Capodimonte and Vomero

DESTINATIONS italy naples capodimonte-and-vomero

The Parco di Capodimonte is the crowning point of the vast mountainous plain that slopes down through the city to the waterfront area. Nearly 5 km (3 miles) removed from the crowds in the Centro Storico, it is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike as a favored escape from the overheated city center. With picture-perfect views over the entire city and bay, the park was first founded in the 18th century as a hunting preserve by Charles of Bourbon. Before long, partly to house the famous Farnese collection that he had inherited from his mother, he commissioned a spectacular Palazzo Reale for the park. Today this palace is the Museo di Capodimonte, which contains among its treasures the city's greatest collection of Old Masters paintings.

To the west is the largely residential Vomero. From the balcony belvedere of the Museo di San Martino, a rich spread of southern Italian amplitude fills the eye: hillsides dripping with luxuriant greenery interspersed with villainously ugly apartment houses, streets short and narrow—leading to an unspeakable as well as unsolvable traffic problem—countless church spires and domes, and far below, the reason it all works, the intensely blue Bay of Naples. To tie together the lower parts with Vomero, everyone uses the funicolare—the funicular system that runs on four separate routes up and down the hill, however it is not set to reopen until December 2016.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Certosa e Museo di San Martino

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Catacomba di San Gennaro

These catacombs—designed for Christian burial—date back at least as far as the 2nd century AD. This was where St. Gennaro's…

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Villa Floridiana

Now a chiefly residential neighborhood, the Vomero Hill was once the patrician address of many of Naples's most extravagant estates.…

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