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Naples (Italian: Napoli, pronounced [ˈna(ː)poli], Neapolitan: Napule) in Italy, is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples. The city is known for its rich history, art, culture, architecture, music and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,800 years old. Naples is located halfway between two volcanic areas, the volcano Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, sitting on the coast by the Gulf of Naples.
History The history of the city can be traced back to the 8th century BC when inhabitants of the nearby Greek colony Cumae founded a city called Parthenope; Cumae itself had been founded by people from Euboea, Greece. The exact reasons for doing so are not known for certain, but the Cumaeans built Neapolis (meaning New City) next to the old Parthenope. Around this time they had held off invasion attempts from the Etruscans. The new city grew thanks to the influence of powerful Greek city-state Siracusa and at some point the new and old cities on the Gulf of Naples merged together to become one. The city became an ally of the Roman Republic against Carthage; the strong walls surrounding Neapolis stopped invader Hannibal from entering. During the Samnite Wars, the city, now a bustling centre of trade, was captured by the Samnites; however, the Romans soon took it from them and made Neapolis a Roman colony. The city was greatly respected by the Romans as a place of Hellenistic culture: the people maintained their Greek language and customs; elegant villas, aqueducts, public baths, an odeon, a theatre and the Temple of Dioscures were built, and many powerful emperors chose to holiday in the city including Claudius and Tiberius. It was during this period that Christianity came to Naples; apostles St. Peter and St. Paul are said to have preached in the city. Also, St. Januarius, who would become Naples' patron saint, was martyred there. Last emperor of Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustulus, was sent in exile in Naples by king Odoacer.
Architecture, features and city layouts Naples has one of the greatest density of cultural resources and monuments that include 2800 years of history (castles, fountains, churches, ancient architecture, etc.): the most prominent forms of architecture in Naples are from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods. The historic centre of Naples is typically the most fruitful for architecture and is in fact listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site .A striking feature of Naples is the fact that it has 448 historical churches, making it one of the most Catholic cities in the world.
Main piazza, palaces and castles The central and main open city square or piazza of the city is the Piazza del Plebiscito. It was started by Bonapartist king Joachim Murat and finished by Bourbon king Ferdinand IV. It is bounded on the east by the Royal Palace and on the west by the church of San Francesco di Paola with the colonnades extending to both sides. Nearby is the Teatrodi San Carlo, which is the oldest and largest opera house on the Italian peninsula. Directly across from San Carlo is Galleria Umberto, a shopping centre and active centre of Neapolitan social life in general. Naples is well-known for its historic castles: the ancient Castel Nuovo is one of the most notable architectural representatives on the city, also known as MaschioAngioino; it was built during the time of Charles I, the first ever king of Naples. Castel Nuovo has hosted some historical religious events: for example, in 1294, Pope Celestine V resigned as pope in a hall of the castle, and following this Pope Boniface VIII was elected pope here by the cardinal collegium, and immediately moved to Rome. The castle which Nuovo replaced in importance was the Norman founded Castel dell'Ovo. Its name means Egg Castle and it is built on the tiny islet Megarides, where the Cumaean colonists founded the city. The third castle of note is Sant'Elmo which was completed in 1329 and is built in the shape of a star. During the uprising of Masaniello, the Spanish took refuge in Sant'Elmo to escape the revolutionaries.
Castel dell'Ovo Piazza del Plebiscito
Museums Naples hosts a wealth of historical museums and some of the most important in the country. The Naples National Archaeological Museum is one of the main museums, considered one of the most important for artifacts of the Roman Empire in the world. It also hosts many of the antiques unearthed at Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as some artifacts from the Greek and Renaissance periods. Previously a Bourbon palace, now a museum and art gallery, the MuseodiCapodimonte is probably the most important in Naples. The art gallery features paintings from the 13th to the 18th century including major works by Simone Martini, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, El Greco and many others, including Neapolitan School painters Jusepe de Ribera and Luca Giordano. The royal apartments are furnished with antique 18th century furniture and a collection of porcelain and majolica from the various royal residences: the famous Capodimonte Porcelain Factory was just adjacent to the palace. The Certosadi San Martino was formerly a monastery complex but is now a museum and remains one of the most visible landmarks of Naples. Displayed within the museum are Spanish and Bourbon-era artifacts, as well as displays of the nativity scene, considered to be among the finest in the world. Pietrarsa railway museum is located in the city: Naples has a proud railway history and the museum features, amongst many other things, the Bayard, the first locomotive in the Italian peninsula. Other museums include the Villa Pignatelli and Palazzo Como, and one of Italy's national libraries (the BibliotecaNazionaleVittorioEmanuele III) is also located in the city.
Churches, religious buildings and structures Hosting the Archdiocese of Naples, the Catholic faith is highly important to the people of Naples and there are hundreds of churches in the city. The Cathedral of Naples is the most important place of worship in the city, each year on September 19 it hosts the Miracle of Saint Januarius, the city's patron saint. In the miracle which thousands of Neapolitans flock to witness, the dried blood of Januarius is said to turn to liquid when brought close to relics said to be of his body: this is one of the most important traditions for Neapolitans. Below is a selective list of some of the best-known churches, chapels, monastery complexes and religious structures in Naples.
