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Learn more about Naples

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The Bay of Naples
Comune di Napoli
Municipal coat of arms
Country Image:Flag of Italy.svg Italy
Region Campania
Province Naples (NA)
Mayor Rosa Russo Jervolino
Elevation 17 m
Area 117 km²
 - Total (as of December 31, 2004) 1,000,470
 - Density 8,457/km²
Time zone CET, UTC+1
Coordinates 40°50′N 14°15′E
Gentilic Napoletani
Dialing code 081
Postal code 80100
Patron Saint Januarius
 - Day September 19
Image:Italy Regions 220px (including Pelagie Islands).png
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Location of Naples in Italy</center>}}

Naples (Italian: Napoli, Neapolitan: Nàpule, from Greek Νεάπολη < Νέα Πόλις Néa Pólis 'New City') is the largest city in southern Italy and capital of the Campania region and the Province of Naples. The city has a population of about 1 million. By one count the metropolitan area of Naples is the second largest in Italy after that of Milan, with more than 4,200,000 inhabitants. The inhabitants are known as Neapolitans, napulitane in Neapolitan, napoletani or poetically partenopei in Italian. It is located halfway between the volcano, Vesuvius and a separate volcanic area, the Campi Flegrei, all part of the Campanian volcanic arc.

It is rich in historical, artistic and cultural traditions and gastronomy. Neapolitan ('o napulitano) is the colourful, rich Romance language that has been a trademark of southern Italy ever since the period of the Kingdom of Naples and the Two Sicilies. This history, coupled with its size, has given Naples the unofficial status of being the Capital of the South (in Italy).

The city is served by Naples International Airport at Capodichino.


[edit] History

Main article: History of Naples
See also: Duchy of Naples

Naples was founded between the 7th and 6th centuries BC by the Greeks and was given the name Neapolis.

During the period of Roman domination, the town preserved its Greek language and customs. Following the Roman period, the city was dominated by many different groups of people (Byzantines, Lombards, Normans, Swabians, Angevins, Aragonese, Spaniards, Bourbons and revolutionary French). Nowadays one can see the traces of all those rulers in the monuments, in the culture and in the habits of the town. Naples was also the capital of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and after the Congress of Vienna became the capital of the (newly named, but geographically unchanged) Kingdom of Naples. After a long period of decline following the creation of the Italian State over 100 years ago, the city is making strides in recovering its eminence as a center for culture.

[edit] Demographics

Much of the information that follows is a synthesis of on-line information available from

[edit] Population, immigration and age

Naples is the largest and most prosperous city in Southern Italy and one of the largest cities in Italy, with a population of 1,000,449. It has a greater metropolitan population of 3,085,447 (other estimates include up to 4.2 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area). Unlike many Northern Italian cities where immigrants make up a large segment, there are few immigrants in Naples. In 2004, there was a total 40,413 foreigners in greater Naples, numbering slightly over 1.3% of the total population. Like many other Western European cities, Italy has been witnessing an influx of Eastern Europeans, who make up the vast majority of the foreigners in Naples. Many of them are labourers from the Ukraine, Poland, Albania, and Romania. Non-Europeans such as the Chinese, Arabs from North Africa, and sub-Saharan Blacks are few in number[1].

Age profile (of the greater metropolitan area)

Unlike Northern Italy, where many cities have an older age profile, Naples and many other southern cities have higher proportions of youth. However, there has been a great exodus of young people leaving southern cities for the more prosperous and orderly north, such as the Lombardia region which is the richest in all of Europe. Also, there has been a demographic shift in Italy over the past few years: fertility rates in northern cities have been on the rise, whereas southern rates have dropped drastically. (citation needed)

[edit] Economics and employment

The provincial economy is relatively weak compared to Italy as a whole, placing only 94th out of the total of 103 provinces in Italy in terms of GVA (Gross Value Added)—that is, wealth produced. Such statistics do not include wealth generated by the so-called "submerged economy"—that is, the black market and untaxed wages—about which reliable statistics are difficult to come by.

