations of the tempio dei Dioscuri, (twocolumns of the temple are still visible), there is San Lorenzo Maggiore, underneath which are important archaelogical remains which the public are able to visit.
These two churches are located in Piazza San Gaetano, the ancient Roman marketplace along Via dei Tribunali, the ancient decumanus maggiore.
The church and street of San GregorioArmeno are also worth a visit, this church was also built on the site of a temple.
Via dei Tribunali ends in front of Castel Capuano, the oldest fort in the city built for Norman kings, behind it lies opening onto the Porta Capuana.
Walking along Via Duomo, you’llcome across the Cathedral dedicated to San Gennaro, the city’s patron, the cathedral seems to be in a place that doesn’t seem grand enough for such an important building, the Duomo which incorporates the ancient basilica of Santa Restituta built on the orders of Constantine, and the Battistero di San Giovanni in Fonte which is the oldest baptistery in the western world.
Beneath the Duomo lie ancient archaeological sites, which you can visit.
The stratification begins with the ancient Greek and finishes with the Middle Ages.
The Museo Civico Filangieri is also located in Via Duomo and is housed inside the Palazzo Como which was built during the Renaissance.
Piazzetta Nilo is situated on Via San Biagiodei Librai, and in which you’ll find a 2000 years old statue, Statua del Corpo di Napoli.
Following the axis of Spaccanapoli you will find other examples of Neapolitan culture: in Piazza San Domenico Maggiore you will find the basilica of the same name and numerous palazzi from the Aragon and Spanish era with the Guglia which was dedicated to the Saint at the centre.
The Cappella di San Severo is also worth a visit.
Piazza del Gesù Nuovo yields such treasures as the Chiesa di Santa Chiara, the Chiostro delle Clarisse, the 16thcentury façade of the Gesù Nuovo and the Guglia dell’Immacolata.
The San Giovanni Maggiore, was built on the remains chapel of San Giovanni di Pappacoda contains astupendous Gothic doorway.
The primary university faculties and museums are housed in these historic piazzas.
Il Centro Storico – The quarters of the Centro Storico are natural extensions of the Centro Antico, which represent the Medieval and Renaissance developments reaching to the Spanish viceroys and the Neapolitan Bourbons.
TheSpanish quarters; the elegant Via Toledo with its historic palazzi and churches that contain the masterpieces of 17th century Neapolitan painters; Piazza Monteoliveto which contains Palazzo Gravina, the Fontana built in honour of Carlos II of Spain and the church Sant’Anna dei Lombardi with a wealth of Renaissance treasures, Piazza Dante with the 18th century façade of the National Boarding School il Convitto Nazionale and Port’Alba, where the lazzari di Masaniello got the better of the cannons of the Viceroy.
The Museo Archeologico Nazionale is one of the most important museums of its kind and is located in Piazza.
The Porta San Gennaro is located in Piazza Cavour and its one of the oldestgateways in the city.
Via S.Maria di Costantinopoli has many palazzi such as the Accademiadi Belle Arti and many dazzling churches.
In Piazza Bellini one can still see traces of ancientGreek city walls; Piazza della Sanità holds the 17th century Chiesa di Santa Maria underwhich are the San Gaudosio Catacombs; the zona dei Vergini e zona delle Fontanelle, areancient areas used for burial in Greco-Roman Naples, other places of interest in theimmediate vicinity are: Via Foria; Piazza Carlo III which has an enormous façade (375 m.long) the Albergo dei Poveri and the Orto Botanico; Corso Garibaldi and the piazza of the same name, which is now the headquarters of Central Station; Corso Umberto with the Neo-classical style University of Federico II; Piazza Bovio with the Palazzo della Borsa and the famous Fontana del Nettuno; Piazza Mercato, the back drop to dramatic in Neapolitan history adjacent to this piazza is Piazzadel Carmine; all of these places are representative but not unique to the zones which developed and grew into the centro antico.
The Quartieri Collinari – These are hill zones which were developed at the end of the 19th century as a residential district for the Neapolitan bourgeoisie il Vomero underwent radical changes in the ’50s and ’70s which has made it into one of the busiestand most chaotic areas in the city.
