Probably founded by Calicidesi
settlers, originating from Cuma (Neapolis,
5th Century BC), defended by the Etruscans, Sanniti and Carthaginians,
Naples was annexed to Rome in 326 BC.
Impoverished to a municipality (90 BC) because of Pozzuoli
competition, it was nearly destroyed by the faithful connections
of Silla, since they were faithful to Mario (82 BC).
the Greek-Gothic wars, it underwent sieges and pillage (553),
but was still able to keep its autonomy under the Episcopal,
even against the Longobard threats (7th Century). Constituted
as a Duchy (Duke-Bishop Stefano I, 755-800, it was conquered
by the Normans (1139) who favoured its economic development.
After passing hands to the lineage of the Svevi (1187), it
became a great cultural centre, when the Stadium (University,
1224) was built on behalf of Federico II. There were revolts
against the Svevi under Corrado IV (1253), and then the City
was occupied by the Angioini (Carlo I d’Angio, 1255)
and became the Capital (1282) of a new autonomous state entity,
which was called the Reign of Naples.
Passed to Alfonso of Aragona (1141), who was involved in the
wars between the French and Spanish, it was then occupied
by the Spanish in 1503, therefore becoming the capital of
It was a cultural and artistic centre for the entire 18th
Century, but was also troubled by economic crisis and overpopulation,
so much so, that the unhappiness of its population often broke
out in open riots (for example the episode of Masaniello,
1647). Depopulated by the Plague (1656) and disturbed by the
rivalry between the nobility and the Government (Conspiracy
of Macchia, 1701), it passed hands to the Hapsburgs of Austria
(1707-24) for a certain period and then to Carlo of the Bourbons
of Spain (1734), who once again, made it the capital of an
autonomous region. The spreading of the culture or age of
enlightenment and revolutionary ideals favoured the constitution
of the Partenopea Republic (transitory revolutionary attempt
which lasted from 23rd January to 25th June, 1799). Occupied
by the French (1806) and assigned first to Giuseppe Bonaparte,
then to G. Murat, by the Congress of Vienna (1815), it then
returned to the Bourbons (Reign of the Two Sicilies). All
in all, the liberal movement remained active (revolts: 1820-21,
1848), until the Garibaldina occupation (7.9.1860) and the
City’s passing under the Reign of Italy. During the
Second World War, it only managed to free itself from the
Nazi-Fascist occupation (Four days of Naples, 27-30 September
1943), preceding the entry of the alliance troops (1.10.1943).
The various stages of the history of the City are also represented
from an artistic point of view.