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Naples 12-15 december 2017
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Tourist Information

Naples, Napoli in Italian, is the third most-populated city in Italy and the biggest city in Southern Italy.

As a testimony to its extraordinary history, the Naples territory hosts an unparalleled concentration of UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Center of Naples itself; the Roman archeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae; the Royal Palace of Caserta; the royal site of San Leucio and the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli. It is close to Vesuvius, the only active volcano on the European continent and itself a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Paestum's Greek temples and the Amalfi Coast, also UNESCO's World Heritage sites, are possible day trips, as are the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida in the Bay of Naples.

A non-comprehensive list of the most notable monuments and sites includes:

The Duomo is a 13th century Gothic cathedral dedicated to Naple's patron saint, San Gennaro. A huge festival is held when a vial of his blood is taken out of its storage place in hopes that it will liquefy. On one side of the duomo is the 4th century Basilica Santa Restituta (the oldest church in Naples) with columns believed to be from the Temple of Apollo, good ceiling frescoes, and archaeological remains from the Greeks to the middle ages. The 5th century baptistery has good 14th century Byzantine-style mosaics.

Albergo dei Poveri (Bourbon Hospice for the Poor). A former public hospital/almshouse. It was designed by the architect Ferdinando Fuga, and construction was started in 1751. It is five storeys tall and about 300 m long. It was popularly known as "Palazzo Fuga". The centre behind the entrance is used for exhibitions, conferences, and concerts. Recently (2006) the façade has undergone restoration as part of a plan to incorporate the facility into the working infrastructure of public buildings in Naples.

Piazza del Plebiscito is the center of modern Naples. San Francesco di Paola, on the piazza, is a huge domed church. The church is reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome. The façade is fronted by a portico resting on six columns and two Ionic pillars. Inside, the church is circular with two side chapels. The dome is 53 metres high. Palazzo Reale, the Royal Palace, is across the square. It is one of the four residences used by the Bourbon Kings of Naples during their rule of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies (1730-1860). The 17th-century palace visible today is the result of numerous additions and changes, including some by Luigi Vanvitelli in the mid-18th century and then by Gaetano Genovese.

Cappella Sansevero. Built in 1590, it contains works of art by some of the leading Italian artists of the 18th century, like the extraordinary Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino. It also has a high scientific interest because it hosts the anatomical machines, a still mysterious experiment by Raimondo Di Sangro, a prominent Renaissance scientist.

Castel dell’Ovo. A castle located on the former island of Megaride, now a peninsula, on the Gulf of Naples. It is just in front the conference location. The castle's name comes from a legend about the Roman poet Virgil, who had a reputation in medieval times as a great sorcerer, that he put a magical egg into the foundations to support them.

Castel Nuovo or Maschio Angioino. It is a medieval castle and the main symbol of the architecture of the city. Erected in 1279-1282, it houses the Civic Museum. Inside are 14th-15th century frescoes and paintings, silver, and bronzes from the 15th century to present.

Certosa di San Martino. A former monastery complex, now a museum with a display of Spanish and Bourbon era artifacts, as well as displays of the presepe - Nativity scene - considered to be among the finest in the world.

Gesù Nuovo. The Church of Gesù Nuovo was originally a palace built in 1470 for Roberto Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno. The Jesuits had already built a church in Naples, now called Gesú Vecchio. Political intrigues caused the property to be confiscated, and eventually sold in the 1580s to the Jesuits to construct a church (1584–1601) under architect Giuseppe Valeriano. The unusual façade, unusually plain for a Baroque style church, is of rusticated ashlar and is the original façade of the palace. The church contains masterpieces of some of the most notables Neapolitan artists, namely Belisario Corenzio, Paolo de Matteis, Francesco Solimena, Giovanni Lanfranco and Massimo Stanzione.

Palazzo Donn'Anna in Posillipo. Posillipo is a district of Naples placed on the northwestern part of the town. There are Roman ruins at waters edge, remains of the residence of Vedius Pollio. The area contains some notable historical buildings and landmarks. Among these is the Palazzo Donn'Anna and Villa Rosebery, the Italian President's residence during his stays in Naples.

San Domenico Maggiore. One of the most prominent churches of Naples. This Gothic church (est. 1283) incorporates a smaller, original church built on this site in the 10th century, San Michele Arcangelo a Morfisa. The monastery annexed to the church has been the home of prominent names in the history of religion and philosophy. The sacristy houses a series of 45 sepulchres of members of the royal Aragonese family, including that of King Ferdinand I.

Santa Chiara Church is part of a large complex that includes a monastery with beautiful cloisters decorated with majolica tiles and frescoes and an interesting archaeological museum.

Teatro San Carlo. Founded in 1737, is the oldest continuously active opera house in Europe. Two main Italian opera composers, Gioacchino Rossini and Gaetano Donizetti were artistic directors of the San Carlo for many years. Other prominent opera composers, like Vincenzo Bellini, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni and Leoncavallo staged here the very first representations of their works (like for example the famous Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti).

MUSEUMS

Naples National Archeological Museum. It has one of the world's best collections of Greek and Roman antiquities, including mosaics, sculptures, gems, glass and silver, and a collection of Roman erotica from Pompeii. Many of the objects come from excavations at Pompeii and other nearby archaeological sites.

National Museum of Capodimonte. It hosts paintings from the 13th to the 18th centuries including major works by Simone Martini, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Masaccio, Sandro Botticelli, Lorenzo Lotto, Giovanni Bellini, Giorgio Vasari, El Greco, Jacob Philipp Hackert. It is also the place where are hosted the works of the most important Neapolitan painters, like Jusepe de Ribera, Luca Giordano, the Neapolitan Caravaggisti. The Tomb of Virgil, Parco Vergiliano. One of the greatest Latin poets, author of the Aeneid.

Naples' surroundings

Herculaneum (13 km). A world-famous archeological site, part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. It was an ancient Roman town destroyed, together with Pompeii, Oplontis and Stabiae, by volcanic pyroclastic flows of Vesuvius, AD 79. It is famous as the source of the first Roman skeletal and physical remains available for study that were located by science, for the Romans almost universally cremated their dead.

Pompeii (25 km, 40 minutes via the Circumvesuviana train (Sorrento line)). The world-famous city of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman urban center, and one of the best examples of Roman architecture in the world. Along with Herculaneum, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in the year AD 79. The eruption buried Pompeii under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of ash and pumice, and it was lost for nearly 1700 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1749. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year.

Mount Vesuvius. Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the mainland of Europe and is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

You can reach Sorrento, Capri, Ischia and other islands by boat from the Molo Beverello Maritime Station at the foot of P.za Municipio. Tickets can be purchased on a walk-up basis. Multiple companies and boats depart each day about every 30 minutes, subject to seasonal availability.

You can reach Pozzuoli and the volcanic Campi Flegrei area (sandy beaches, lakes and archeological sites) by Cumana commuter train, that departs from Montesanto every 20 minutes.


FURTHER INFORMATION

Municipality of Naples: www.comune.napoli.it/
Naples’ Tourist Office: www.inaples.it/eng/
Naples Tourist Information: There are tourist offices in the main train station, Piazza Gesu Nuovo, and Piazza Martiri.

 

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