Naples is the capital of the Italian region Campania and it is the third largest city in Italy.
Naples is especially famous in the world for pizza, music and mandolin. However, this city is also full of cultural attractions.
So, if you’re planning to visit Naples, in this article, I’m going to present you with some things to do in Naples.
MUSEO ARCHEOLOGICO NAZIONALE DI NAPOLI
One of the things to do in Naples is visiting the Naples National Archeological museum.
This museum was founded in 1750 by the king Charles III of Spain, and it is considered one of the most important archeological museums in Italy.
In it you can find many different collections. One of the most important collections housed in the museum is surely the Farnese collection.
The Farnese collection is composed of items from Greco-Roman antiquity like engraved gems and Farnese marbles.
Other important collections include Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae’s artifacts. Among the artifacts, the most famous are the Roman bronzes from Herculaneum and the mosaics from Pompeii.
In addition to this, as strange as it may seem, the Naples National Archeological museum has also a large collection of Egyptian artifacts, mainly collected by Cardinal Stefano Borgia and Giuseppe Picchianti.
PALAZZO REALE DI NAPOLI
There are many things you can see in Naples, however I believe that the Royal Palace is a must to see.
The Royal Palace of Naples was built during the 17th century by the architect Domenico Fontana, and became the the residence of the Bourbon king Charles III of Spain in 1734.
The interior has many frescos painted by different Italian artists such as Battistello Caracciolo and Giovanni Balducci.
Then, in the first years of 1800, Caroline Bonaparte and Joachim Murat further embellished the royal palace adding Neoclassic decorations and furnishings.
Unfortunately, in 1837 a fire managed to damage many rooms of the palace. However, these rooms were restored during the next twenty years by the architect Gaetano Genovese.
Finally, in 1888, King Umberto I of Savoy decided to add the statues of some of the rulers of Naples on the western side of the palace. The statues are displayed in chronological order from Roger the Norman to Victor Emmanuel II.
Later on, in 1925, the contents of the National library were moved from the National Archeological Museum to the Royal Palace of Naples.
Nowadays, the palace houses also San Carlo Theater and Victor Emmanuel III National Library.
SAN DOMENICO MAGGIORE
San Domenico Maggiore is church founded by the friars of the Dominican Order and located in the famous square that bears the same name.
Inside the church there are many frescos. The most famous ones being Crucifixion, Paul and Andrew, Stories of St. John the Evangelist and Stories of Magdalene by the artist Pietro Cavallini.
In the sacristy there are the sepulchres of the members of the royal Aragonese family: Ferdinand I of Naples, Isabella of Aragon, etc.
From the sacristy you can have also access to the sacred relics chamber, also known as Treasure Chamber.
In this chamber you’ll find a series of precious objects belonged both to Dominicans and to the Aragonese family: clothes, vestments, daggers, armours, ornaments, and so on.
Finally, also the monastery annexed to the church has historical importance, since it hosted famous people such as Giordano Bruno and Thomas Aquinas.
In the next articles, I’ll write about other things to do in Naples.
Meanwhile, if you like, have a look at some articles about other Italian cities – Mantua and Turin.
And now, what about you? Have you ever been in Naples? What did you like the most?
Original image by Marie-Lan Nguyen (2011)