Located on the southern coast of Italy, Naples is a fascinating city full of charm and mystery. From its large population in relation to its area, to its intriguing underground world. Let yourself be captivated by the history of its medieval castles and discover the origin of the iconic pizza margherita. If you are interested in discovering more about this fascinating city, we tell you 10 curiosities of Naples that will surely surprise you.
Contents of this article
12 CURIOSITIES OF NAPLES
1. The first pizzeria in the world was born in the city, one of the best curiosities of Naples
Surely one of the curiosities of Naples that will most attract your attention is about the creation of pizza. And it is that this city has a lot to do with this, since the Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, It is the first pizzeria both in Italy and in the world to open its doors. From 1830 to the present day, this iconic establishment offers a delicacy recognized throughout the world, keeping alive the tradition and the original flavor of Neapolitan pizza.
Furthermore, the history of the margarita pizza also dates back to Naples in the year 1889. Legend has it that King Umberto I of Italy with his wife, Queen Margherita, visited the city and expressed their desire to try an authentic Neapolitan pizza. Before this honor, the famous pizza maker Raffaele Esposito, decided a special pizza that represents the colors of the Italian flag in honor of the queen.
Esposito combined tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves. The result was a delicious and visually appealing pizza, in the colors red, white and green. Queen Margherita was delighted with this creation and the pizza was named in her honor.
Guide to visit Naples
2. One of the largest cities in Italy
Another of the most interesting curiosities about Naples is that it is the third largest city in Italy, after Rome and Milan. With an area of 117.3 km², Naples stands out as a large urban center in southern Italy. This metropolis houses from historic palaces to an impressive view of the Mediterranean Sea, that is, the perfect combination of stunning architecture and natural beauty.
Due to its size, Naples is also an important cultural and economic center that has influenced the history and development of the country. Its rich culinary tradition, its artistic legacy and its impressive historical sites make Naples a fascinating place to discover and explore.
3. Naples is home to several oceanic species
Being located near the Gulf of Naples, this impressive city is home to a fascinating diversity of marine life. Here you will find a wide variety of reefs and marine habitats that are home to diverse species, such as tuna, amberjacks and small spotted sharks. So if you are a lover of diving and marine life, this region is a true paradise.
4. The Cathedral of Naples is a real treasure
Did you know that the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Naples is the main religious temple of the city? Built at the end of the 13th century, this imposing church is a true symbol of the Catholic faith in Naples and an important architectural landmark. It is located in the historic heart of the city and stands out for its Gothic architecture that has captivated everyone for centuries.
Inside, you will marvel at works of religious art of great historical and artistic value, such as frescoes, statues and stained glass windows. In addition, the cathedral houses important relics, including the vial with the blood of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples, whose miracles attract thousands of faithful each year.
5. Naples is known as the ‘new city’, one of the most interesting curiosities of Naples
Known as Neapolis in ancient times, Naples is a city steeped in history and culture. For this reason, one of its greatest curiosities is found in its name, since In Greek it means “new city” or “new town”.
This is because it was founded in the 8th century BC by Greek citizens. Over the centuries, it has witnessed the influence of different empires and has left an impressive architectural and artistic legacy.
6. It is one of the most densely populated cities in the country
The city of Naples is known for being the most densely populated in Italy, despite having fewer inhabitants and receiving less tourism. than other Italian cities. In addition, the narrow streets, the bustling markets and the lively daily life give it the reputation of being a city full of life.
Despite the competition from other Italian cities in terms of tourism and with a population of more than three millionsNaples stands out for its authenticity and characteristic charm that appeals to those looking to immerse themselves in a native Italian experience.
7. Naples has the largest historic center in Europe
To continue with this post about the curious facts of Naples, we must tell you that the historic center of the city is distinguished as the largest in Europe, covering an impressive area of 4.200 acres. This makes it a true historical and cultural treasure that will surely captivate you with its architectural beauty.
Despite the presence of other prominent historical centers in Europe, such as Rome or Florence, Naples stands out for its authenticity. This vast historic district is home to numerous palaces, churches, squares, and cobbled streets that reveal centuries of history. Losing yourself in its labyrinthine streets is like traveling back in time, which is why you will find this place to be a priceless jewel in the heart of Europe.
8. The Neapolitans are waiting for an egg
Naples has several castles, but none as famous as the Castel dell’Ovo. Its name means “Egg Castle” and derives from the legend of a magical egg hidden in its foundations. who has the power to keep the entire fortress standing.
It is believed that the egg broke and that the castle subsequently collapsed, at the same time that a series of ruinous catastrophes also occurred in the city of Naples. As a curiosity, during the fourteenth century, at the time of Juana I, the castle suffered serious damage when the arch on which it rested partially collapsed and, to prevent panic from spreading among the population due to the alleged future catastrophes that were going to hit the town, Juana I had to swear to have exchanged the egg for a whole one.
So the Neapolitans better make sure the egg is okay to live in peace! Definitely, one of the best curiosities of Naples.
9. And also from Vesuvius!
If we lived in Naples, we would not sleep peacefully. The city is located just 9 kilometers from Vesuvius, one of the most famous volcanoes in Europe and that it has already buried several urban centers such as Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Its last eruption was in 1944, when it destroyed a large part of San Sebastiano. Let’s hope the volcano stays calm and if it does erupt, better check the state of the egg!
10. A mermaid founded the city? One of the best curiosities of Naples
The legend of the mermaid Parthenope left an indelible mark on the culture of Naples. According to this ancient story, Parthenope was a beautiful mermaid who lived in the Gulf of Naples and seduced sailors with her melodious voice. However, it is said that she was so enchanted by the beauty of the gulf that she decided to settle in these lands and found the city of Naples.
Since then, the figure of the mermaid has become an icon of the city, present in sculptures, monuments and heraldic shields. In addition, the Neapolitans feel a deep pride in this legend and consider Parthenope as a protectress and muse of her city.
11. In Naples the pizza festival is celebrated
The Pizza Festival is an annual event that draws pizza lovers from all over the world to the incredible city of Naples. During the event, which takes place in different parts of the city, the best pizza chefs come together to show their skills in preparing this delicious specialty. But best of all, is that attendees can try a wide variety of pizzas, from the traditional margaritas to the most innovative and creative.
In addition to enjoying the incredible gastronomy, if you happen to visit Naples during the festival, you will be able to participate in workshops, demonstrations and contests related to pizza. And if you need a detailed guide to go from Naples airport to the city center, we’ve got you covered too.
12. There is an underground Naples!
To end this post on the curiosities of NaplesWe cannot forget that this city has an extensive system of underground tunnels known as the “Underground Naples”. Currently, this part of the city is a great tourist attraction, and it is that here you will find narrow passages, underground chambers and you will be able to discover many secrets.
However, these underground tunnels played different roles over the years.. During the Roman period, for example, they were used as aqueducts to supply the city with water. In addition, they were stone quarries for centuries and the extracted rocks were used in the construction of numerous buildings and monuments in the city.
Even during World War II, the tunnels of Naples became shelters for the inhabitants of the city. These underground spaces provide protection against shelling and housed thousands of people during the most difficult moments of the conflict.