Estimates of unemployment in the city of Naples run between 20% and 30%, again depending on accuracy of statistics that attempt to account for the relatively large number of persons who work in the "submerged economy".

Generally speaking, there is currently a move away from the traditional agriculture-based economy in the province to one based on service industries. There were over 138,000 enterprises operating in the province of Naples that employed about 595,000 workers in 2001. In 2002 the companies registered in the Chamber of Commerce Public Register of Naples came to 249, 590. More than half of these are small enterprises with fewer than 20 workers; as well, 70 companies are medium-sized with more than 200 workers; and 15 have more than 500 workers. Employment of the province of Naples in different sectors breaks down as follows:

[edit] Harbour and airport

There are 370 enterprises with more than 5,200 employees in the port of Naples. Collectively, the turnover amounts to about 516 million euros. The main services are: marine repair, storage, furnishing and provisioning, container services, brokers and shipping agents, tourist agents, and insurance brokers.

In 2001, more than 15 million tons of goods were loaded and off-loaded and more than 230,000 containers were handled. The principal loaded goods were: mineral oils, minerals, food, machines and vehicles. The off-loaded goods were: mineral oils, cereals, paper and cellulose, wood, cement. In 2001, the tourist traffic amounted to more than eight million passengers. Recently the port of Naples has been marked by growing commerce, become a more important logistic point in the Mediterranean. In the year 2001, docking of cruise ships increased by 14.3% over 2000. Also, the shipyard sector is important; the port has three floating docks and a growing number of enterprises operating in marine construction and repair.

The international airport of Naples-Capodichino, is the most important one in southern Italy measured by amount of traffic. Approximately 140 flights arrive or depart from the Naples airport on a daily basis. During the year 2002 over 4 millions passengers were served for a 3. 2% increase over 2001.

[edit] Higher education

Among the public and private institutions of higher learning in Naples are:

As well, there are about 22 institutes and 8 research centres of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (National Research Council).

[edit] Immigration

In Italy, at large, there are c. 2,300,300 legal immigrants in Italy, amounting to about 4% of the population. In the city of Naples, there were (as of December 31, 2003) about 12 thousand legal immigrants—that is, those with permission to stay; there are estimated to be about 43 thousand illegal immigrants—that is, without permission to stay. The sex ratio among legal immigrants shows a slight prevalence of women.

[edit] Main sights

San Martino museum with Sant'Elmo fortress behind it.
The Church of Gesù Nuovo.

In 1995 the Historic Centre of Naples was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Although Naples is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and rich in history and monuments, it is sometimes overlooked by mass tourism and is less visited than other Italian cities. There are, however, many attractions within the city.

[edit] Churches and religious buildings

[edit] Historic castles, palaces and museums

Naples is renowned for its historic castles:

[edit] Others

[edit] Beneath Naples

Main article: Beneath Naples
One of the many caverns beneath Naples.

Subterranean Naples consists of old Greco-Roman reservoirs dug out from the soft tufo stone on which, and from which, the city is built. You can visit approximately one kilometer of the many kilometers of tunnels under the city from the well known "Napoli Sotteranea" situated in the historic centre of the city in Via dei Tribunali. There are also large catacombs in and around the city and other visits such as Piscina Mirabilis, the main cistern serving the bay of Naples during Roman times. This system of tunnels and cisterns cover most of the city and lies approximately thirty metres below ground level. Moisture levels are around 70%. During World War II these tunnels were used as air raid shelters and there are inscriptions in the walls which depict the suffering endured during that time.

[edit] Other

Italian Air Force Academy overlooking the bay of Pozzuoli, near Naples.

Naples is the site of a number of Italian, international and US military facilities. These include the Italian Air Force academy in nearby Pozzuoli; the NATO Joint Forces Command Naples (JFC) (formerly AFSOUTH) in the Naples suburb of Bagnoli, responsible for the coordination of NATO forces in the Southern European Region; and the US Naval Support Activity Naples, located at the Capodichino airport, a major US Navy administrative base responsible for the support and control of US Naval assets in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

[edit] Music of Naples

Main article: Music of Naples

Naples has played an important and vibrant role over the centuries not just in the music of Italy, but in the general history of western European musical traditions. This influence extends from the early music conservatories in the 1500s through the music of Alessandro Scarlatti during the Baroque period and the comic operas of Pergolesi, Piccini and, eventually, Rossini and Mozart. The vitality of Neapolitan popular music from the late 19th century has made such songs as "O sole mio" and "Funiculì Funiculà" a permanent part of our musical consciousness.

