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When the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was restored, the system was kept in place with members of the nobility filling mayoral roles. The port towns of Pozzuoli and Baia , which were part of the Roman naval facility of Portus Julius , lie to the north of the city.
Between and , Naples was expanded and upgraded by Benito Mussolini 's government but subsequently sustained severe damage from Allied bombing during World War II , which led to extensive post reconstruction work. The rectangular grid layout of the ancient Greek foundation of Neapolis is still discernible and has indeed continued to provide the basic form for the present-day urban fabric of the Historic Centre of Naples, one of the foremost Mediterranean port cities. Castel Nuovo has seen many notable historical events: It was expanded by Frederick II and became one of his royal palaces. Naples is also known for its natural beauties such as Posillipo , Phlegraean Fields , Nisida , and Vesuvius. Its continuously built-up metropolitan area that stretches beyond the boundaries of the Metropolitan City of Naples is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe. Naples also became a centre of the Renaissance, with artists such as Laurana , da Messina , Sannazzaro and Poliziano arriving in the city. After a period of Norman rule, in the Kingdom of Sicily was in a succession dispute between Tancred, King of Sicily of an illegitimate birth and the Hohenstaufens , a German royal house ,  as its Prince Henry had married Princess Constance the last legitimate heir to the Sicilian throne. Naples' 2,year history has left it with a wealth of historical buildings and monuments, from medieval castles to classical ruins, and a wide range of culturally and historically significant sites nearby, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The duchy was under the direct control of the Lombards for a brief period, after the capture by Pandulf IV of the Principality of Capua , a long-term rival of Naples; however, this regime lasted only three years before the Greco-Roman-influenced dukes were reinstated. Neapolitan cuisine is synonymous with pizza — which originated in the city — but it also includes many lesser-known dishes; Naples has the greatest number of accredited stars from the Michelin Guide of any Italian city. Young left a significant footprint in the cityscape and designed many urban projects, such as the city's first subway. Castel Nuovo , also known as Maschio Angioino , is one of the city's foremost landmarks; it was built during the time of Charles I , the first king of Naples. In the 16th century it became the Hall of justice. The most prominent forms of architecture visible in present-day Naples are the Medieval , Renaissance and Baroque styles. Various buildings inspired by the Gothic Revival are extant in Naples, due to the influence that this movement had on the Scottish-Indian architect Lamont Young , one of the most active Neapolitan architects of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Though a notable landmark, it is no longer a functioning hospital. There are large catacombs in and around the city, and other landmarks such as the Piscina Mirabilis , the main cistern serving the Bay of Naples during Roman times. Approximately one kilometre 0. The Bosco di Capodimonte, the city's largest verdant space served as a royal hunting preserve, within the Park there are a further 16 historic buildings including residences, lodges, churches as well as fountains, statues, orchards and woods. The kingdom of the Two Sicilies had been wealthy, and as many as Public health conditions in certain areas of the city were poor, with twelve epidemics of cholera and typhoid fever causing the death of some 48, people in the half century —, and a high for the time death rate of As response to these problems the government prompted since a radically transformation of the city called risanamento with the objective of improving the sewerage infrastructure and replacing the most clustered areas with large and airy avenues as this was considered the main cause of insalubrity. By , the Normans had attained great influence in Italy, controlling previously independent principalities and duchies such as Capua , Benevento , Salerno , Amalfi , Sorrento and Gaeta ; it was in this year that Naples, the last independent duchy in the southern part of the peninsula, came under Norman control. Naples is the third-largest urban economy in Italy, after Milan and Rome. From the Middle Ages to the 18th century, Naples was a focal point in terms of art and architecture, expressed in its ancient forts, the royal ensembles such as the Royal Palace of , and the palaces and churches sponsored