Naples, with a population of over one million people, is the largest city in southern Italy and the 3rd largest city in all of Italy; only Rome and Milan have larger populations.
The area that is now Naples has been inhabited for thousands of years and been controlled by numerous civilizations including the ancient Greeks and Romans. On this page are lists of interesting facts about this Italian city written for both kids and adults. This information includes when the city was founded, what some of the main tourist attractions are, and why many scientists believe it is dangerous to live there.
Naples Italy Interesting Facts
The Italian name for Naples is "Napoli" which is derived from the Greek word Neapolis meaning "new city".
This city was founded in the second century BC by the ancient Greeks.
Naples is the capital of Italy's Campania region.
Naples is in southern Italy on the west coast. It is located on the Bay of Naples 120 miles (190 kilometers) southeast of Rome.
Naples climate consist of hot summers and rainy and mild winters.
It is widely believed that Antica Pizzeria Port 'Alba in Naples, established in 1830, is the world's first pizzeria.
People living in Naples are called Neapolitans.
In 1861, as part of the Italian unification, Naples became part of the Kingdom of Italy.
Both Pompeii and Herculaneum, two famous ancient Roman cities destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, are in the Metropolitan City of Naples.
The historic center of Naples is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the largest historic center in Europe.
A huge super volcano named Campi Flegrei is located just west of Naples. Although its last eruption was in 1538 AD many scientists warn that this area is becoming extremely dangerous and a massive eruption is imminent. This could be a devastating event considering the dense population of the area.
The Port of Naples is one of the biggest ports found on the Mediterranean Sea. Its Passenger terminal handles millions of passengers every year and the port is responsible for a huge amount of commercial freight.
10 Major Tourist Attractions in Naples
Mount Vesuvius - This famous volcano erupted in 79 AD burying the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Today there are bus tours from Naples to Mount Vesuvius where tourist can hike up it slopes.
Pompeii - This ancient Roman city was buried in ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. Today the excavated site allows tourist to view an amazingly well preserved ancient Roman city.
Naples Cathedral - This Roman Catholic cathedral is the main church in Naples. Construction on this spectacular medieval cathedral began in 1294.
Naples National Archaeological Museum - This museum, established in 1861, has an amazing collection of Greek and Roman artifacts. It is especially known for its collection of artifacts from the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
San Gennaro Catacombs - Here tourist can explore a network of tunnels lined with ancient graves and crypts dating back to the 3rd century AD. The lighting of the 2 level catacombs adds a spooky feeling to the tours.
Castel Nuovo - Built in 1282 AD this castle is one of Naples main historical sites. From the top of the castle tourist get a stunning view of Naples.
Cappella Sansevero - Built in 1590 this chapel has works of art by famous 18th century Italian artists; including a beautiful ceiling (Glory of Paradise), painted in 1749 by Francesco Maria Russo.
San Domenico Maggiore - Although not impressive from the outside this church, completed in 1324 AD, is full of amazing Renaissance art and decorations.
Piazza del Plebiscito - This is Naples main square, the Piazza del Plebiscito features the Royal Palace and the Basilica Royal.
Castel dell'Ovo - This castle is located directly on the Bay of Naples; dating back to the early 6th century BC, it is the oldest remaining fortification in Naples.