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Location within Italy
Location within Italy

Naples (Italian Napoli, Neapolitan Napule, from Greek Νέα Πόλις - Néa Pólis - meaning "New City"; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is the largest city in southern Italy and capital of Campania Region and the Province of Naples. The city has a population of about 1 million, and together with its suburbs, the metropolitan area has 3.7 million inhabitants (Neapolitans). It is located just halfway between the Vesuvius volcano and a separate volcanic area, the Campi Flegrei, all part of the Campanian volcanic arc.

Napoli is where pizza originally came from.

It is rich in historical, artistic and cultural traditions and gastronomy. Neapolitan is a language in its own right, known in Naples as Napulitano.

The metropolitan area of Naples is second in Italy by population, with over 4,400,000 inhabitants.



see main article History of Naples

Naples panorama
Naples panorama

Food and drink

Naples is by tradition the home of pizza. It is the birthplace of the Pizza Margherita, which traditionally is made with mozzarella cheese, pomodoro (tomato) and basil - each representing the red, white, and green of the Italian flag. The pizza was created as homage to Queen Margherita when she visited the city. La vera pizza ("true pizza") should be made in a wood-burning oven similar to a Tandoori oven.

Naples is also famous for its pasta dishes, where spaghetti is often served with sugo di pomodoro, a tomato sauce which gets its full flavour from sun-ripe Campanian tomatoes. Another excellent Campanian dish found in Naples is melanzane alla parmigiana, which is fried slices of aubergine (eggplant) gratinéed with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. Often one can get another version of melanzane alla parmigiana with an addition of mozzarella cheese.

Naples offers several kinds of unique pastry, the most famous of which is perhaps the babà, followed by choux (Neapolitans write it as sciù) and the Pastiera, a cake prepared for Easter. The babà (also known as savarin) is a mushroom-shaped piece of leavend sweet paste, soaked with an orange flavoured mixture of ron|ruhm and water. Choux is a small "bubble" of leavened paste stuffed with light cream, usually coffee or chocolate flavored. The Pastiera is a cake with a complicated recipe, varying by the county in which it is prepared. The ingrediants are typically annealed grain, eggs, and sometimes cream. It is always combined with boiled rice. Another typical Neapolitan pastry is the Sfogliatella (riccia or frolla).

Naples is also known for its gelato. Gelato is not ice cream, but rather iced milk.

Tourist attractions

Castel dell'Ovo
Castel dell'Ovo

Naples itself is less visited than some of the surrounding attractions. There are, however, many attractions within the city. La Villa Comunale (formerly a royal park) has been refurbished and stretches along the seafront in the smarter western end of the city. It contains an aquarium which is possibly Europe's oldest and is favoured by the locals for family walks on Sunday mornings. The Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli contains a large collection of Roman artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as the Farnese Marbles, some of the greatest surviving Roman statues, an amazing numismatical collection; The Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte contains art collections including works by Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli and Caravaggio. Naples is the home of the Teatro di San Carlo, the oldest active opera house in Europe, which opened its doors on November 4, 1737.

Other notable monuments are:

Castel Nuovo
Castel Nuovo
Piazza del Plebiscito
Piazza del Plebiscito

Under Naples

Guided tours operate around the Stratification of Naples which shows the city through the layers laid down across history. Subterranean Naples consists of old Greco-Roman reservoirs dug out from the soft tufo stone on which, and from which, the city is built. You can visit approximately one kilometer of the many kilometers of tunnels under the city. There are also large catacombs in and around the city.You can find, even, a lot of trash buried deep under the roads, dating to the Greeks and the Romans.Naples is a very polluted city.

Also in Naples

Naples is the site of three major military bases. Naval Support Activity Naples, located in Capodichino is a major US Navy base which is responsible for the support and control of US Naval assets in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility, and Bagnoli, known as Joint Force Command South (formerly AFSOUTH, many Sailors still call it this) is a major NATO base, which is responsible for the coordination of NATO forces in the south European Region. There is also the Support Site, which consists mostly of housing and personnel support facilities, located in Gricignano di Aversa.

Capodichino is the site of the Naples International Airport.

Around Naples

The islands of Procida, (famously used as the set for much of il Postino), Capri and Ischia can all be reached quickly by Aliscafi (twin-hulled ferries). Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast are situated south of Naples. The Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum (destroyed in the A.D. 79 eruption of Vesuvius) are also nearby.

Sporting Naples

Naples is the home of the underachieving soccer team Napoli. With the help of Diego Maradona, they achieved rare success in 1987 by winning the scudetto. In 2004 the football team was declared bankrupt and has been subsequently reborn into the lower division of Serie C1 as 'Napoli Soccer'.

The Neapolitan diaspora

Naples has seen many of its children spread throughout the world, setting up 'Little Italies' in many countries. The majority of these Neapolitans who left Italy went to the Americas, especially the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina.

Famous Neapolitans

Community Boards of Naples

Naples is politically divided in 10 Community Boards :

See also

External links

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