Naples, the European Shanghai

Thursday, 31 March 2011 - 12:24 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Architecture, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Historic center - UNESCO World Heritage Site © Inviaggiocommons

Historic center – UNESCO World Heritage Site © Inviaggiocommons

Naples is a city in Italy; it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples. Known for its rich history, art, culture, architecture, music, and gastronomy, Naples has played an important role in the Italian peninsula and beyond for much of its existence, which began more than 2,800 years ago. Situated on the west coast of Italy by the Gulf of Naples, the city is located halfway between two volcanic areas, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields.

The historic city centre of Naples is the largest in Europe (1,700 hectares), and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Over its rich history Naples has been the capital of duchies, kingdoms, and one Empire, as well as a major cultural center (especially during the period of Renaissance humanism and in the 17th through 19th centuries). The city has profoundly influenced many areas of Europe and beyond. In the immediate vicinity of Naples are various sites (e.g., the Palace of Caserta, Pompeii, and Herculaneum) that are strongly related to the city for historical, artistic, architectural reasons.

Naples has always played a central role in Italian art and more generally in the art and architecture of Europe. This is demonstrated by the several works of art in Medieval, Renaissance and especially Baroque churches, castles and palaces. In the 18th century, Naples went through a period of neoclassicism, with the caving expeditions involving the discovery of Herculaneum and then Pompeii being promoted, and many of these archaeological discoveries were exposed to Naples in a period where several artists and students visited it from around the continent.

The city is also synonymous with pizza, which originated in the city, with the first pizzas originally fried and later baked in the oven. A strong part of Neapolitan culture which has had wide reaching effects is music, including the invention of the romantic guitar and the mandolin as well as strong contributions to opera and folk standards. There are popular characters and figures who have come to symbolise Naples; these include the patron saint of the city Januarius, Pulcinella, and the Sirens from the epic Greek poem the Odyssey.

Villa Spera © Johnnyrotten Villa Pignatelli © jzpresto Villa La Santarella © Johnnyrotten Traditional pizza from Napoli © Austin Keys © Martin Zwernemann San Gregorio Armeno © Square87 Palazzo Reale and Piazza del Plebiscito © Radomil Nisida Island, seen from Parco Virgiliano © Gennaro Visciano Galleria Umberto I © kalamita Capodimonte - Royal Palace © goldenancy Piazza Plebiscito © Lalupa Napoli Panorama © Massimo Finizio Napoli Panorama © Damirux Castel Nuovo © stephen.salomons.ca Collage Napoli © DanieleDF1995 Castel dell'Ovo © currybet Art Noveau style in Via L Sanfelice Napoli © Johnnyrotten Historic center - UNESCO World Heritage Site © Inviaggiocommons
<
>
Historic center - UNESCO World Heritage Site © Inviaggiocommons
For economic strength, Naples is ranked fourth in Italy, after Milan, Rome and Turin. It is the world’s 91st richest city by purchasing power, with a GDP of $43 billion, surpassing the economies of Budapest and Zurich. The port of Naples is one of the most important in Europe (the second in the world after the port of Hong Kong for passenger flow). Even though the city has experienced remarkable economic growth in recent times, and unemployment levels in the city and surrounding Campania have decreased since 1999, Naples is still characterized by political and economic corruption and a thriving black market empire. Italian mega-companies, such as MSC, are headquartered in the city. Since 1958, the city hosts the Center Rai of Naples (media), while in the Bagnoli district there is a big NATO base. The city hosts the SRM institution for economic research and the OPE company and study center. Naples is a full member of the Eurocities network of European cities. The city was selected to become the headquarters of the European institution Acp/Ue and as a City of Literature by UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network. In the Posillipo district there is Villa Rosebery, one of three official residence of the President of Italy.

Naples has one of the greatest density of cultural resources and monuments that include 2800 years of history (castles, fountains, churches, ancient architecture, etc.): the most prominent forms of architecture in Naples are from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods. The historic centre of Naples is typically the most fruitful for architecture and is in fact listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. A striking feature of Naples is the fact that it has 448 historical churches, making it one of the most Catholic cities in the world.

The central and main open city square or piazza of the city is the Piazza del Plebiscito. It was started by Bonapartist king Joachim Murat and finished by Bourbon king Ferdinand IV. It is bounded on the east by the Royal Palace and on the west by the church of San Francesco di Paola with the colonnades extending to both sides. Nearby is the Teatro di San Carlo, which is the oldest and largest opera house on the Italian peninsula. Directly across from San Carlo is Galleria Umberto, a shopping centre and active centre of Neapolitan social life in general. Naples is well-known for its historic castles: the ancient Castel Nuovo is one of the most notable architectural representatives on the city, also known as Maschio Angioino; it was built during the time of Charles I, the first ever king of Naples. Castel Nuovo has hosted some historical religious events: for example, in 1294, Pope Celestine V resigned as pope in a hall of the castle, and following this Pope Boniface VIII was elected pope here by the cardinal collegium, and immediately moved to Rome.

The castle which Nuovo replaced in importance was the Norman founded Castel dell’Ovo. Its name means Egg Castle and it is built on the tiny islet Megarides, where the Cumaean colonists founded the city. The third castle of note is Sant’Elmo which was completed in 1329 and is built in the shape of a star. During the uprising of Masaniello, the Spanish took refuge in Sant’Elmo to escape the revolutionaries.