The church of Santa Caterina a Formiello in Naples
Geography In the area surrounding Naples are the islands of Procida, Capri and Ischia, which are reached by hydrofoils and ferries. Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast are situated south of Naples. The Roman ruins of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae, which were destroyed in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, are also nearby. Naples is also near the volcanic area known as the CampiFlegrei and the port towns of Pozzuoli and Baia, which were part of the vast Roman naval facility, Portus Julius. Quarters: Pianura, Bagnoli,Posillipo,Fuorigrotta, Soccavo,Chiaiano,Arenella, Vomero,Chiaia, San Ferdinando, Montecalvario, San Giuseppe,Avvocata, Porto,Pendino,San Lorenzo,Mercato,Vicaria,Stella,San Carlo all'Arena, Piscinola-Marianella, Scampìa, Miano,Secondigliano,S.Pietro a Patierno,Poggioreale,Zona Industriale,San Giovanni a Teduccio,Barra,Ponticelli
Climate Naples enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and warm to hot, dry summers. The mildclimate and the geographical richness of the bay of Naples made it famous during Roman times, when emperors chose the city as a favourite holiday location.
Demographics The population of the centre area (municipality - comunedi Napoli) is around one million people. Its greater metropolitan area, sometimes known as Greater Naples has an additional population of 4.4 million and include all the province and over; the towns which are usually included within this area are Arzano, Casandrino, Casavatore, Casoria, Cercola, Maranodi Napoli, Melitodi Napoli, Mugnanodi Napoli, Portici, Pozzuoli, Quarto, San Giorgio a Cremano, San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, Volla.The demographic profile for the Neapolitan province in general is quite young: 19% are under age 14, while 13% are over 65, compared to the national average of 14% and 19%, respectively. There is a higher percentage of females (52.4%) than males (47.6%).Naples currently has a higher birth rate than other parts of Italy with 10.46 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births. Unlike many northern Italian cities there are far fewer immigrants in Naples. 98.5% of the people are Italians. In 2006, there were a total of 19,188 foreigners in the actual city of Naples; the majority of foreigners are Eastern European, coming particularly from Ukraine, Poland and the Balkans.Non-Europeans in general are very low in number, however there are some small Sri Lankan and East Asian immigrant communities. Statistics show that the vast majority of immigrants are female; this is because male workers tend to head North.
Politics Each of the 8,101 comune in Italy is today represented locally by an elected mayor and a city council, known as a sindaco and informally called the first citizen. This system or one very similar to it, has been in place since 1808 with the invasion of the Napoleonic forces. When the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was restored, the system was kept in place with members of the nobility such as Dukes and Marquesses filling the role. By the end of the 19th century as part of Italy, party politics had begun to emerge; during the fascist era each commune was represented by a podestà. During the post-war period, the political landscape of Naples has been neither strongly right nor left — both Christian democracts and democratic socialists have filled the position at different times with roughly equal frequency. Currently the mayor of Naples is Rosa Russo Iervolino of The Olive Tree, she has held the position since 2001.
Economy Naples is Italy's fourth most important city for economic strength, coming after Rome, Milan and Turin. It is the world's 91st richest city by purchasing power, with a GDP of $43 billion. Were Naples a country, it would have the world's 68th biggest economy, near the size of that of Qatar. The economy of Naples and its closest surrounding area is based largely in tourism, commerce, industry and agriculture; Naples also acts as a busy cargo terminal, and the port of Naples is one of the Mediterranean's biggest and most important. The city has had a remarkable economic growth since the war, and unemployment in the region has gone down dramatically since 1999. Naples used to be a busy industrial city, though many of the factories are no longer there, and Naples is still characterized by high levels of corruption and organized crime.
Centro Direzionale, Napoli business centre.
Cuisine The city has a long history of producing a variety of famous dishes and wines; it draws its influence from different civilisations which have ruled the city at various times such as the Greeks, Spanish and French.Neapolitan cuisine emerged completely as its own distinct form in the 18th century.[The ingredients are typically rich in taste while remaining affordable to the general populace.[ Perhaps the best-known aspect of Neapolitan cooking is its rich savoury dishes. Naples is traditionally held as the home of pizza. This originated as a meal of the poor, but under Ferdinand IV it became better known: famously, the Margherita was named after Queen Margherita after a visit to the city.Cooked traditionally in a wood-burning oven, ingredients are strictly regulated by a law dating from 2004, and must be composed of wheat flour type "00" with the addition of flour type "0" yeast, natural water, peeled tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes, marine salt, and extra virgin olive oil.Spaghetti is associated with the city and is commonly eaten with the sauce ragù: a Neapolitan symbol is folklore figure Pulcinella eating a plate of spaghetti . Others include parmigianadimelanzane, mozzarella, spaghetti allevongole and casatiello. Naples also has some famous sweet dishes, including colourful gelato, similar though more fruit-based than ice cream.Some of the pastry dishes include: zeppole, babà, sfogliatelle and pastiera, the latter of which is prepared especially for Easter. Another seasonal sweet is struffoli, a sweet tasting honey dough decorated and eaten around Christmas. Naples is also worldwide famous for its neapolitan coffee, made with historical neapolitan coffee pot called "cuccuma" or cuccumella, which then lead the invention of Espresso coffee machine and inspired Moka Express coffee pot. Many little industries for roasting and grounding coffee beans mixed from the best coffee qualities produced worldwide are present in the territory of Naples. There are some beverages from Naples also: it produces wines from the Vesuvius area such as Lacryma Christi ("tear of Christ") and Terzigno. Also from Naples is limoncello the highly popular lemon liqueur.[
"Pizza Margherita" Traditional Neapolitan pizza