Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte

Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte information

Location
Naples , Italy
Address
Parco di Capodimonte
Telephone
+390 81 749 91 11
Getting there
Bus: 2M or 178
More information
www.coopculture.it
Prices
museum adult/reduced €7.50/3.75, park admission free
Opening hours
museum 8.30am-7.30pm Thu-Tue, last entry 1hr before closing, park 7am-8pm daily
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On the northern edge of the city, this colossal palace took more than a century to build. It was originally intended as a hunting lodge for Charles VII of Bourbon, but as construction got under way in 1738, the plans kept on getting grander and grander. The result was the monumental palazzo that since 1759 has housed the art collection that Charles inherited from his mother Elisabetta Farnese.

e Museo di Capodimonte is spread over three floors and 160 rooms. You’ll never see the whole place in one day, but a morning should be enough for an abridged best-of tour.

On the 1st floor you’ll find works by Bellini, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Masaccio and Titian. Highlights are numerous, but look out for Masaccio’s Crocifissione (Crucifixion), Bellini’s Trasfigurazione (Transfiguration) and Parmigianino’s Antea.

Also on the 1st floor, the royal apartments are a study in regal excess. The Salottino di Porcellana (Room 51) is an outrageous example of 18th-century Chinoiserie, its walls and ceiling crawling with whimsically themed porcelain ‘stucco’. Originally created between 1757 and 1759 for the Palazzo Reale in Portici, it was transferred to Capodimonte in 1867.

Upstairs, the 2nd-floor galleries display work by Neapolitan artists from the 13th to the 19th centuries, plus some spectacular 16th-century Belgian tapestries. The piece that many come to Capodimonte to see, Caravaggio’s Flagellazione (Flagellation; 1607–10), hangs in reverential solitude in Room 78, at the end of a long corridor.

If you have any energy left, the small gallery of modern art on the 3rd floor is worth a quick look, if for nothing else than Andy Warhol’s poptastic Mt Vesuvius.