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Napoli, Italia


Notes: (Italian: Napoli, Neapolitan: Nàpule, from Greek Νεάπολη < Νέα Πόλις Néa Pólis 'New City') Capital of the Campania region and the Province of Naples. The city has a population of about 1 million. By one count the metropolitan area of Naples is one of the largest in Europe, with more than 4,400,000 inhabitants. The inhabitants are known as Neapolitans, napoletani or poetically partenopei in Italian (napulitane in Neapolitan). It is located halfway between the volcano, Vesuvius and a separate volcanic area, the Campi Flegrei, all part of the Campanian volcanic arc.
It is rich in historical, artistic and cultural traditions and gastronomy. Neapolitan-Calabrese is the geographically most diffuse Italian language and the Neapolitan dialect ('o napulitano) spoken in Naples is often mistaken with the language itself. Between 1266 and 1861 Naples has been the capital town of the Kingdom of Naples (later of the Two Sicilies), usually simply indicated as "the Kingdom", other Italian states having different denominations. This history, coupled with its size, has given Naples the unofficial status of being the Capital of the South (in Italy).
The city is served by Naples International Airport at Capodichino, a civil airport hosted by a military one, once outside the town, now surrounded by built up area.
Naples in the Ancient Era and in Late Antiquity
Everything in Naples—the buildings, museums and even the language spoken by the natives—bear traces of all the periods in its history, from its Greek birth until the present day.
The first settlers in the future Naples were Greek sailors from Rhodos who founded the merchant colony called Parthenope on tiny Megaride island and the neighbouring Pizzofalcone hill. Parthenope was named after the siren in Greek mythology said to have washed ashore at Megaride after throwing herself into the sea when she failed to bewitch Ulysses with her song. The island is the site of the more modern Castel dell'Ovo, "Egg Castle").
Around the 5th century BC, the area was occupied by inhabitants of the Greek colony of Cuma, who displaced the original inhabitants to the east where they founded Neapolis (meaning "New City" in the Greek language). The original Parthenope came to be called, simply, "old city"—Palaepolis. The two separate cities grew into a single unit in the third century, BC. Neapolis had a powerful line of walls, in front of which the Carthaginian invader Hannibal had to retreat when the city was allied with the Romans. Other features were an odeon and a theatre, plus the temple of Castor and Pollux, the Dioscures, the city's gods. Although conquered by the Romans in the 4th century BC, Naples long retained its Greek culture. (It is significant that modern Neapolitans may still refer to themselves as "Parthenopeans".)
In the Roman era the city was a flourishing centre of Hellenistic culture that attracted Romans wanting to perfect their knowledge of Greek culture. The pleasant climate made it a renowned pleasure resort, as recounted by Virgil and manifested by the number of luxurious villas that dotted the coast from the Gulf of Pozzuoli to the Sorrentine peninsula. The famous district of Posillipo takes is name from the ruins of Villa Pausilypon, meaning, in Greek, is "a pause or respite from worry". Romans connected the city to the rest of Italy with their famous roads, excavated galleries to link Naples to Pozzuoli, enlarged the port, and added public baths and aqueducts for the wellbeing of the people. This improved greatly the quality of life in Naples. The city was also celebrated for its many feasts and spectacles.
According to legend St. Peter and St. Paul themselves were in the city to preach. Christians had a prominent role in the late years of the Roman Empire. The subterranean areas of Naples include notable catacombs, especially in the northern part of the city. The first paleo-Christian basilicas were built next to the entrances of the catacombs The greatly popular patron of the city, San Gennaro (St. Januarius), was decapitated here in 305 AD, and since the 5th century he is commemorated by the basilica of San Gennaro extra Moenia. The Cathedral of Naples, as well, is dedicated to the patron saint.
It was in Naples, in Lucullus' villa in what is now Castel dell'Ovo, that Romulus Augustus, the last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was imprisoned after being deposed in 476. Naples suffered much during the Gothic Wars between Ostrogoths and Byzantines in the sixth century: in 542 it fell to the troops of Totila but not much later became Greek once again. When the Lombards invaded and conquered much of Italy in the following years, Naples remained loyal to the Byzantines.
