Hotel Executive: Touristic areas
Santa Chiara e chiostro maiolicato
This provincial gothic work by Gagliardo Primario was erected in 1310 by Roberto Angiò and Queen Sancia.
The church exhibits three “epoche stilistiche” (stylistic eras): the first “gothic” with the mournful monument by Roberto d’Angiò; the real tombs by Tino Camaino and the great frescoed room by the students of Giotto and Cavallini; the second era “baroque” for the rehashing that distorts the whole fourteenth-century style. And the third era, set up by the bombardment of 1943 that destroyed the church but for a few meters with incalculable damages.
The reconstruction brought back the constructive lines to the original Franciscan idea, the little evidence that survived the deadly flames is still there with notable artistic interests.
The ninth chapel conserved the baroque structure and the official sepulcher of the Borbone family. The beautiful 18th century sepulcher is of Filippo the first son of Carlo of Borbone; in front is the tomb of the revered Maria Cristina of Savoia, mother of Francesco II of Borbone the last king of Naples who after few years now rests in the chapel after a long exile from his city. Behind the high altar lies the great sepulcher of Roberto that lost the steeple in the bombardment of 1943. The written words “cernite Robertum regem virtute refertum” was dictated from Petrarch. In the eighth chapel there is a Greek sarcophagus from the fourth century BC bas relief decorated.
The cloister of gothic origin was transformed in 1742by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro under the order of Queen Maria Amalia, wife of Carlo of Borbone. Donato and Giuseppe Massa, of the renowned “riggiolari” Neapolitan family, worked to redesign the structures of the cloister with stupendous multicolored tiles on the same drawings of Vaccaro.
Basilica di S. Francesco di Paola e Largo di Palazzo
In the neoclassic style, inspired by the Pantheon of Rome, this basilica was erected by Ferdinando of Borbone as an ex voto for recuperation of the monarchy after the fall of Napoleon.
The dome holds the statue of “Religione”, “S. Francesco di Paola” and “S. Ferdinando”, in homage to the king. The large round center is thirty-four meters in diameter and is covered by an enormous dome scaling up to fifty-three meters, supported by thirty-four Corinthian columns and thirty-four pillars, all in valuable marble from Mondragone. The high altar of 1641 is preciously inlaid with “porfido”, agate stones, Sicilian diaspran and lapis lazuli, works of art worth a fortune by Anselmo Cangiono, “prelevato” (withdrawn) by royal command from the SS. Apostoli. Another piece of worth is a “San d’Onofrio in prayer” by Luca Giordano in the chapel on the left at the entrance.
At the center of the piazza are the two statues of Carlo III of Borbone and his son Ferdinando IV on horseback; the statue of Ferdinando and his beautiful horse are by Antonio Canova, as well as the other horse that was part of the statue commissioned by Napoleon to Canova by Giuseppe Bonaparte which was successively acquired by Ferdinando IV.
Complesso di Santa Maria La Nova
To make a place for the Castel Nuovo, an ancient Franciscan church was destroyed. The angioinian sovereigns immediately constructed a new one in its place in the year of 1279, the S. Maria la Nova. It was redone in part in the 1500s by Agnolo Franco. Among the many works of art that the church contains are the gilded ceiling of 1598 along with paintings by Curia, Imparato, Santafede, Corenzio, Rodriguez and Malinconico; a real anthology of the late renaissance period of Naples. The high altar was made by Cosimo Fanzago, in front on the floor one can find the sepulchral tombstone of Giovanna, the wife of Ferrante (Fedinando I) of Aragona. To the left is the magnificent chapel of San Giovanni della Marca. It was restored in the 16th century under the order of Don Consalvo of Cordova who had chosen it as a sepulcher.
On the islet of Megaride the mermaid named Parthenope died. Here the Cumans disembarked their ships in the 6th century BC to found their city Partenope; here Lucullo had himself constructed an extravagant residence; here died Romolo Augustolo, the last Roman emperor of the West; and here finally, Roberto d’Angiò erected the castle. The last radical renovation was done by the Borbonians who conferred the current characteristics. From here the supporters of the Repubblica Partenopea of 1799 patriotically shelled at the city to frighten the habitants.
From the highest terrace, one can admire the view from one side of the city and from the other the long stretched out sea with Mount Vesuvius. Around the area is the Borgo Marinaro with many famous restaurants such as “Zi’ Teresa” and “La Bersagliera”.
The worst damage the island has had was the construction of Via Caracciolo, a seaside boardwalk, in 1884-1885. This construction was the first and among the most disastrous building speculations recorded history in Naples. The so-called “Risanamento” (Improvement) took away from the beauty of the castle and its surroundings because of real estate entrepreneurs and even people from Milan and Torino who greedily came down to take advantage of the new and blossoming building boom.
The name of the castle refers to a legend. The poet Virgilio had hidden a “magic egg,” given the magical powers to protect the city from any catastrophe. In the 1370, in response to the news that the egg had been smashed to pieces, Queen Giovanna d’Angiò was forced to declare that the egg had been replaced, that the magical powers had been reestablished, and that the loyal subjects had nothing more to fear.