The Sansevero Chapel Museum in the historic heart of Naples is a jewel of the world’s artistic heritage. Here, baroque creativity, dynastic pride, beauty and mystery blend to create a unique and almost timeless atmosphere.
With its masterpieces such as the famous Veiled Christ, renowned world over for the remarkable tissue-like quality of the marble, feats of virtuosity such as Disillusion, and enigmatic creations such as the Anatomical Machines, the Sansevero Chapel is one of the most impressive monuments that the human mind has ever conceived.
A noble mausoleum, a temple of initiation, which admirably reflects the multi-faceted personality of its ingenious architect, Raimondo di Sangro, seventh Prince of Sansevero.
Mount Vesuvius is famous as the volcano that erupted in Roman times (AD 79) and buried Pompeii.
The volcano is just 6 miles from the modern city of Naples and is a very popular visitor attraction with a lot of visitors coupling a half day at Pompeii with a visit to Mount Vesuvius. Mount Vesuvius is one of the world's most dangerous volcanoes. The volcano has an eruption cycle of about 20 years, but the last eruption was in 1944. Nevertheless, this doesn't stop thousands of tourists visiting the world-famous volcano every year.
Since 1995 the volcano has been a National Park.
Pompeii was probably founded by the Oscans around the 8th century BC. This ancient Italic people settled on the southern slopes of Mount Vesuvius along the banks of the Sarno River, which was navigable at the time. Pompeii became an important commercial center early on, catching the interest of the invading Greeks and Etruscans. The Etruscans were conquered on the waters off Cuma, and the city came under domination by the Samnites in the 5th century BC
Ercolano, known to many as Herculaneum, is just a few miles from Pompeii and 150 miles south of Rome, close to Naples.
In many respects Ercolano is a smaller version of Pompeii, both are buried Roman cities that have been remarkably preserved when excavated.
A lot of people prefer Ercolano to Pompeii as it is a much more compact size and has significantly less visitors. Both sites are managed by the same people and it is easy to visit both in one day using a combined ticket and the local train which connects both.
Both sites are managed by the same people and it is easy to visit both in one day using a combined ticket and the local train which connects both.
This noble semicircular piazza (19th Century) is enclosed on one side by the royal palace, on the other by the neoclassical façade of the church of San Francesco di Paola, built on the model of the Pantheon in Rome and prolonged by a curving colonnade. Two equestrian statues stand in front of the church: one, by Canova, depicts Ferdinand I of Bourbon, the other is of Charles III of Bourbon. The royal palace was built at the beginning of the 17th Century by the architect Domenico Fontana and has been remodelled several times. The façade retains more or less its original appearance.
Since the late 19th Century the niches on the façade have contained eight statues of the most famous Kings of Naples. A huge staircase with twin ramps and crowned by a coffered dome leads to the apartments and the sumptuously decorated royal chapel. It was only after 1734 that royalty lived in the apartments. The richly ornamented rooms have retained their numerous work of art, tapestries, paintings, period furniture and fine porcelain.
The Castel dell’Ovo is the oldest standing fortification in Naples. The castle’s name comes from a legend about the Roman poet Virgil, who had a reputation in medieval times as a great sorcerer and predictor of the future. As early as the twelfth century there were pre-norman fortifications erected on the remains of part of the villa of the Roman general Lucio Vicinio Lucullo, later transformed into a castle by Frederick II and expanded in the Angevin period, when the fortress took the name "Egg Castle"
Near the Gesú Nuovo church, there is the monumental complex of Santa Chiara, one of the most important buildings commissioned by the French Kingdom of Anjou for the Franciscan order. Built in 1340, it is a rare example of Medieval architecture in Napoli. The convent was to accommodate both monks and nuns in two separate buildings but at the same time depending on the same church. The church was then built in a simple Gothic style, with the typical Neapolitan yellow tufa. Unfortunately, the church has been reconstructed changing the original features into the Baroque style with marbles, polychrome stuccos and exorbitant decorative elements by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro between 1742 and 1769. Sadly, in 1943 the church was partially bombed during the second world war. It was decided that it would be rebuilt in its original Gothic style. It was reopened in 1953. Most of the antiques sculptures have returned to their original location, including the splendid tombs of the member of the Anjou family, like the monumental tomb of Robert of Anjou dated 1343, the tomb of Mary Valois, second wife of Robert, and his son's tomb. A small part of a fresco still remains from the medieval decoration attributed to Giotto (who stayed in Napoli between 1328 and 1333) and his workshop.
The fine cloister outside the church is richly decorated with majolica tiles and it is a pure gem of the eighteenth century, designed by Domenico Antionio Vaccaro. He left the original medieval plan of the cloister but redesigning parts of it, adding two wide paths in the middle, the fine majolica decorations on the pillars with motif of vine shoots and wisteria twisting up, flowers, lemons while the seats are decorated with scenes of the city and country life in the eighteenth century.
Originally the museum was an horse riding school, then the location of the University. The Archeological Museum was inaugurated in 1816 and nowadays it’s one of the most important museums of the world because of the quality and quantity of works exposed.