Castel dell'Ovo


Built by the Normans in the 12th century, Naples’ oldest castle owes its name (Castle of the Egg) to Virgil. The Roman scribe reputedly buried an egg on the site where the castle now stands, warning that when the egg breaks, the castle (and Naples) will fall. Thankfully, both are still standing, and walking up to the castle's ramparts will reward you with a breathtaking panorama.

Used by the Swabians, Angevins and Alfonso of Aragon, who modified it to suit his military needs, the castle sits on the rocky, restaurant-lined 'island' of Borgo Marinaro. According to legend, the heartbroken siren Partenope washed ashore here 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 commanding position wasn't wasted on the Roman general Lucullus either, who had his villa here long before the castle hit the skyline.

Views aside, the castle is also the setting for temporary art exhibitions, special events, and no shortage of posing brides and grooms.