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The Castel dell'Ovo in Naples

The Castel dell'Ovo in the Gulf of Naples

Castel dell'Ovo: the oldest castle in Naples

Il Castel dell'Ovo (in Latin, castrum Ovi), is the oldest castle in Naples that rises on the islet of Megaride where, according to the legend, the siren Parthenope landed there which gave the first name to the ancient city, first settlement of the Greeks, the Cumans (of Greek-Euboian origin), in the mid-seventh century BC

After the islet the mainland was also colonized, represented by Monte Echia (the current village of Santa Lucia), where the first inhabited center of ancient Neapolis was built. The islet was then connected to the mainland and the Roman patrician Licinio Lucullo built a beautiful and elegant villa, the Castrum Lucullanum, which remained on the site until the late Roman era.

There were many events that damaged the original Norman appearance of the castle, which was subject to various reconstruction works during the Angevin and Aragonese period.

The legend

The Castel dell'Ovo on the waterfront of Naples owes its name to an ancient legend that involves Virgilio. The Latin poet, also considered a magician in the Middle Ages, would have hidden one magic egg in the dungeons of the castle to make sure that it never collapsed. In fact, its eventual break would provoke it destruction of the fortress and of the whole city. The egg has never been found, but it is said to be in a container of water in an iron cage hanging from an oak beam in an underground room. In the sixteenth century a collapse of the arch made the panic spread among the inhabitants and Queen Joan I was forced to swear to have replaced the egg.

What to visit in the castle

Among the most fascinating elements of the Castle: the Maestra Tower Norman tower, the monks' cells carved into the rock; the five rows of columns belonging to the villa of Lucullus and the ruins of the Church of the Savior. From the highest terrace you can admire an enchanting view of the city of Naples with its port of Mergellina lying on the sea, while on the opposite side you can admire the majesty of Vesuvius, distinguishing the Sorrento peninsula and the island of Capri.

The structure of Castel dell'Ovo

The castle houses the Church of the Savior and the so-called hermitages, cells dug into the tufa stone, which show traces of rudimentary frescoes. Furthermore, the Sala delle Colonne, the Regina Giovanna Prison or Prison Room and the Italian Institute of Castles which houses a permanent photographic exhibition dedicated to the bell-shaped architecture of Campania.

Currently the Castel dell'Ovo is connected to the Promenade of the city of Naples through a bridge over the sea and is surrounded by the picturesque Borgo Marinari, animated in the morning and evening by restaurants and bars. The castle can be visited every day with free admission, allowing visitors to admire its architectural features and exhibitions and exhibitions of various kinds that periodically hosts.

How to get

By car
from the highway, ring road, exit Centro - Porto, take Via Marina to Piazza Municipio

By plane
from Alibus airport to Piazza Municipio

On the train
from the railway station (Piazza Garibaldi), subway Line 1 from Garibaldi, direction Piscinola, Toledo stop. Or from Piazza Garibaldi take R2 bus to Piazza Municipio

By subway
Toledo stop 1 line, on foot for 750 mt.

By bus
from piazza Garibaldi R2 up to Piazza Municipio; from Piazza Vittoria 1 tram to Piazza Municipio

Information on Castel dell'Ovo

Address: Via Eldorado 3 - 80132 Naples

Opening time:

in the summer (with the application of summer time):

  • on weekdays from 9.00 to 19.30 - last access 19.00 hours
  • on holidays and Sundays from 9.00 to 14.00 - last access 13,30 hours

in winter (with the deactivation of summer time):

  • on weekdays from 9.00 to 18.30 - last access 18.00 hours
  • on holidays and Sundays from 9.00 to 14.00 - last access 13,30 hours

Prezzi: free access

Contacts:

Events and latest news on Castel Dell'Ovo

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The Castel dell'Ovo in Naples

The castel of the Ovo (in Latin, castrum Ovi), is the oldest castle in Naples that rises on the islet of Megaride where, according to the legend, the siren Parthenope landed that gave the first name to the ancient city, the first settlement of the Greeks, the Cumans (of Greek-Euboian origin), in the mid-seventh century BC
Address: Via Eldorado 3, Naples
City: Naples
Region: Campania
Nation: Italy
Phone: +390817954592
Email: casteldellovo@comune.napoli.it
Coordinates: 40.828358649730475,14.247550964355469
Hours for visitors (updated to 14 July 2018):
    Official Website:
    Admission for visitors is free.

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