by the noble families. The Carmine Castle , built in and highly modified in the 16th century by the Spanish, was demolished in to make room for the Via Marina, although two of the castle's towers remain as a monument. The city grew rapidly due to the influence of the powerful Greek city-state of Syracuse ,  and became an ally of the Roman Republic against Carthage. Horatio Nelson , an ally of the Bourbons, even arrived in the city in to warn against the French republicans. It was during this period that Christianity first arrived in Naples; the apostles Peter and Paul are said to have preached in the city. Tancred had the empress imprisoned at Castel dell'Ovo at Naples before her release on May In Henry started his second campaign upon the death of Tancred, but this time Aligerno surrendered without resistance, and finally Henry conquered Sicily, putting it under the rule of Hohenstaufens. Ferdinand was forced to retreat and fled to Palermo , where he was protected by a British fleet. Naples thus joined the Kingdom of Sicily , with Palermo as the capital. Of the various public parks in Naples, the most prominent are the Villa Comunale , which was built by the Bourbon king Ferdinand IV in the s;  the park was originally a "Royal Garden", reserved for members of the royal family, but open to the public on special holidays. The best-known sports team in Naples is the Serie A club S. After the Expedition of the Thousand led by Giuseppe Garibaldi , which culminated in the controversial Siege of Gaeta , Naples became part of the Kingdom of Italy in as part of the Italian unification , ending the era of Bourbon rule. The Vigliena Fort, which was built in , was destroyed in during the royalist war against the Parthenopean Republic, and is now abandoned and in ruin. They also destroyed the city archives. The most notable transformations made were the construction of Via Caracciolo in place of the beach along the promenade, the creation of Galleria Umberto I and Galleria Principe and the construction of Corso Umberto. Nearby is the Teatro di San Carlo , which is the oldest opera house in Italy. The royal apartments are furnished with antique 18th-century furniture and a collection of porcelain and majolica from the various royal residences: Palazzo Como, which dates from the 15th century, hosts the Museo Filangieri of plastic arts , created in by Gaetano Filangieri. The San Gennaro dei Poveri is a Renaissance-era hospital for the poor, erected by the Spanish in This was for the destitute and ill of the city; it also provided a self-sufficient community where the poor would live and work. In light of this Tancred achieved another unexpected achievement that his contender Constance, now empress, was captured at Salerno while those cities surrendered to Germans resubmitted to Tancred. Along its history the castle was the residence of many kings and queens. Following the Spanish victory, Naples became part of the Spanish Empire , and remained so throughout the Spanish Habsburg period. During World War II , these tunnels were used as air-raid shelters , and there are inscriptions in the walls depicting the suffering endured by the refugees of that era. Naples is well known for its historic castles: The most ancient is Castel dell'Ovo "Egg Castle" , which was built on the tiny islet of Megarides, where the original Cumaean colonists had founded the city. In , during the Gothic Wars , Totila briefly took the city for the Ostrogoths, but the Byzantines seized control of the area following the Battle of Mons Lactarius on the slopes of Vesuvius. Although Naples' Greco-Roman culture endured, it eventually switched allegiance from Constantinople to Rome under Duke Stephen II , putting it under papal suzerainty by The years between and were tumultuous in regard to Naples' relations with the Byzantine Emperor , with numerous local pretenders feuding for possession of the ducal throne. The Congress of Vienna in saw the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily combine to form the Two Sicilies ,  with Naples as the capital city. A revolution led by the local fisherman Masaniello saw the creation of a brief independent Neapolitan Republic in , though this lasted only a few months before Spanish rule was reasserted. Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire , Naples was captured by the Ostrogoths , a Germanic people , and incorporated into the Ostrogothic Kingdom.
Neapolis ; Ancient Greek: In , around , people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,, residents. Januarius , who would become Naples' patron saint , was martyred there in the fourth century AD. Naples is widely known for its wealth of historical museums. In , after the Sicilian Vespers , the Kingdom of Sicily was divided into two.
