Naples History

Worshiped by Magna Grecia

Naples’s history, the darling of the Magna Graecia, with a succession of foreign dominations, has played a very important status not only in Italy but also in Europe. In the seventh century with the collapse of the Roman Empire, the city was just a duchy, from the thirteenth century and for six hundred years later was the capital of the Kingdom of Naples and, in the fifteenth century, there was the first attempt at unification of Italy under the guidance of Ladislao I of Durazzo. With the Unification of Italy, was suffering from a socio-economic decline which expanded throughout the South of Italy.

Since 1995, all the historic city center is recognized by UNESCO and, in 1997, the districts of San Giovanni a Teduccio Barra and Ponticelli, were praised by the “Golden Mile” (rich in history and landscape with the presence of sumptuous eighteenth-century Vesuvian villas) among the world’s biosphere reserves (conservation of the ecosystem and its biodiversity through the use of natural resources).

In Materdei district, close to the Calata Fontanelle, were discovered tombs of the neolithic era of the third millennium BC belonging to the necropolis of Gaudo and furrows of plows belonging to the first advent of the Greeks.

In 327 BC the city was conquered by the Romans and the area of Palepolis became an area of primary importance where the roman aristocracy built majestic villas falling later on into total decadence with the barbarian invasions that occurred with the end of antiquity.

During the Gothic War of 536, it was conquered by the Byzantines becoming an independent duchy that characterized many wars mainly to defend its territory.

With the advent of the X century and thanks to a measured policy, the economy and culture of the city drew benefit with the expansion of textile industries in particular that of the linen for the Arab traders as well as for the manufacture of iron.

The city was conquered by the Normans by Roger II in 1139 which made the end of the duchy and Naples and took part in the Principality of Capua, the newly formed Kingdom of Sicily with the capital Palermo.

Naples History

During the Sicilian Vespers (historical event of the thirteenth century occurred in Sicily), Naples became the kingdom of one of the most significant powers of the peninsula. It was during this period that Francesco Petrarch (Italian poet and writer), Simone Martini (Italian painter and miniaturist), Giotto di Bondone (Italian painter and architect) who built a school of painting of high importance and Giovanni Boccaccio (Italian poet and writer) began to reside there.

During the Italian wars of the sixteenth century, Naples was conquered by the Spanish who ruled for over two centuries with a viceroy as representing Madrid up to the mutiny by Tommaso Aniello d’Amalfi, better known as “Masaniello” who led the popular uprising against the tax burden imposed by the Spanish Government.

In 1707, Naples was ruled by the Austrians, who lasted a few years later with the occupation of Carlo di Borbone who made it independent with all of southern Italy by fortifying and becoming one of the most prestigious European capitals together with London and Paris. During the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, was born the Neapolitan Republic of 1799. In 1860, during the expedition of the Thousand by Giuseppe Garibaldi, the kingdom of the Two Sicilies was annexed to the nascent Italian state.

Adored by tourists from around the world

Under a tourist point of view, there are many places and historical sites to visit that have made it important over the centuries as the Christian catacombs, the many churches, cathedrals, monasteries, royal palaces, towers and ancient walls, castles as the dominant New Castle “Maschio Angioino”, the various civil architecture as the baroque Palace of the Spanish made with staircase built with “hawk’s wings” by the architect, painter and Neapolitan nobleman Ferdinando Sanfelice, and other buildings of the XV century such as palace “Donn’Anna” and many others with Catalans and Renaissance styles. The villas of ‘700 and ‘800 in Liberty Napoletano built at Vomero and Posillipo as “Villa Rosebery,” the residence of the Savoy now one of three official residences of the Italian Republic, the fountain of the Giant by Pietro Bernini and the various districts and squares as Piazza del Plebiscito, Piazza Dante that between the ‘500 and ‘600 was known as the “Mercatello” for the peripheral markets, the steps of Pedamentina that in ancient times joined the hills and the coast, the underground Naples with the possibility of tours that highlight the transformation of the local area throughout history and its theaters with its main representatives: Focas Flavio Angelo Ducas Comneno De Curtis di Bisanzio Gagliardi in art (Totò), Antonio Petito, Raffaele Viviani, Roberto Bracco, Eduardo Scarpetta, and Eduardo De Filippo.

The Neapolitan Pizza

The cuisine boasts for its “pizza” enriched with simple ingredients such as basil, tomato and buffalo mozzarella, as well as for various types of first courses and for the  “sfogliatelle” as the old Neapolitan confectionery tradition.