Naples, also known as Napoli in Italian, is one of the most iconic cities in Italy and one of the most popular destinations in the entire Mediterranean region. Its history spans back nearly 3,000 years to the ancient Greeks who founded the Naples area during the 8th century BC. For an experience that’s packed with both new and ancient treasures, good food, and stunning landscapes, a summer in Naples is everything you want and more.
These fun facts about Naples only scratch the surface of what can be discovered while spending time in this majestic location. As the locals say, you never know what you will stumble upon when exploring the winding city streets!
If you’re thinking about visiting for your next vacation, here are 11 fun facts about Naples to guide you through Neapolitan history and culture.
Naples is the ‘New City’
Napoli comes from the Greek word Neapolis which means “new city” or “new town”. It was originally given this name by its early Greek inhabitants in the 8th century BC.
One of the largest city
Naples residents are Neapolitans
Naples residents are referred to as Neapolitans or Napoletano in Italian.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
3rd Century Catacombs
The San Gennaro Catacombs in Naples date back to the third century AD and contain ancient graves, crypts, and countless dark and chilling tunnels.
The Main Church was built in the 13th century
The main church in Naples is the Roman Catholic Naples Cathedral, known in Italian as Duomo di Napoli, which was built in the late 13th century.
Creation of Pizza
The very first pizzeria in Italy and the entire world, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, was opened in Naples in 1830. It still remains open today.
Creation of the Margherita Pizza
The classic Margherita Pizza got its name from Queen Margherita Teresa Giovanni after she visited Naples in the late 19th century.
Home to 3 Castles
Naples is home to three large castles which are known as Castel Nuovo, Castel dell’Ovo, and Castel Sant’Elmo. All three of these castles date back to at least the thirteenth century.
Close to Mount Vesuvius
The Naples skyline features the looming Mount Vesuvius which erupted in 79 AD and buried the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Only became part of Italy in 1860
Naples only became part of the new Italy in October of 1860 as part of the Italian Unification movement.