Found in southern Italy, Naples has certainly made a name for itself over many centuries. From the destruction of nearby Pompeii by Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. to becoming the fascinating city it is today, here are seven interesting facts about Naples that you might not know!
1. Its name isn’t Italian
The word ‘Naples’ is actually derived from ancient Greek (or Neapolis) and translates to ‘New City’.
2. Naples is the third largest city in Italy
Sitting pretty after Rome and Milan, Naples is a huge city with a total area of 119 km2. Naples also boasts the most densely populated city with three times the number of inhabitants (per square kilometre) than Rome.
3. You can go below ground
Dating back to the third century, there are several catacombs that you can explore underground when in Naples! If this takes your fancy, we would highly recommend the San Gennaro catacombs which have over 2,000 burial coves!
4. Take your pick of castles in the area
Back in ancient history, Naples was famous for having the most castles – seven of them, in fact! Each castle still stands strong in present day, and most can be visited. If you’re after a Napoli adventure, head to the fortress of Castello Aragonese which is found on a small island complete with bountiful olive tree courtyards.
5. Naples wasn’t always part of Italy
We understand your confusion here! While Naples has always been found in Italy, it was formerly part of the Kingdom of Sicily until 1861 when it joined the Kingdom of Italy as part of the Italian Unification movement.
6. The port is one of the busiest hubs in Europe
Ranked as the twelfth biggest passenger port in all of Europe, the Port of Naples sees through well over 6.5 million passengers each year.
7. Naples celebrates pizza like no other
We all know that pizza was invented in Naples in the early 19th century so it’s only fitting that the city celebrates this much-loved food with Pizzafest in June each year. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially if you’re a foodie. Not only will you be able to try a plethora of pizza, but there are also cooking classes and entertainment over the festival period.