Postcards from Italy
THE BLOG OF CIU TRAVEL

The Art of the South: The Top Museums and Collections in Naples

With the eyes of the world fixed on Covid-19, now is the time for us to do what’s best for our communities and avoid unnecessary travel. That said, there’s nothing that gets us through hard times like dreaming of our next jaunt to Italy! We’ll continue posting travel ideas for the Bel Paese and Switzerland for future trips, and we all hope to be wheels up as soon as possible....

Rome and Florence may be considered the capitals of Italy’s art world, but the teeming city of Naples (http://ciuitaly.com/blog/files/48-hours-naples-napoli.php) is home to a surprising number of world-class museums, collections, and other cultural treasures. Known more for the atmospheric, shop-lined streets of the Centro Storico and grandiose monuments like the Castel d’Ovo and Piazza del Plebescito, “Bella Napoli” was the seat of the House of Bourbon during their rule of the Kingdom of Naples and Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the 18th and 19th centuries, and a number of royal collections scattered across the city are testimony to the wealth and power of their reign.

Naples Panorama. Nikon D3100. DSC_0109-0115.(Photo by Robert Pittman via Flickr)

Before heading further south to the blockbuster destinations of Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, linger awhile in this vibrant port city to take in the masterpieces hidden in its museums, palaces, and churches.

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Italy's Versailles: the Reggia di Caserta

It is said that when Charles VII of Naples first set eyes on the scale model of the magnificent royal palace he had commissioned his architect Luigi Vanvitelli to construct for him outside Naples in 1752, the Bourbon king was filled with such emotion that he feared his heart would be torn from his breast.

king-queen-lion-reggia-di-caserta-cr-ciutravel(Photo by CIUTravel via Flickr)

Though your heart is probably safe, your breath is sure to be taken away by the splendor and opulence of the finished Royal Palace of Caserta (or Reggia di Caserta), a triumph of late Italian Baroque architecture that is stunning both for its massive size and ornate style. The largest royal residence in the world, the palace is often compared to that of Versailles in France—with which it shares a number of stylistic and organizational features—and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited monuments in southern Italy.

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