The Duchy of Naples
At the time of the Lombard invasion Naples had a population of about 30,000-35,000. In 615, under Giovanni Consino, Naples rebelled for the first time against the Exarch of Ravenna, the emperor's plenipotentiary in Italy. In reply, the first form of duchy was created in 638 by the Exarch Eleutherius, but this official came from abroad and had to answer to the strategos of Sicily. At that time the Duchy of Naples controlled an area corresponding roughly to the present day Province of Naples, encompassing the area of Vesuvius, the Campi Flegrei, the Sorrentine peninsula, Giugliano, Aversa, Afragola, Nola and the islands of Ischia and Procida. Capri was later part of the duchy of Amalfi
In 661 Naples, with the permission of the emperor Constans II, was ruled by a local duke, Basilius, whose allegiance to the emperor soon became merely nominal. In 763 the duke Stephen II switched his allegiance from Constantinople to the Pope. In 840 Duke Sergius I made the succession to the duchy hereditary, and thenceforth Naples was de facto totally independent. At this time the city was mainly a military centre, ruled by an aristocracy of warriors and landowners, even though it had been forced to surrender to the neighbouring Lombards much of its inland territory. Naples was not a merchant city as were other Campanian sea cities such as Amalfi and Gaeta, but had a respectable fleet that took part in the Battle of Ostia against the Saracens in 849. In any event, Naples did not hesitate to ally itself with infidels if it proved advantageous to do so: in 836, for example, Naples asked for support from the Saracens in order to repel the siege of Lombard troops coming from the neighbouring Duchy of Benevento. After Neapolitan dukes rose to prominence under the Duke-Bishop Athanasius and his successors (among these, Gregory IV and John II participated at the Battle of the Garigliano in 915) Naples declined in importance in the tenth century until it was captured by it traditional rival, Pandulf IV of Capua.
In 1027, duke Sergius IV donated the county of Aversa to a band of Norman mercenaries led by Rainulf Drengot, whose support he had needed in the war with the principality of Capua. In that period he could not imagine the consequences, but this settlement began a process which eventually led to the end of the independence of Naples, itself.
Last of the rulers of such independent southern Italian states, Sergius VII was forced to surrender to Roger II of Sicily in 1137; Roger had had himself proclaimed king of Sicily seven years earlier. Under the new rulers, the city was administrated by a compalazzo (palatine count), with little independence left to the Neapolitan patriciate. In this period Naples had a population of 30,000 and was sustained by its holdings in the interior; commerce was mainly delegated to foreigners, mainly from Pisa and Genova.
Apart from the church of San Giovanni a Mare, Norman buildings in Naples were mainly lay ones, notably castles (Castel Capuano and Castel dell'Ovo), walls and fortified gates.
Normans, Hohenstaufen, and Anjou
Frederick II Hohenstaufen founded the university in 1224, considering Naples as his intellectual capital while Palermo retained its political role. The university remained unique in southern Italy for seven centuries. After the defeat of Frederick's son, Manfred, in 1266 Naples and the kingdom of Sicily were assigned by Pope Clement IV to Charles of Anjou, who moved the capital from Palermo to Naples. He settled in his new residence in the Castel Nuovo, around which a new district grew up, marked by palaces and residences of the nobility. During Charles' reign new Gothic churches were also built, including Santa Chiara, San Lorenzo Maggiore, Santa Maria Donna Regina and the Cathedral of Naples.
After the Sicilian Vespers, (1284) the kingdom was split in two parts, with an Aragonese king ruling the island of Sicily and the Angevin king ruling the mainland portion; while both kingdoms officially called themselves the Kingdom of Sicily, the mainland portion was commonly referred to as the Kingdom of Naples. The kingdowm had divided in two, but Naples grew in importance: Pisane and Genoese merchants were joined by Tuscan bankers, and with them came outstanding artists such as Boccaccio, Petrarca, and Giotto.
See also Kingdom of Naples
The Aragonese Period
In 1442 Alfonso I conquered Naples after his victory against the last Angevin king, Rene, and made his triumphal entry into the city in February of 1443. The new dynasty enhanced commerce by connecting Naples to the Iberian peninsula and made Naples a centre of the Italian Renaissance: artists who worked in Naples in this period include Francesco Laurana, Antonello da Messina, Jacopo Sannazzaro and Angelo Poliziano. The court also granted land holdings in the provinces to the nobility; this, however, had the effect of fragmenting the kingdom.
After the brief conquest by Charles VIII of France in 1495, the two kingdoms were united under Spanish rule in 1501. In 1502 Spanish general Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba entered in the city, starting the two centuries of rule of the almost omnipotent viceré ("viceroys") in Naples.
Spanish and Bourbon rule
Under the viceroys Naples grew from 100,000 to 300,000 inhabitants, second only to Paris in Europe. The most important of them was don Pedro Álvarez de Toledo: he introduced heavy taxation and favoured the Inquisition, but at the same time improved the conditions of Naples. He opened the main street, which still today bears his name; he paved other roads, strengthened and expanded the walls, restored old buildings, and erected new buildings and fortresses, essentially turning the city of Naples by 1560 into the largest and best fortified city in the Spanish empire. In the 16th and 17th century Naples was home to great artists such as Caravaggio, Salvator Rosa and Bernini, philosophers such as Bernardino Telesio, Giordano Bruno, Tommaso Campanella and Giambattista Vico, and writers such as Gian Battista Marino, thus confirming itself among the most important capitals of Europe.
