Naples

Decumans

The city of “Neapolis” was founded during the VIII century A.C. by the inhabitants of the Greek colony of Cuma, called in this way (Neapolis, “new city”) in order to differentiate it from the oldest city of Partenope (Palepolis, “old city” founded during the VI century) that was built up in the space comprised between Monte Echia (where now is the “Castel dell’Ovo") and the hill of Pizzofalcone. This “new city” of Greek foundation was characterized, and it is still characterized, as the rest of the cities of Greek origin, by its “ippodameo” town planning (grill shape plant): three large “decumani”, with East-West direction (Via Tribunali, Via Anticaglia, via San Biagio dei Librai), meet (intercrossed) with many “Cardi” (hinges), narrow lanes much more tightened with direction north-south. In spite of the later urban planning stratification, and the rising of “more Naples” (such as the one of the Middle age, the Spanish one etc…) the classic Greek urban planning shape of its historical town centre is still visible, indeed it is one of the bigger “opened historical centers” of Europe, an artistic and cultural patrimony that Unesco has not hesitated to declare “patrimony of the humanity”: Decumanus superior (via Sapienza, via Pisanelli, via Anticaglia, etc), Decumanus maior (via Tribunali), Decumanus inferior (via B. Cross, S. Biagio dei Librai, Spaccanapoli, etc), meet several “cardines”, giving birth to the liveliest and peculiar historical centre of Naples. Neapolis was not a “fighting city” which loved the war, but it had soon to be defended from two bad neighbours: the “Sanniti”, that in the 423 a.C conquered Cuma driving away the inhabitants, and the “Romani”, determined to expand towards south their rules. The first relationships between Rome and Neapolis were imprinted to the friendship and the attempt to stipulate cultural and trade agreements, but, under the pressures of the other colonies, Neapolis was pushed to refuse collaborations with the Roman; this carried in the 326 A.C to a war that, in spite of the alliance of the “sanniti” and “nolani” with Naples, concluded with the victory of the Romans. The peace was not however disgraceful: a confederation with Rome was created, and the city could keep their own prerogatives and institutions, revealing themselves as one faithful allied of the more and more powerful neighbours. Neapolis was for Rome an important vehicle of the Greek culture and civilization: the city began the place for the summery residences of the roman “patrizi”, they constructed between Puteoli and Sorrento many villas (Scipione the African, Silla, Tiberio, Caligola, Claudius, Nerone, Bruto and Lucullo, as an example. Orazio, Plinio the Old one, Virgilio, found here inspiration for the artistic genius). Naples was the centre of refined culture, a border of Greece in the “italica peninsula”, the Roman always knew to respect and to appreciate it, avoiding to pollute it and to oppress it. In the beginning of the Middle Age it became part of the “Bizantino” empire, then independent under the direction of “its duchi”, with the other “Marine Republics”, tradet and fought with the Muslims.
In 1139 it passed to make part of the Normans Empire and therefore of the Svevi with Federico II. With the Angioini in the 1266 It become the Capital city of such reign and it remained for the successes six centuries. To the Angioini succeeded in the '400 Aragoneses and therefore Carl V of Asburgo. It remained joined to the Spanish Crown until the 1707 and after one short period of union to Austria become independent Reign in 1734 with Carl III of Borbone. The second part of the 700 was a period of cultural and civil splendor that ended with the French revolution and the events of the “Repubblica Partenopea” of 1799. To the beginnings of the 700 Frenchs placed on the throne first Giuseppe Bonaparte (brother of the very wellknow Napoleone Bonaparte) and therefore Giacchino Murat. With the defeat of Napoleone in the 1815, the Borboni returned and that Reign lasted until 1860 when with “the thousands expedition” leaded by Garibaldi placed end to the reign.
Then the city has lost its rank of Capital city them however has continued its development among common difficulties to all the south of Italy.
In spite of this long and complicated history, in spite of the several dynasties and families who ruled on Naples, although the many wars fought now to destroy it, now to conquer it, the “decumani” with its hinges are still there, witnesses of more than two thousand years of history

From "vico San Gaudioso", passing by "largo SS Apostoli" up to Piazza Sant'Anna a Capuana, the "decumano superiore" is integrating part of the greek-roman city. For Sure the most important part is the... [read more]
Is the zone between San Domenico Maggiore and the church of Santa Chiara in Gesù Nuovo square , which during the Greek age was an "extracity" zone, outside of the town-walls building. During "Angioina"... [read more]
The attribute of "maggiore" (greater) indicates its importance inside of the ancient city organism, true thorn of the city, symbolized also from the presence of the ancient "foro" (San Gaetano square)... [read more]





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