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Naples

Coordinates: 40°50′00″N 14°15′00″E / 40.833333, 14.25

Naples (Italian: Napoli, Neapolitan: Nàpule) is a historic city in southern Italy, the capital of the Campania region and the province of Naples. The city is known for its rich history, art, culture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,500 years old. Naples is located halfway between two volcanic areas, the volcano Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, sitting on the coast by the Gulf of Naples.

Founded by the Ancient Greeks as "Νεάπολις", Neápolis (New City), it held an important role in Magna Graecia and then as part of the Roman Republic in the central province of the Empire. Naples was the capital city of a kingdom which bore its name from 1282 until 1816 in the form of the Kingdom of Naples, then in union with Sicily it was the capital of the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification.

Today the historic centre of the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The metropolitan area of Naples is the third most populated in Italy after Milan and Rome[2] and the 15th largest in Europe[3] with around 3.8 million people. The densest population is in the Spanish Quarters (Quartieri Spagnoli in Italian.) In the central area, the city itself has a population of around 1 million people--the inhabitants are known as Neapolitans or poetically partenopei. The language spoken by its inhabitants, the Neapolitan language is spoken with similar variations throughout most of Southern Italy.

The city is synonymous with pizza, which originated in the city. A strong part of Neapolitan culture which has had wide reaching effects is music, including the invention of the romantic guitar and the mandolin as well as strong contributions to opera and folk standards. There are popular characters and figures who have come to symbolise Naples; these include the patron saint of the city Januarius, Pulcinella, and the Sirens from the epic Greek poem the Odyssey.


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Naples".