Naples is the third largest municipality in Italy, and has a lot to offer day-trippers and holidaymakers alike. The city is renowned for its wealth of museums, has the largest historical city centre in Europes (which is also a designated UNESCO heritage site) and is also the Italian city with the highest number of stars in the Michelin guide. Culture, history and food aside, we take a look at what else makes this stunning destination interesting.
“See Naples And Die”
One of the more famous sayings about Italy (a strong contender against the “all roads lead to…” proverb), the phrase was coined during the city’s Golden Age. At the time, Naples was the third most heavily-populated city in Europe and easily one of the most opulent. Whilst the phrase might sound like a somewhat unnerving threat, it’s actually more akin to a tourism board’s marketing slogan — it simply means that Naples is so unmissable, you need to witness the beauty of the city before you die.
Oldest Continuously Inhabited City
Amazingly, Naples is one of the world’s oldest cities which has been continuously lived in — stretching back 2,800 years to the 8th century BC when the Greek colony of Cumae founded the city of Parthenope where modern-day Naples now stands.
The name “Napoli’ comes from the Greek word Neapolis — meaning “new city”. Unfortunately, the city is not named after the ice cream but rather the other way around; Neapolitan ice cream is so named after the Neapolitan immigrants who invented the dessert in the USA during the late 19th Century.
Naples is the capital of the Campania region of Italy, which comes from the name “Campania felix” (latin for “fertile countryside”).
Pizza Margherita, per favore
The Margherita pizza was named after Queen Margherita Teresa Giovanni, after her visit to Naples in 1889. The pizza was designed to represent the Italian flag — red tomato, green basil and white cheese. Naples is also home to the world’s first ever pizzeria — in 1830, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba opened in the city.
Longest Funicular Line
The Naples Funicular is one of the longest lines in the world, carrying over 10 million passengers every year. It opened in 1928, and the line stretches just over 1.2 kilometres and descends (or ascends) 170 metres.
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