Borgo Marinaro


An evocative combo of bobbing boats, seaside dining and cocktail-sipping night owls, the small, rocky Borgo Marinaro is where – according to legend – the heartbroken siren Partenope washed ashore after failing to seduce Ulysses with her song. It's also where the Greeks first settled the city in the 7th century BC, calling the island Megaris. Its most famous resident today is the hulking Castel dell'Ovo.

According to legend, the Castel dell'Ovo (Castle of the Egg) owes its improbable name to the Roman poet Virgil, who supposedly buried an egg on the site, ominously warning that when the egg breaks the castle (and Naples) will fall. Built in the 12th century by the Normans, it's the city's oldest castle. Its particular position had long been appreciated – originally by the Roman general Lucullus, who had his villa here – and it became a key fortress in the defence of Campania. It was subsequently used by the Swabians, Angevins and Alfonso of Aragon, who modified it to suit his military needs.