Located on the small islet of Megaride, Castel dell’Ovo is one of the most evocative symbols of Naples. This fortress, the city’s oldest, stands majestically along the waterfront, offering breathtaking views of the Gulf of Naples and the iconic Vesuvius.
Origins and ancient history
The site of Castel dell’Ovo boasts a history shrouded in legend. According to myth, the poet Virgil hid a magical egg in the foundations of the castle, which would ensure the stability and fortune of Naples. Hence the name “Castel dell’Ovo” (Castle of the Egg). Historically, the origin of the castle dates back to the Roman period, when a mausoleum was built, later becoming a fortress.
Castel dell’Ovo in the middle ages
In the Middle Ages, the castle was expanded and fortified by the Normans and then by the Swabians. It became one of Emperor Frederick II’s favorite residences. Over the centuries, the castle has undergone numerous modifications, becoming a symbol of Naples’ power and history.
Castel dell’Ovo is distinguished by its imposing architecture and strategic location. The current structure reflects the various phases of construction and renovation: from medieval towers to bastions, from decorated halls to spacious courtyards. The castle stands on two main levels, with a system of passages and stairs offering picturesque views of the sea and the city.
Beyond the legend of Virgil’s egg, Castel dell’Ovo is enveloped in numerous stories and myths. It is said that the castle was connected to the Royal Palace through a secret tunnel, used in times of danger. Moreover, the castle has witnessed crucial historical events, including the arrest of Joanna I of Anjou.
Castel dell’Ovo is not just a historical monument, but a living place of culture and art. With its exhibitions and events, the castle continues to be a cultural landmark for the city of Naples, attracting visitors from all over the world.
Visiting Castel dell’Ovo is an experience that combines scenic beauty, historical richness, and cultural charm. This ancient fortress, a witness to centuries of Neapolitan history, offers its visitors not just a history lesson but also a unique experience, immersed in the breathtaking beauty of the Gulf of Naples.
What to see at Castel dell’Ovo
- Towers and Bastions: Walking along the walls, one can admire the castle’s robust defensive structures.
- The Sea Museum: Inside, the museum houses artifacts and naval models that tell the maritime history of Naples.
- The Terrace: Offers a spectacular panoramic view of the Gulf of Naples, ideal for unforgettable photographs.
- The Exhibition Halls: Often host art exhibitions and cultural events, enriching the visit with contemporary artistic experiences.
- The Legend of the Egg: A section of the castle is dedicated to the famous legend that gave the castle its name.
- View on Google Maps
- Distance 1800 meters from Toledo Metro Station