There are also a number of ancient Greco-Roman reservoirs dug out from the soft tufo stone on which, and from which, much of the city is built. In the first years of the 20th century, a local version of the Art Nouveau phenomenon, known as "Liberty Napoletano", developed in the city, creating many buildings which still stand today. During the uprising of Masaniello in , the Spanish took refuge in Sant'Elmo to escape the revolutionaries.
Naples is the seat of the Archdiocese of Naples , and the Catholicism is highly important to the populace; there are hundreds of churches in the city. Naples was greatly respected by the Romans as a paragon of Hellenistic culture. In Roman times the islet became part of Lucullus 's villa and later it was the site to which the last western Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus , was exiled.
Special funding from the Italian government's Fund for the South was provided from to , helping the Neapolitan economy to improve somewhat, with city landmarks such as the Piazza del Plebiscito being renovated. Ferdinand IV was restored as king; however, after only seven years Napoleon conquered the kingdom and installed Bonapartist kings, including his brother Joseph Bonaparte the Spanish king.
Naples gained complete independence by the early ninth century. Naples has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. The Naples National Archaeological Museum is one of the city's main museums, with one of the most extensive collections of artefacts of the Roman Empire in the world. The main city square or piazza of the city is the Piazza del Plebiscito.
However, the disgruntled general populace chased him from the city, and instead elected Stephen III , a man who minted coins with his own initials, rather than those of the Byzantine Emperor. Napoli , two-time Italian champions who play at the San Paolo Stadium in the southwest of the city, in the Fuorigrotta quarter.
Underneath Naples lies a series of caves and structures created by centuries of mining, and the city rests atop a major geothermal zone. Directly across from San Carlo is Galleria Umberto , a shopping centre and social hub. First settled by Greeks in the second millennium BC, Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited urban areas in the world.
Another important park is the Parco Virgiliano , which looks towards the tiny volcanic islet of Nisida ; beyond Nisida lie Procida and Ischia. Previously a Bourbon palace, now a museum and art gallery, the Museo di Capodimonte is another museum of note.
Time bombs planted throughout the city continued to explode into November. Landmarks such as the Temple of Dioscures were built, and many emperors chose to holiday in the city, including Claudius and Tiberius. Several archeological excavations are also present; they revealed in San Lorenzo Maggiore the macellum of Naples , and in Santa Chiara , the biggest thermal complex of the city in Roman times.
Sicily and Naples were separated in , but remained dependencies of Aragon under Ferdinand I. During the Roman era, the people of Naples maintained their Greek language and customs, while the city was expanded with elegant Roman villas , aqueducts , and public baths. The University of Naples , the first university in Europe dedicated to training secular administrators,  was founded by Frederick II , making Naples the intellectual centre of the kingdom.
During the Samnite Wars , the city, now a bustling centre of trade, was captured by the Samnites ;  however, the Romans soon captured the city from them and made it a Roman colony. In , the Rationalist architect Luigi Cosenza created a new fish market for the city.
During the Benito Mussolini era, the first structures of the city's "service center" were built, all in a Rationalist-Functionalist style, including the Palazzo delle Poste and the Pretura buildings.
After the exarchate fell, a Duchy of Naples was created. Aside from the Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples has two other major public squares: The latter originally had only a memorial to religious martyrs , but in , after the Italian unification , four lions were added, representing the four rebellions against the Bourbons. The piazza is bounded on the east by the Royal Palace and on the west by the church of San Francesco di Paola , with the colonnades extending on both sides. Another Neapolitan castle is Castel Sant'Elmo , which was completed in and is built in the shape of a star. In , Naples became the first city on the Italian peninsula to have a railway, with the construction of the Naples—Portici railway. Naples is one of the most ancient cities in Europe, whose contemporary urban fabric preserves the elements of its long and eventful history. By the 17th century, Naples had become Europe's second-largest city — second only to Paris — and the largest European Mediterranean city, with around , inhabitants. Its strategic position that overlook the entire city made it the aim of various invaders.