It is linked to surrounding areas by three funicolarrailways, but it still retains among some of the city’s most important monuments.
Castel Sant’Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino, were built around 1350, and dominate the city from above.
Today, La Certosa houses the National Museum of San Martino, which showscollections, paintings scupltures, documents and relics of Neapolitan tradition, amongst other things.
Villa Floridiana was given by King Ferdinando of Bourbon to his secondwife; it consists of a park, at the centre of which stands a small palace which is now a museum (the Museo della Ceramica Duca di Martina).
The attentive tourist can’t let a visitto the catacombs of San Gennaro escape him.
The catacombs were dug from the yellow tuff of the Aminei hills in the Capodimonte at the beginning of the second century.
The galleries, which create a kind of underground basilica leave a lasting impression on the unsuspecting traveller.
The sepulchre of San Gennaro and the tombs of the bishops,amongst whom lies the bishop of Carthage.
Inside the Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte (a palace built in 1738 and surrounded by a large park and a wood which acted as a hunting ground), is the with its collections and the National Gallery with its extensive art gallery.
The Zona Flegrea Fuorigrotta – is part of this area, it is a modern residential zone where the Rai has its headquarters, as does the Politecnico; it is the new headquarters of theUniversitaria, and important sports complexes such as Stadio San Paolo and the Mostra d’Oltremare headquarters of many important tradefairs, of the Zoo, Edenlandia a large theme park; Bagnoli is an ex industrial zone and is now home to the Città della Scienza, of the old shed steelworks on banks facing the island of Nisida; Agnano was the seat of ancient and the famous Ippodromo (racecourse) with a nearby nature reserve, where several protected species, are cared for by the W.W.F.
Numerous Roman remains can befound all around this area.
The peripheral zones do not offer much of interest to the tourist: these zones are mainly industrial or ex-agricultural zones which have been destroyed over the years by cement which has been dumped here as the city tries to find space in which to expand.
The Istituto Universitario Navale
(hereafter, “I.U.N.”) is born in Naples in 1920 in the government objective to carry out “a higher center of culture where the sea could be studied such as a factor of production and a mean of exchange – an Institute which would prepare the spirits to the conscious valorization of the economic problems related to the sea”.
The I.U.N. always exerced an important activity of research finalized to the enlargement of the cultural horizons and, at the same time, to the adequacy of the proccess of formation to the changes in progress in the economic-productive activities and the labour market.
This effort of adequacy was developed in order to maintain, by reinforcing them, the scientific and cultural interests of the Institute and to extend the spectrum of interests to the sets of themes defining today, the new rules of the international competing confrontation.
The Università degli Studi di Napoli “Parthenope”
(hereafter, “Parthenope University”) is born following the revision of the Statute of the I.U.N.; a revision which modifies the University in a significant degree, establishing (of it) the status of University reached throughout a structural, cultural and dimensional growth which, from the second half of the years ’80, constantly continues, by following anticipating the requirements of formation and those scientific ones but also, of a characterized territorial reality on the one hand; and by a fast evolution and the permanence of the embarrassments and the heritages difficult to exceed, on the other hand, which have a significant incidence on its futurologies of growth.
Today the University is presented in the form of an university structure of average size, with a number of students in constant growth and which counts today 1500 units, constituiting the population of the students destined to stabilize itself according to the programming made by the University with the threshold of the 20.000-25.000 in the next years.
This growth in the population of the students which constituted the reason of the expansion of the University in a way that it knew to interpret it such as a latent social or virtual request coming from the context, could take place only thanks to the race of expansion undertaken by the University; a formative expansion which related to either the offer suggested by the University that infrastructures necessary: one refers to the whole of the buildings, the human resources, the equipments being useful to the didactic and research activities, which had to adapt to the new dimension and the new role that the University, more and more, was going to embrace.
If we examine the Parthenope University in relation with the new institutional activities, in terms of didactic offer to the citizen, we consider the evolution which obviously it recorded: it was an institution characterized by the specificity and the unicity of the professionalisation offered, and which thought to safeguard its own traditional specificity and, developing at the same time, its capacity to give an adequate, existing or latent answer that the context expresses.