Image:Naples panorama.jpg
Naples panorama.

[edit] Around Naples

The islands of Procida, (famously used as the set for much of the film Il Postino), Capri and Ischia can all be reached quickly by hydrofoils and ferries. Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast are situated south of Naples. The Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum (destroyed in the 79 a.d. eruption of Vesuvius) are also nearby. As well, Naples is near the volcanic area known as the Campi Flegrei and the port towns of Pozzuoli and Baia, which were part of the vast Roman naval facility, Portus Julius.

San Paolo stadium in Naples.

[edit] Sports

Naples is the home of a number of professional sports teams. Among these are:

[edit] Food and drink

With this plaque, a local restaurant claims to be the birthplace of the pizza named for queen Margherita.

Naples is by tradition the home of pizza. It is the birthplace of the Pizza Margherita, which traditionally is made with mozzarella cheese, pomodoro (tomato) and basil -representing, respectively, the red, white, and green of the Italian flag. The pizza was named when it was served to Queen Margherita during a visit to the city. La vera pizza ("true pizza") should be made in a wood-burning oven similar to a Tandoori oven. There is a certification body that issues recognition to pizza places around the world that have been deemed to make true Neapolitan pizza.

Melanzane alla parmigiana is a bake of layers of fried slices of aubergine (eggplant, very often coated in egg and flour, or in a light batter), alternated with mozzarella, tomato sauce and parmesan (parmigiano) cheese (a less common version does not include mozzarella).

Naples offers several kinds of unique pastry, the most famous of which is perhaps the babà, followed by choux (Neapolitans write it as sciù) and the Pastiera, a cake prepared for Easter. The babà (also known as savarin) is a mushroom-shaped piece of leavend sweet paste, soaked with an orange flavoured mixture of ruhm and water. Choux is a small "bubble" of leavened paste stuffed with light cream, usually coffee or chocolate flavored. The Pastiera is a cake with a complicated recipe, varying by the county in which it is prepared. The ingredients are typically annealed grain, eggs, and sometimes cream (it is sometimes made with boiled rice instead of grain in the area of Salerno), in a sort of short crust pastry with strips of pastry on the top making a sort of grid. Another typical Neapolitan pastry is the Sfogliatella (riccia or frolla).

Naples is also known for its ice cream (in Italian gelato).

Neapolitan food forms the basis for much Italian-American cuisine.

[edit] The Neapolitan diaspora

(related article: Italian diaspora)

The so-called "Neapolitan diaspora" — the great waves of emigration from Naples and southern Italy to the Americas, especially the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina — was part of the pattern of large-scale emigration from Italy, in general, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Between 1876 and 1913, 11.1 million Italians left Italy. Depending on just how one defines the area under scrutiny — city of Naples, province of Naples, region of Campania, or all of southern Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia) — most reliable estimates claim that at least 4 million of those who left were from Naples or near Naples.

source: "Social Networks and Migrations: 1876-1913" by Enrico Moretti, in International Migration Review,vol. 33, No. 3 (Autumn, 1999), pp. 640-657, published by The Center for Migration Studies of New York, Inc. ISSN 0197-9183

[edit] Famous Neapolitans

[edit] Public transport

Image:VerkehrsnetzNapoliInnenstadtbereich1998.png |Image:VerkehrsnetzNapoliAussenbereich1998.png
Image:Naples - Trams, Trolleybuses and buses 10-7-06.jpg
Trams, trolleybuses and buses in Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi

Naples is served by the Naples metro, trams, buses and trolleybuses. Suburban rail services are provided by:

[edit] Community Boards of Naples

Naples is politically divided into ten Community Boards :

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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