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Naples…Tourism and Culture

In the last few years Naples has become one of the favorite destinations for all those Italian and foreign tourists who love spending their holidays in cities of artistic interest. 

Unlike cities in which art is stored in museums and daily life happens on the streets, Naples's distinctive mark is its folklore: people living and working among the artistic beauties of the city. Consequently, tourism has become a key factor in the city's economy. 

Buildings, churches, streets, ancient fortresses, and castles in the sea, as well as natural caves and places impregnated with mystery and mysticism, all of which makes Naples unforgettable in the minds of all travelers.  

Not only natural stages, but places symbolic of the city, an integral part of its history, of mythology and the legends that have touched it.

The word culture has in Naples a special meaning; indeed, it stands for collecting and illustrating the great heritage of the city. This heritage is made of many historical, artistic, and archaeological sites, moreover it is characterized by a modern spirit that gives the opportunity to create and recreate new material.

Besides arts and culture, Naples is famous in the world for its inimitable food. Traditional Neapolitan cooking is very rich and complex, with many simple but complete foods, such as pizza, as well as elaborate and tasty dishes. Many years ago, pizza and macaroni were the foods that served to fill the bellies of the poor, who were forced to put off the next meal for at least twenty-four hours.

Over the last few years, the quality and range of hotels and other accommodation on offer in Naples has reached new heights of excellence. New hotels and other forms of accommodation are being registered and categorized all the time, and these are all professionally run, competent outfits that work hard to respond to the needs of an ever-more demanding clientele. 

These range from American style chain B&Bs to 3-star hotels, from tourist villages with restaurant service to youth hostels and from the big luxury hotel to the bijoux one. If you want to stay in Naples, you really can .... "at any price"! 

So, welcome to Naples!


During its long history, Naples achieved several scientific and technological accomplishments, such as the first steamboat in the Mediterranean Sea (1818), built in the shipyard of Stanislao Filosa al ponte di Vigliena, near Naples, and the first railway in the Italian peninsula (1839), which connected Naples to Portici. Meanwhile, Naples could count on a very large and efficient merchant navy. Moreover, the first railway tunnel in the world was built there. Among the other achievements, one worth mentioning is the first suspension bridge in Continental Europe (1832), the first gaslight in Italy (1839), the first volcano observatory in the world, l'Osservatorio Vesuviano (1841), the first and actual archaeological excavations in the world (in the ancient cities of Pompei and Ercolano), the first faculty of Economics in Europe and the first faculty of Astronomy in Italy. The first suspension bridge, built in iron, the "Real Ferdinando" on the river Garigliano and it was built in the Reali Ferriere factory and Weapons factory in Mongiana. The rails for the first Italian railways were built in Mongiana, near Naples, as well. All the rails of the old railways that went from the south to as far as Bologna were built in Mongiana.

Naples is noted for its numerous higher education institutes and research centers. Among them, the Parthenope University hosting ICSR. The University of Naples Parthenope was founded in 1920 as a Royal Naval Institute as a center of excellence in which the sea was "studied as it is, as it produces and as a medium of exchange" and which, alongside the development of scientific culture, would prepare minds the "conscious exploitation of economic problems relating to the sea". Subsequently (1939) it was transformed into the Naval University Institute and remained a unicum in the Italian university system until the beginning of the 2000s when the Faculties of Law, sport Sciences, Engineering and Computer Science and Technologies were added at the existing Faculties of Nautical Sciences and Maritime Economics. The Parthenope University of Naples recently celebrated its first 100 years. It is also to be mentioned that Naples hosts what is thought to be the oldest state university in the world, in the form of the University of Napoli Federico II, which was founded by Frederick II in 1224. The university is among the most prominent in Italy, with around 100,000 students and over 3,000 professors in 2007. It is host to the Botanical Garden of Naples, which was opened in 1807 by Giuseppe Bonaparte, using plans drawn up under the Bourbon king Ferdinand IV. The garden's 15 hectares feature around 25,000 samples of vegetation, representing over 10,000 plant species. Naples is also served by the Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli, a modern university which opened in 1989, and which, despite its name, has strong links to the nearby province of Caserta. Another notable centre of education is the Istituto Universitario Orientale, which specializes in Eastern culture, and was founded by the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ripa in 1732, after he returned from the court of Kangxi, the Emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty of China. Other prominent universities in Naples include the private Istituto Universitario Suor Orsola Benincasa, and the Jesuit-run Theological Seminary of Southern Italy. The San Pietro a Maiella music conservatory is the city's foremost institution of musical education; the earliest Neapolitan music conservatories were founded in the 16th century under the Spanish. The Accademia di Belle Arti di Napoli located on the Via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli is the city's foremost art school and one of the oldest in Italy. Naples hosts also the oldest marine zoological study station in the world, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, created in 1872 by German scientist Anton Dohrn, and the world's oldest permanent volcano observatory, the Vesuvius Observatory, founded in 1841. The Observatory lies on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, near the city of Ercolano, and is now a permanent specialized institute of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics.


Things to do in Naples in May

Napoli Teatro Festival Italia

June is theatre festival time in Naples, with the Napoli Teatro Festival Italia. Here you will find theatre shows in various locations, some of which are a little unique, such as abandoned castles and breweries. Check online for exact listings, but this three weeks' long festival showcases the best of local and international productions, and is a great experience to have. 

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