is the main city in the south of Italy, the capital of its
home region of Campania, and the third biggest town in Italy.
Staunchly Catholic, Naples is rich in historical, artistic
and cultural traditions and with its own distinct cuisine.
The pizza originated here and is eaten, like so many other
delicious local foods, out on the street.
The city of Naples was probably founded by the Greeks around
the eighth century BC, just kilometres from the older town
of Partenope; this ‘new town’ or ‘Neapolis’
has been absorbing the influences of its settlers and invaders
ever since. Romulus Augustulus, last emperor of the Roman
Empire, was imprisoned here after being overthrown in 476.
In the sixth century, Naples was conquered by the Byzantines,
and it was one of the last duchies to fall to the all-conquering
Normans in 1039, as they founded the Kingdom of Sicily.
In 1266 Naples and the kingdom of Sicily were given by Pope
Clement IV to Charles of Anjou, who moved the capital from
Palermo to Naples. In 1284 the kingdom was split in two,
and stayed that way till 1816, when they would form the
kingdom of Two Sicilies. In between, Naples had been under
the rule of Spain, Austria, and the Bourbons, and had (briefly)
been a Jacobin republic. Finally, in October 1860, it became
part of the new Italy.
With Vesuvius, Pompeii and Herculaneum inland, there are
also very good ferry routes out to Sicily and the islands
of Ischia and Capri, and further afield to ports such as