Naples is a city in southern Italy, which is the third-largest city in the country. The city sits on the Bay of Naples which is on the west coast of the Italian peninsular. Naples or Napoli is one of the oldest continuously inhabitant areas where the settlement records date back to the first millennium BC. The city has a population of over 3 million, making it the third-most populous city in Italy. If you are planning to stopover in Italy this is a great historic city to stop in. Here are some interesting facts about Naples you'll need to know.
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General Facts About Naples
1.Naples has a more than 2,500-year-old history
Centuries before Christ, Naples was a thriving Greek commercial centre named "Neápolis" or "the new city." The city became a Roman colony after the Romans captured the city from the Carthaginians. Following the Roman empire's collapse, several foreign cartels and warlords captured the city until it became its independent kingdom in 1282. The kingdom of Naples lasted until the unification of Italy in 1861.
Geographical Facts About Naples
2. Pompeii was an ancient city in Naples
In 79 AD Mount Vesuvius volcano erupted and whipped out the entire city of Pompeii . When the eruption occurred Pompeii was in the middle of a multi-day celebration in honour of the Roman emperor, Augustus. The rock fragments and volcanic ash released from the eruption buried the city with its citizens. Today, visitors can see the remains of the victims and the city in detail, revealing the disaster's tragedy.
3. Scampia in Naples is considered to be the most dangerous neighbourhood in Italy
Probably one of the most interesting facts about Naples is the dangerous neighborhood of Scampia. Scampia is a bedroom suburb in the far north of Naples. The neighbourhood had several housing projects such as Vele di Scampia between the 1970s and 1980s to solve the housing crisis in the city. After an earthquake hit the city in 1980, thousands of Neapolitans flocked to Vele di Scampia to restart their lives. Due to the community's poverty, the neighbourhood soon became a centre for drug dealers and criminal organizations.
4. Amalfi coast is one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe
Amalfi coast is a stretch of coastline located between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno in southern Italy. The combination of blue sea, coastal mountains, and scenic harbour towns makes the coastline of Italy's most picturesque destination. Amalfi coast attracted and inspired some of the greatest writers and artists throughout history. Located about 60km from central Naples, the coast is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
Interesting Naples Facts
5. Fontanelle cemetery is the resting place for 1656 plague victims
Fontanelle cemetery is a quarry located on the hillside of Naples. In the 16th century, the undertakers started to move the bones here to make space for the newly dead. To add to large collection, the cemetery also became the resting place of the victims of the Naples plague in 1656. Today this quarry of bones is open to the public to see.
6. Naples is the birthplace of Pizza
Many believe Naples to be the origin of modern Pizza and it's one of the interesting facts about Naples. Pizza is arguably the most famous Italian food in the world. Specifically, Naples is renowned for Pizza Margherita or Margherita Pizza. This Pizza contains toppings of Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil, representing the Italian flag's colours. Many believes Antica Pizzeria da Michele to be the best restaurant in Naples for classic Margherita Pizza.
7. Timballo is the most famous street food in Naples
Timballo is being made famous from a street food shop called T'Imballo. T'Imballo has put a street food twist on Timballo - which is a Italian pasta bake. This interpretation of Timballo has gained popularity among the younger generation. For the food purists, don't worry, the base of the recipe is still based in classic Neapolitan traditions.
8. Naples has a scientifically inexplicable blood ritual
Naples has a ceremony of liquefication of San Gennaro's blood, who is the city's patron saint. This ceremony of liquefication happens every September at Naples Cathedral. The Neapolitans believe that if the still-dry blood becomes liquid, the city is safe, and if it doesn't, the city will have hard times ahead. This ritual proved correct when the city faced Cholera outbreaks and earthquakes when the blood didn't liquefy in the past.
9. Diego Maradona has given god status in Naples
The late Argentine soccer legend is one of the greatest soccer players the world has ever seen, if not the best. Maradona played for the Naples soccer club, S.S.C. Napoli, for seven years. He led the team for 2 Italian championships, which the club failed to win ever since. Neapolitans adored Maradona for the success and joy he brought to the city and considered him a god and a saviour.
10. Neapolitan Mastiff originated from Naples
As the name suggests, the giant dog breed has its roots in Naples. The breed descends from the traditional guard dogs of central Italy. The breeding began in 1947, and in 1949 the Italian Kennel Club recognized them as an official dog breed.