Naples is the capital of the Campania region in Italy whose historic centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s known for its pizza and its natural beauties, and here are 10 Curious Facts that will help you to discover what this city is all about.
#1 Naples is the ‘new city’
Naples was founded 2,500 years ago in the 6th century BC. Napoli comes from the Greek word Neapolis which means “new city” or “new town”. It was originally given this name by its early Greek inhabitants in the 8th-century BC.
#2 One of the largest cities in Italy
Naples is the third-largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan. Naples is the most densely populated city in Italy, its residents are referred to as a Napoletano in Italian.
#3 The main church was built in 13th-century
The main church in Naples is the Roman Catholic Naples Cathedral, known in Italian as Duomo di Napoli, which was built in the late 13th-century.
#4 Creation of the pizza
The very first pizzeria in Italy and in fact in the entire world, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, was opened in Naples in 1830. It’s still one of the best places to go for pizza in Naples.
#5 Creation of the Margherita pizza
The classic Margherita Pizza got its name from Queen Margherita Teresa Giovanni after she visited Naples in the late 19th century. In 1889, pizza maker Raffaele Esposito was asked to make a pizza for the Italian King Umberto I and his wife Queen Margherita. He made a simple pizza, with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil.
#6 Legend says an egg is buried in Castel dell’Ovo
Castel dell’Ovo is translated roughly to Egg Castle and is linked to a legend involving a magic egg that contained protective powers. This egg is said to have been buried in a secret location within the castle.
#7 Close to Mount Vesuvius
Naples is located right next to Mount Vesuvius, the volcano which erupted in 79 AD and destroyed the city of Pompeii and Herculaneum
#8 Only became part of Italy in 1860
Naples only became part of the new Italy in October of 1860 as part of the Italian Unification movement.
#9 The Royal Palace of Naples dates back to the 17th century
The Royal Palace of Naples dates back to the seventeenth century and is one of the largest and most visited structures in the city.
#10 Naples is the Italian city with the most Michelin Star restaurants
Naples is definitely the place to go if you’re a die-hard foodie. It’s the Italian city with the most Michel Star restaurants, with 24 of them at the last count.
Rome comes in at a close second with 23 Michelin Star restaurants.