The city of
Naples was probably founded by the Greeks around the eighth
century BC, just kilometres from the older town of Partenope; this
‘new town’ or ‘Neapolis’ has been absorbing the influences of its
settlers and invaders ever since. Romulus Augustulus, last emperor
of the Roman Empire, was imprisoned here after being overthrown in
476. In the sixth century, Naples was conquered by the Byzantines,
and it was one of the last duchies to fall to the all-conquering
Normans in 1039, as they founded the Kingdom of Sicily. In 1266
Naples and the kingdom of Sicily were given by Pope Clement IV to
Charles of Anjou, who moved the capital from Palermo to Naples. In
1284 the kingdom was split in two, and stayed that way till 1816,
when they would form the kingdom of Two Sicilies.
Naples is the main city in the south of Italy, the capital of its
home region of Campania, and the third biggest town in Italy. It’s
an overcrowded and sprawling metropolis holding around a million
souls, with a further two million Neopolitans populating the suburbs.
It’s a major seaport, with shipyards, and thriving industries
including iron and steel, petroleum, and porcelain … Naples combines
great riches with some grinding poverty.