Naples Italy History

Naples Italy history can be traced back over 2,800 years to the eighth century BC when people from the Greek colony of Cumae founded what was then called Parthenope. The same colonists then built Neapolis (New City) next to Parthenope. Ultimately, the two cities situated in the Gulf of Naples merged and developed rapidly thanks in large part to the influence and support of the Greek city-state of Siracusa. The Greeks who occupied this area that would become the sight of present-day Naples fought to ward off the Etruscans during this time. There are fascinating facts about Naples Italy down through the ages that highlight how amazing it is that the city has endured for so long, and contributed to world culture in such wide-reaching ways as inventing major landmarks in cuisine, namely the Margherita pizza.

The city became allied with the Roman Republic when there was a need to defend against the war-waging Carthaginians. Impregnable walls were erected around the city in order to keep Hannibal and his warlords from entering the city. They were successfully turned back. But by the time the alliance with the Roman Republic took place, the area had already been infused with Greek culture. The Romans respected the beauty of the place as well as the longstanding Greek culture. Many subsequent Roman emperors would even vacation here. The facts about Naples Italy point to a strong bond between the early Greeks and Romans in establishing this port city as an important destination.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Naples Italy history takes a dark turn. The city was sacked by the Ostrogoths, a Germanic people, who, not long after, were defeated by the Byzantine Empire (also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire). This happened in 536 when the ruler Belisarius entered the city through one of its aqueducts. What ensued in the coming years was continued fighting during the Gothic Wars, political upheaval, and power changing hands all of the time. A Duchy of Naples was established that was tied to Constantinople, and then Rome, leading to a heightened relationship with the Catholic Church. Prior to this, the city had retained its largely Hellenistic roots. Power would ultimately change hands from the Normans, to the Bourbons, and there was even a Kingdom of Naples in between. It was not until the time of Naples during the Renaissance that the city began to thrive once again.

By this time it had begun to take on traits that were distinctively Neapolitan. Some of the proudest aspects of Naples Italy history are its contributions to the Renaissance. Naples during the Renaissance was a burgeoning city filled with artistic virtuosos like Domenico Morelli and Gioacchino Toma. The Neapolitan Academy of Fine Arts was founded by Charles III of Bourbon in 1752. There was also a significant revival of interest in neoclassicism, as this was the time when the caving expeditions at Herculaneum and Pompeii were taking place. This gave artists in the present information about their classical roots which they infused into the work of the day, giving the Renaissance art that came out of Naples at the time, a distinctive and unique characteristic. The city of Naples was also highly influential in the realm of music during the Renaissance, offering innovations such as the mandolin and romantic, six-string guitar. The facts about Naples Italy indicate that this is a city that has endured a long history. They have a treasured past and the city is now a well preserved area that the rest of the world can visit and appreciate.

Compare Travel Sites and Save!



Ischia is a popular island at the northern tip of the Gulf of Naples. Althoug...

Naples Museums


Naples museums are an extremely important part of the cultural dynamic in thi...

Naples Underground Caves

Naples Caves

The Naples underground caves is an extensive network of caves that extends fo...

Latest Topics

Venice Carnevale 2013

Carnevale/Mardi Gras season is gearing up to be another spectacular year of costumes, masks, para...

Venice bans cruise ships

So called “skyscrapers of the sea†will be banned from Venice’s historic centre from 2015 af...

More Forum Posts »