To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facepage pages/Twitter accounts. Read more on City of Naples, Naples, Italy Travel Essentials, ItalyGuides.it – Naples, Wikitravel Naples and Wikipedia Naples. Learn more about the use of photos.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Oświęcim in Poland

Oświęcim in Poland

[caption id="attachment_150658" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Oświęcim Castle © Beemwej/cc-by-sa-3.0-pl[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Oświęcim (german: Auschwitz) is a town in the Lesser Poland province of southern Poland, situated 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of Kraków, near the confluence of the rivers Vistula (Wisła) and Soła. The town is best known as being the location of the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. Oświęcim lies on the intersection of National Road nr. 44 with local road nr. 933, an...

[ read more ]

Fort Jefferson on Garden Key

Fort Jefferson on Garden Key

[caption id="attachment_26678" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Fort Jefferson © U.S. National Park Service[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Fort Jefferson is a massive but unfinished coastal fortress. It is the largest masonry structure in the Americas, and is composed of over 16 million bricks. The Dry Tortugas are part of Monroe County. The fort is located on Garden Key in the lower Florida Keys within the Dry Tortugas National Park, about 70 miles (110 km) west of the island of Key West. A series of engineering studies and bureauc...

[ read more ]

Beyoğlu in Istanbul

Beyoğlu in Istanbul

[caption id="attachment_192392" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Monument of the Republic, to commemorate the founding of modern Turkey in 1923 © Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It was known as Pera during the Middle Ages, and this name remained in common use until the mid-20th century and the ethnic cleansing of its large Greek population. The distr...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Scottish Borders - Selkirk

Theme Week Scottish Borders - Selkirk

[caption id="attachment_191794" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Haining House © geograph.org.uk - Adam D Hope/cc-by-sa-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Selkirk is a town and historic Royal Burgh in the Scottish Borders Council district of southeastern Scotland. It lies on the Ettrick Water, a tributary of the River Tweed. The people of the town are known as Souters, which means cobblers (shoe makers and menders). Selkirk's population is at 5800. Selkirk grew because of its woollen industry, although now that industry has ...

[ read more ]

The ski resort of Ischgl

The ski resort of Ischgl

[caption id="attachment_160575" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Idalp Panorama © Gürkan Sengün[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Ischgl (1377m) is a small village (population: 1489) in the Paznaun Valley in Tyrol (Austria). Its ski resort Silvretta Arena Ischgl-Samnaun is connected with the ski resort of Samnaun across the border in Switzerland. Together this ski area belongs to the largest skiing resorts in the Alps. Its 238 km of groomed pistes are served by over 40 mechanical lifts including cable cars, gondolas, detachable chair...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Crimea - Feodosia

Theme Week Crimea - Feodosia

[caption id="attachment_153614" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Feodosia Bay © Victor Korniyenko/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Feodosia is a port and resort, a town of regional significance in Crimea on the Black Sea coast. Feodosia serves as the administrative center of Feodosia municipality, one of the regions Crimea is divided into. During much of its history the city was known as Caffa or Kaffa. The population is at 69,000. The city was founded as Theodosia by Greek colonists from Miletos in the 6th centur...

[ read more ]

Cavalaire-sur-Mer on the Côte d’Azur

Cavalaire-sur-Mer on the Côte d’Azur

[caption id="attachment_152662" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Bay of Cavalaire © Starus/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Cavalaire-sur-Mer is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. Cavalaire has a marina with 1200 berths. Cavalaire is located on the French Riviera between Saint-Tropez and Le Lavandou on the Mediterranean coast in the Bay of Cavalaire. In the hinterland rises the Massif des Maures. Nice to the east and Marseille to the west are both a...

[ read more ]

Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design

Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design

[caption id="attachment_220112" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © janine pohl/cc-by-sa-2.5[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Bauhaus Archive (German: Bauhaus-Archiv) is a state archive and Museum of Design located in Berlin. It collects art pieces, items, documents and literature which relate to the Bauhaus School (1919–1933), and puts them on public display. Currently, the museum is closed due to construction works and will reopen in 2022. It has a temporary space at Knesbeckstr. 1-2 in Berlin-Charlottenburg. The Bauhau...

[ read more ]

The museum ship USS Constitution

The museum ship USS Constitution

[caption id="attachment_152363" align="aligncenter" width="590"] USS Constitution sails into Boston Harbor during an underway Battle of Midway commemoration© U.S. Navy - Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathryn E. Macdonald[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America, she is the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat. Launched in 1797, Constitution w...

[ read more ]

Naschmarkt in Vienna

Naschmarkt in Vienna

[caption id="attachment_209668" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Schlamniel[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Naschmarkt is Vienna's most popular market. Located at the Wienzeile over the Wien River, it is about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) long. The Naschmarkt has existed since the 16th century when mainly milk bottles were sold (as milk bottles were made out of ash (wood from an ash tree), "Asch" (German for "ash") led to the name "Aschenmarkt"). From 1793 onwards, all fruits and vegetables brought to Vienna with carts had ...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
Bolshoy Kamenny Bridge, Kremlin in the background © Ikar.us
Theme Week Moscow, the third Rome

Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a...

Trier Palace © Berthold Werner
Trier, probably Germany’s oldest city

Trier is a city in Germany on the banks of the Moselle River. It is the oldest city in Germany,...

Plaça Catalunya © tango7174
Barcelona, “la gran encisera”, the great enchantress

Barcelona is the capital and the most populous city of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid,...

Close