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The Capital of the Regno delle Due Sicilie (Kingdom of the Two Sicilies) had
four royal residences, of which two were in the city, one in nearby Portici
and one in Caserta. The Palazzo Reale is the greatest Renaissance, Baroque and
Rococo monument in Naples. Building began in 1601, and the architects Fontana,
Picchiatti, Sanfelice, Fuga and Vanvitelli all worked on it, modifying a preexisting
royal residence. The building includes the Historic Apartment and the Court
Theatre and сот-prises three orders; in 1888 the great statues of the most important
kings of Neples were placed in the special niches in Vanvitelli's facade. The
Courtyard, the Scalone d'Onore (gala staircase) and the Fountains are of great
scenic effect. The Palazzo Reale is a venue for very high'level cultu-ral events,
including the 1994 G7. It is a tourist attraction that should not be- missed,
partly for its position in Piazza del Plebiscite and next door to the renowned
opera house, Teatro San Carlo.
The Reggia di Capodimonte
The Reggia di Capodimonte, on the hill of the same name, was built in 1738
by order of Charles of Bourbon, by whose order the "Real Fabbrica di Porcellane",
had already been built and which soon became one of the most famous porcelain
factories in the world. The commission was given to Giovanni Antonio Medrano,
Antonio Canevari and Ferdinando Sanfelice.
The Palace comprises a rectangular building with three Courtyards, and is surrounded
by the large Park.
The rooms are very beautiful, especially the "Sola ddle Porcellane"
for its furnishings and artistic decorations by he master ceramicists of Capodimonte.
The Palace Fountains
The courtyards of the Palazzo Reale contain two artistic fountains: the Fountain
of Fortune and the fountain in the Cortile delle Carrozze (Carriage Courtyard).
The Centre of Naples
The Historical Centre of Naples has a great wealth of Villas and Palazzi from
Medieval, Baroque and Rococo periods. Among the most impmtant are the palazzi
Panormita, Cuomo, Qravina Filomarino, Serra di Cassano and Marigliano.
Palazzo Donn'Anna deserves a separate mention and it is a characteri-stie feature'
of the city's coastal profile. It was built in 1642 by Fanzago for donna Anna
Carafa, the wife of the viceroy, Filippo Ramiro Guzman. Another notable Palace
is Palazzo Fuga, now also known as the "Albergo dei Poveri" (Almshouse),
a gigantic edifice built by order of the Bourbon Charles to house the paupers
of his kingdom. As for the villas, besides "Villa Floridiana" and
"Villa Pignatelli", which stand out for their exceptional beauty,
there are many others, mainly concentrated on the Posillipo hill and along the
stretch of coast that runs from Naples to Portici and on to Herculaneum. The
Posillipo villas are haracterised by typical 19th and early 20th century architectural
fea tuxes. The most beautiful are the villas Bracale, Cottrau, Crawen, d'Abro,
Pavoncelli, Rosebery and Roccaromana.
Among the Vesuvian villas, memorable are the ones built along the stretch between
Herculaneum and Torre del Greco, knoum as the "Golden Mile" for the
splendour of these edifices. The stately homes were built during the 18th and
19th centuries by illustrious architects of the times. Today there are a lot
of historical buildings that can be visited, and some of them are truly exceptional,
including Villa Campolieto, Villa Favorita and Villa Aprile, all three in Ercolano,
Villa Prota and others in Torre del Qreco, and the splendid Reggia di Portici.
The "Locked" Palace
In 1799 the main entrance to the Palazzo Sena di Cassano, in Via Egiziaca in
Pizzofakone, was locked and bolted by its owner, the Principe di Cassano, to
protest against the death sentence passed on his son Gennaro by Ferdinand IV
of Bourbon for his involvement in the bleapolitan Revolution. In 1999 it was
reopened briefly and then closed again, to commemorate the bicentenary of this