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The most Italian of cities

Conjure up any image of Italy, and you can find it in Naples, arguably the most Italian of cities. Pizza, sunshine, scooters, football, and some of the world’s greatest art, all in the shadow of Vesuvius, mainland Europe’s only active volcano. Settled by the Greeks around 470 BC, the city has had an often troubled past, and the present is not without its troubles either – however, the infamous rubbish problems have been resolved, crime figures are down, and tourism is on the up.

Castel dell'OvoCC BY-SA 3.0

Castel dell'Ovo

Castel dell'Ovo

Famous A peaceful spot to enjoy the view

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Antonella Frezzetti

Specialized Archaeologist

Legend has it that the Latin poet Virgil has hidden a magical egg in the crypt of this beautiful castle. That’s the story behin the name: ‘uovo’ means egg in Italian.

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A peaceful spot to enjoy the view

Stay.com Editors' Note

The Castel dell'Ovo you see today is the result of 1,000 years of military occupation beginning in Norman times. The Aragonese gave it its present look in the 16th century; prior to that, a monastic community lived here; even earlier, it was part of the estate of Roman general Lucullus.

When the poet Virgil stayed here in the first century BC, local legend says he buried an egg (uovo), predicting that when the egg broke disaster would strike – hence the name of Castel del Ovo. After crossing the bridge, pass through the main portal and either climb straight on up to the right, or bear left along to the far end of the mole (breakwater), where the gun emplacements used to stand – this is a strangely deserted spot, with Naples very close yet completely hidden from view by the castle.

Some of Castel dell'Ovo’s rooms leading off the long climb up the ramp inside the castle itself are offices, while others are exhibition and conference areas; still others are currently being excavated and restored, and for the moment are only visible through glass.

Castel dell'Ovo
Via Eldorado, 1, Napoli, 80132 Naples
Phone
+39 081 795 4593
Website
www.comune.napoli.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/IT/IDPagina/1433
Hours
8am-sunset Mon-Sat; 9am-2pm Sun.