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Naples, Italy

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Alternate uses: See Naples (disambiguation)

Naples (Italian, Napoli) is the largest town in southern Italy, capital of the region of Campania. It has with its suburbs 3 million inhabitants (Neapolitans), and is located just half way between the Vesuvius volcano and another unrelated volcanic area, the Campi Flegrei[?].

It is rich in history, art, culture, traditions and gastronomy, and has a particular dialect.

Probably founded by inhabitants of the Greek colony Cuma[?], around the eighth century B.C., just a few kilometres from the more ancient town Partenope. For this reason named Neapolis (from Greek, meaning New City). Its buildings, museums and even the language spoken by natives bear traces of all periods of its history, from its Greek birth, until the present days.

It was in Naples, in the 'Castel dell'Ovo', that Romulus Augustulus, the last emperor of the Roman Empire, was imprisoned after being deposed in 476. In the sixth century, Naples was conquered by the Byzantines during the attempt of Justinianus to give new birth to the Roman Empire, and was just about the last duchy to fall in Norman hands in 1039, as they founded the Kingdom of Sicily.

Frederiek II Hohenstaufen[?], founded its university in 1224. In 1266 Naples and the kingdom of Sicily was assigned by Pope Clement IV to Charles of Anjou, who moved the capital from Palermo to Naples. In 1284 the kingdom split in two parts, but both claimed the name of kingdom of Sicily. The two parts would stay separate until 1816, when they would form the kingdom of Two Sicilies. The two kingdoms were conquered by Spaniards in 1501, who held them until 1734, when they regained independence under the enlightened monarch Charles, king of both Sicilies (Utriusque Siciliarum) (later known as Charles III of Spain).

It houses the San Carlo[?], the oldest still active opera theatre in Europe, which was extremely active at least until 1861, when the kingdom was conquered by the Garibaldines and handed over to the king of Sardinia. In October 1860 a plebiscite sanctioned the end of the kingdom of Sicily and the birth of the state of Italy.

The opening of the funicular railway to Mount Vesuvius inspired the writing of the famous song Funiculì Funiculà, which was to be the beginning of a tradition of many famous Neapolitan songs, including O Sole Mio, Santa Lucia and Torna a Surriento.

On April 7, 1906 nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted, devastated Boscotrecase[?] and seriously damaged Ottaviano. in 1944 the activity closed with a spectacular and devastating eruption, images from this eruption were used in the film the War of the Worlds.

It is still well connected to Sicily and Palermo. Naples has an important port that connects it, for example, to Cagliari, Genoa and Palermo.

The mafia-like organised crime rooted in Naples is named camorra.

Naples is by tradition the home of pizza. Neapolitans claim that the "real Pizza" is available only in their town. See also Neapolitan ice cream.

Famous Neapolitans from history include:

See also: Monarchs of Naples and Sicily

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