Lying in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, and close to the romantic islands of Capri and Ischia, Naples is the third-largest city in Italy. A real treasure trove of art and history designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s rich in historical, artistic, and cultural traditions and with its own distinct cuisine, where the pizza was created in the 18th century.
The Castel Nuovo is one of the most known buildings, otherwise known as the Maschio Angioino, at the same time palace and fortress.
The Cathedral over time has undergone radical modifications to repair the damages caused by the earthquakes, especially on the outside. The interior hosts the famous Chapel of St. Gennaro’s Treasure that conserves masterpieces made with precious metals and the two vials containing the Saint’s blood. Another place linked to the Patron Saint of Naples is the Catacombs of San Gennaro, with their frescoes, mosaics and other valued artwork.
One of the most beautiful squares is Piazza del Plebiscito that displays the grand colonnade in front of which is the magnificent Royal Palace designed by Domenico Fontana. The Palace is home to the Vittorio Emanuele III National Library, the largest in southern Italy, boasting ancient and invaluable items.
One of the most important events for Neapolitans is the Festival of Piedigrotta, held in September in honour of the Madonna of Piedigrotta it is a big concert where national and international singers perform traditional songs in Neapolitan dialect followed by the traditional procession in honour of the “canzone napoletana” with decorated wagons through the streets.
Pizzafest is a real celebration of the Pizza that takes place in September since 1984. Its aim is carrying the Neapolitan tradition of the Pizza into the world and to fix the rules for the production of an original Neapolitan Pizza. Not only pizza but also theatre and music are protagonists of the event.
Finally every year on the first weekend of May and on the 19th September people can marvel at how the blood of the beheaded San Gennaro liquifies in its ampoule. The day of the blood miracle is an important feast for Naples. The wild rejoicing of the faithful is crowned by the sound of the cathedral’s bells ringing. The crowd starts pushing its way through to kiss the ampoule of blood. According to the people this blood miracle takes place when no disaster is expected in the near future. For most of the Neapolitans it is an oracle: the absence of the miracle means tragedy for Naples and its surroundings. For example in 1980, before the earthquake that did 2000 deads, the blood didn’t liquify.