THE HIDDEN CITY
The historical center: excavation of the Cathedral
of Naples, excavation of S.Lorenzo Maggiore, Napoli Sotterranea.
is an island floating on the hollow space of underground cavities.
The town was built on a large stratum of tufa rock. Artificial
caves were added to the natural ones since the early years
of the city foundation. Greeks and Romans used the subsoil
as a parallel city, opening aqueducts, catacombs, warehouses.
The tufa has been until recent times the main building material
and many quarries have been opened just underneath the town.
Moreover, through ages Naples has developed in a strange way,
growing layer by layer on a vertical line, the modern levels
added on the oldest ones.
Our walk starts from the excavation
of the Cathedral of Naples where archeological remains from
the Greek-Roman period have been found in the underground area.
tour will also feature the nearby excavation of S.Lorenzo Maggiore,
underneath a gothic Angevin church. You will experience a walk
through an area of the Greek-Roman Naples: a roman street with
ruins of shops, homes, and public buildings.
You will continue
the tour to " Napoli Sotterranea",
with several paths and grottos excavated, 30 meters below one
of the oldest squares of the city, used for the water supply
system of the ancient city. The aqueduct, closed at the end
of the 19th century, has been used during World War II as a
This interesting tour will show the hidden city, offering
an unusual view of the rich history of Naples.
is not recommended for people suffering from claustrophobia.
BELIEF AND MAGIC
The historical center: Cappella Sansevero, Via S.Gregorio Armeno,
Duomo, Church of the Gesù Nuovo.
Naples is known as a mysterious
and superstitious town. The city history balances between truth
and imagination. This tour, right in the heart of the historical
center, will let you discover some of the mysteries and legends
You will then walk to the Sansevero Chapel, temple
of masonry and esoterism; among 18Th century marble masterpieces,
such as the " Veiled Christ", you will learn the history
of Prince Raimondo di Sangro, an alchemist and inventor. He
created two replicas of the human circulatory system, that
can be seen beneath the Chapel.
The tour will continue along
the famous crib-alley of San Gregorio Armeno, where the best
artisan of terracotta nativity scenes will show you their skills.
shall then visit the Duomo, the main church of the city, hosting
one of the masterpieces of Neapolitan Baroque: the chapel of
the Patron Saint of Naples, San Gennaro. Here twice a year,
the coagulated blood of the Saint liquefies. Faith or superstition?
walk continues along "Spaccanapoli", artery
of the ancient Greek-Roman city. We shall end the tour with
a visit to the Church of Gesù Nuovo, a beautiful example
of Neapolitan baroque. The local sense of religion is shown
by the reliquaries and ex-voto offerings displayed all over
THE TREASURES OF NAPOLI
(Monastery of Santa Chiara, San Carlo Theatre, Royal Palace)
Our visit will start from the Monastery of Santa Chiara, a
place which summarizes a consistent part of the history of
Santa Chiara was where the kingdom's assemblies where
held, as well as many official ceremonies. Its lovely cloister,
with 18th century hand-painted majolica tiles, is a peaceful
area in the middle of the city. The "Museo dell'Opera",
recently opened inside the walls of the monastery, houses objects
and decorative ornaments from Santa Chiara. In the section
devoted to archaeology, you can see the ruins of a Roman bathhouse
that extend outside the museum.
The tour will continue through
the very heart of the city center, with a visit to the San
Carlo Theatre, the first opera house in Europe, built in 1737
during the kingdom of Charles of Bourbon. San Carlo is known
for its magnificent architecture and excellent productions;
the focal point of its auditorium, with six tiers of boxes,
is the Royal Box, decorated by the crown of the Kingdom of
the Two Sicilies.
Next to the opera house we shall enter the
Royal Palace of Naples, which has been for almost three centuries
the official residence of the kings of Naples, until the unification
of Italy. Its beautiful facade, which looks on the main square
of Naples - Piazza del Plebiscito - embodies the statues of
the most famous kings of the many dynasties which ruled upon
the city and Southern Italy. In the Palace we will visit the
Royal Apartment, with furniture pieces, household furnishings
and paintings. The tour will also feature a visit to the Royal
Theatre and the Palatine Chapel.
* The visit to the theatre
might not be included as it is not currently open to the public.
We will try to ensure a private viewing.
