Monday, February 10, 2014

The Greek-Roman Arteries of Naples

S. Gregorio Armeno, Cloister

Where: Naples
Suggested transport: on foot
Points of interest: 12
Target: For all
Trail: 2km
Accessibility: All year round
Naples is the belly button of the Mediterranean Sea. If you drew a line from Marseille to Athens, and another one from Istanbul to Barcelona, they would cross on Naples. The Greek founded it in the 4th Century b.C. and named it Neapolis, the new city. But don’t let this unoriginal name fool you: ever since its foundation, rulers and citizens have dedicated their lives to making Naples unparalleled. It has been under the Greek, the Romans, the Germans, the French and the Spanish before becoming part of Italy in 1860.
This circuit will take you to the very heart of old Naples, following the two main ‘avenues’ of the ancient Greek and Roman city, nowadays called via dei Tribunali and Anticaglia. Over the centuries, while their layout has remained unchanged, they have become true recipients of the most magnificent legacy of art the city has to offer, bustling with extraordinary art works of all sorts and periods – such density of masterpieces in such a small area would be hard to find even in Rome itself.
And as a plus: while you stroll from one site to another, you can enjoy the typical street market of Neapolitan Nativity figurines, open all year.
 >> The circuit includes 11 stops in the very center of Naples with several masterpieces each.
Suggested itinerary:
  • Piazza Bellini: cozy square with bars under the shade of big palms, piazza Bellini is the limit of the Greek-Roman city. Visible remains of the 4th-C. b.C. walls.
  • S. Pietro a Maiella: spectacular gothic church (13th C.) dedicated to Pietro del Morrone, later Pope Celestin V. Ceiling paintings by M. Preti (17th C.). Marble altar by Fanzago.
    S. Pietro a Maiella
  • Pontano Chapel: the purest Renaissance building of the city with 15th C. frescoes.
  • S. Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio: famous for its baroque decorations and the crypt with skulls of anonymous dead people (“capozzelle”).
  • S. Paolo Maggiore: paintings by Stanzione, Pino and Falcone. Sculptures by Vaccaro.
  • Cloister of S. Gregorio Armeno: 16-17th C. cloister by Dosio. Famous fountain with sculptures by Bottigliero.
  • S. Lorenzo: most important gothic church of southern Italy. Art pieces by Tino di Camaino, Giovanni da Nola and others. Archeological excavations under the church with remains of the Greek city.
  • Pio Monte della Misericordia: famous paintings by Caravaggio and Battistello.
  • Porta Capuana square: door of the Renaissance city built by the Aragon family, rulers of the city during that time.
  • S. Caterina a Formello: picturesque Renaissance church with many 17th and 18th C. art pieces.
  • S. Giovanni a Carbonara: glory of Renaissance Naples, hosts the most incredible legacy of 15th-16th C. marble art works of the city. Magnificent Caracciolo chapel by Bramante. Paintings by Leonardo da Besozzo and Vasari. Marble sculptures by Andrea da Firenze, Ordoñez, Machuca, Naccherino and Finelli. 
    S.S. Apostoli
  • S.S. Apostoli: 16th-17th C. church fully frescoed by Lanfranco and Beinaschi. Chapels: 16 paintings by Solimena and other art pieces by M. Pino, Farelli, Fiasella, Sanmartino and many others.

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Christiaan Santini, Rome, Italy / - Tour Designer, Tour Guide, Tour Manager / Official Tour Guide license issued by the Regional Administration of Rome (nr. 4545) / p.iva: 12307641006 / c.f.: sntcrs79e19h501o / Nationality: Italian-Dutch

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