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Castel Sant’Elmo: The fortress overlooking Naples

Naples, a city rich in history and charm, is famous for its many architectural treasures and impressive monuments. Among these, Castel Sant’Elmo stands out, a majestic fortress located on the Vomero hill. This imposing castle offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and represents one of the most fascinating attractions in Naples.

The history of Castel Sant’Elmo dates back to the 14th century, when it was built on the orders of Roberto d’Angiò, sovereign of the Kingdom of Naples, on the spot where the church of Sant’Erasmo previously stood. Its strategic position on the hill made it a privileged observation point to control the entire city and protect it from possible attacks. Over the centuries, the castle has been expanded and modified, taking on the imposing shape we can admire today.

The external appearance of Castel Sant’Elmo is imposing and evokes a sense of power and grandeur. Its mighty stone walls and crenellated towers rise majestically on the hill, dominating the surrounding panorama.

What to see in Castel Sant’Elmo?

One of the highlights of visiting Castel Sant’Elmo is its panoramic view of Naples, the gulf and the surrounding mountains. Admiring the landscape from one of the castle’s terraces is an unforgettable experience that allows you to appreciate the beauty and grandeur of this unique city.

You can also visit the Grotta dell’Eremita, which in ancient times is said to have hosted an ascetic, and the Torre del Castellano which contains the quarters of the commander of the servants. Other places of interest are the small church of Sant’Erasmo, located in the square at the top of the castle, and the prisons where several exponents of the Neapolitan revolution of 1799 were locked up.

The Museum of the Twentieth Century

The Museum of the Twentieth Century is located inside Castel Sant’Elmo and illustrates the historical events in which the castle was the protagonist, from the Kingdom of Naples to that of the Two Sicilies, up to the Unification of Italy, accompanying the succession of events in the city and becoming a symbol of power.

The works of many Neapolitan artists of the twentieth century are exhibited inside the museum: from the Secession of the twenty-three or the first Futurism in Naples to the Circumvisionist movement and the second Futurism.

Castel Sant’Elmo is a place rich in history, culture and beauty. Explore its rooms, admire the panoramic view and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of this imposing castle.