OF THE CHURCH
Naples Spaccanapoli -- City walking tour w/S.Chiara, S. Savero,
the Duomo , the S.Martino charterhouse
Naples as a capital city covered a primary role in the Southern
Italian history. As any powerful center it saw many religious
orders coexisting, that left to the city an incredible artistic
Our visit will start from the Monastery of Santa
Chiara, the sacred place that Neapolitan aristocracy preferred
for the religious retreat of the noble ladies. Its history
is the history of an exclusive monastery and, at the same time,
a witness of the women's standings in the aristocratic world.
Its lovely cloister, with 18th century hand-painted majolica
tiles, is a peaceful area in the middle of the city. The "Museo
dell'Opera", recently opened inside the walls of the monastery,
houses objects and decorative ornaments from the monastery.
In the section devoted to archaeology, you can see the ruins
of a Roman bathhouse that extend outside the museum.
proceed on foot through Spaccanapoli, to the Sansevero Chapel,
a private chapel once part of the Sansevero Palace and known
for having been temple of masonry and esoterism. Among 18Th
century marble masterpieces, such as the " Veiled
Christ", you will learn the history of Prince Raimondo
di Sangro, an alchemist and inventor. He created two replicas
of human circulatory system, that can be seen beneath the Chapel.
tour will continue along the famous crib-alley of San Gregorio
Armeno, where the best artisan of terracotta nativity scenes
will show you their skills.
We shall then visit the Duomo, the
main church of the city, hosting one of the masterpieces of
Neapolitan Baroque: the chapel of the Patron Saint of Naples,
San Gennaro. Here twice a year, the coagulated blood of the
After lunch you will enjoy the unique Charterhouse
The Chartusian Monastery, beautifully located
on the edge of the Vomero hill, with its splendid structure
and works of art is the witness of the way rich monks lived.
Opulence and prosperity were the philosophy of this important
religious order: to be accepted in the monastery it was necessary
to bring a rich dowry!
CARAVAGGIO & THE FARNESE COLLECTION
IN THE CAPODIMONTE ROYAL PALACE
(The church of S.Domenico Maggiore, The Pio Monte della Misericordia,
Naples: a kaleidoscopic reality that has always inspired artists
and painters including Caravaggio. In 1606 in Rome during a
furious brawl over a disputed score in a game of tennis, Caravaggio
killed a man. In terror of the consequences of his act, he
left the city and reached Naples, where for the Pio Monte della
Misericordia he painted one of his masterpieces:" The
Seven Acts of Mercy".
During this visit Caravaggio painted
also for the de Franchis family " The Flagellation" an
altarpiece to hang in the family chapel in the Church of S.Domenico
Maggiore where it stayed until 1972 when it was transferred
to the Capodimonte Art Gallery.
You will visit in the morning
the Church of S.Domenico Maggiore, where there is a copy of
the Caravaggio's flagellation, and on foot through the street
which gave inspiration to the painter, you will reach The Pio
Monte della Misericordia in order to see the " Seven Acts of Mercy".
lunch, in the afternoon, you will experience the Art Gallery
of Capodimonte. It was a Royal Palace, but it also hosts the
rich " Farnese Collection" with painting
by Raphael, Titian, Botticelli, Masaccio, Giovanni Bellini,
El Greco, and of course Caravaggio's "Flagellation".
TWO FACES OF CASERTA
Royal Palace of Caserta, Caserta Vecchia and S.Leucio.
There is no better place than Caserta to experience the life
at the Court of the Bourbons during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Built in 1752 in obedience to the will of King Charles of Bourbon
in order to compete with the French Versailles, the Royal Palace
of Caserta with its 1,200 rooms and a park of 120 hectares
is one of the most imposing Royal Palaces of Europe.
walk through the rooms where the Bourbon Kings and Queens walked,
gave public audiences, received Ambassadors and Prime Ministers,
listened music and had amorous adventures.
After the visit of
the Palace you will enjoy the park, with its romantic fountains
and English gardens, a real reserve of majestic trees and rare
plants, where the first camellia plant appeared in Europe was
grown. The garden is a typical example of an 18th century fashionable
style in the European courts: walks, brooks, thickets, statues
and artificial ruins.
You will than proceed to Caserta Vecchia,
a picturesque medieval village for lunch, and in the afternoon,
you will experience the Royal Silk Manufacture of S.Leucio.
a few kilometers from the Royal Palace, Ferdinand IV of Bourbon
established the S.Leucio colony, where 214 workers lived organized
upon the concept of absolute equality.
Considered in political terms a model of open and progressive
industrial organization it was an isolated experiment in the
context of Bourbon society. The sovereigns often came to S.Leucio
to control the silk processing and to enjoy a period of rest.
will visit the area with looms to see how silk was made as
well as the residential part of the complex.