All the strains of an increasingly over-populated city exploded in July 1647, when the legendary Masaniello led the populace in violent rebellion against the foreign, oppressive rule of the Spanish. Neapolitans declared a Republic and asked France for support, but the Spaniards suppressed the insurrection in April of the following year and defeated two attempts by the French fleet to land troops. In 1656 the plague killed almost half of the inhabitants of the city; this led to the beginning of a period of decline.
Neapolitan Republic (1647)
The Spanish Habsburgs were replaced by Viennese ones, and in 1734 the two kingdom were united under a single independent crown (Utriusque Siciliarum), that of Charles of Bourbon. Charles renovated the city with the Villa di Capodimonte and the Teatro di San Carlo, and welcomed the philosophers Giovan Battista Vico and Antonio Genovesi, the jurists Pietro Giannone and Gaetano Filangieri, and the composers Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti. This first king of the House of Bourbon tried to introduce legislative and administrative reforms, but they were stopped as the first news of the French Revolution reached the city. By that time, Charles' son, Ferdinand IV was king, and he entered an anti-French coalition with England, Russia, Austria and Portugal.
The population of Naples at the beginning of 19th century was mostly made up of a mass of people, who were called the lazzari and lived in extremely poor conditions. As well, there was a strong royal bureaucracy and an élite of landowners. When in January 1799 French revolutionary troops entered the city they were hailed by an enlightened minor part of the middle class, but had to face strong resistance by the loyalist lazzari, who were fervidly religious and did not understand the new ideas. The short-lived republic tried to gain popular support by abolishing feudal privileges, but the mass of the people rebelled and in June 1799 the republicans surrendered. Upon the order of the restored monarchy, Admiral Horatio Nelson ordered the execution of their leaders Francesco Caracciolo, Mario Pagano, Ettore Carafa and Eleonora Fonseca Pimentel.
Neapolitan Republic (1799) and the unification of Italy
In 1806 Napoleon conquered the Kingdom of Naples. The Emperor Napoleon first named his brother Joseph Bonaparte to be King and then his brother-in-law and Marshall Joachim Murat in 1808 when Joseph was given the Spanish crown. The latter created a communal administration led by a mayor, which was left almost intact by Ferdinand in 1815 as he regained his kingdom after the 1815 war in which Austria defeated Murat. In 1839 Naples was the first city in Italy to have a railway, with the Napoli-Portici line.
In spite of a little cultural revival and the proclamation of a Constitution on June 25, 1860, in the last years of the kingdom the gap between the court and the intellectual class continued to grow.
On September 6, 1861, the kingdom was conquered by the Garibaldines and was handed over to the king of Sardinia: Garibaldi entered the city by train, descending in the square that today still bears his name. In October 1860 a plebiscite sanctioned the end of the kingdom of Sicily and the birth of the state of Italy. Sicily and Naples contributed 443 million lire to the new treasury compared to the 224 million from all the other states of the new nation.
Contemporary Naples
The opening of the funicular railway to Mount Vesuvius was occasion for the writing of the famous song "Funiculì Funiculà", one more song in the centuries long tradition of Neapolitan song. Many Neapolitan songs are also famous outside of Italy, as for example "O Sole Mio", "Santa Lucia" and "Torna a Surriento".
On April 7, 1906 nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted, devastating Boscotrecase and seriously damaging Ottaviano. In 1944 another spectacular and devastating eruption occurred; images from this eruption were used in the film The War of the Worlds.
Napoli has turned into the most important transportation hub of southern Italy. The airport of Capodichino has connections with several airports in Europe. The city also has also important port that connects to many Tyrrhenian Sea destinations, including Cagliari, Genoa and Palermo, often with fast ferries. Naples also has ferry connections to nearby islands and Sorrento, and fast rail connections to Rome and the south. It is famous for the light railway Circumvesuviana.
Organised crime is deeply rooted in Naples. The Camorra, the feuding Neapolitan gangs and families, have a long history and are now more of a threat in Italy than the Sicillian-based Mafia. During 2004 over 120 people died in Naples in Camorra killings; many of the deaths were related to the drug trade.
Unemployment remains very high in Naples, with some estimates running above 20% among working-age males. The industrial base is still small and a number of earlier and ambitious enterprises such as automobile manufacturing plants on the outskirts have closed and gone elsewhere. There is a large "submerged economy" --meaning the black market-- and it is difficult to have reliable statistics on the amount of wealth generated by such activity. Social servies in the city have come under recent strain in attempting to deal with the increase in immigation of considerable numbers of persons from outside the European community, largely from North Africa.
In 1927 Naples absorbed some nearby communities; the 1860 population of 450,000 increased to 1,250,000 in 1971.
Cosmetically, at least, Naples today has improved over the last 15 years: Piazza del Plebiscito, for example, has returned to its historic role as the largest open square in the city instead of being the squalid parking lot that it was between the end of WWII and 1990; city landmarks such as the San Carlo theater and the Galleria Umberto have been restored; a major ring-road highway called the tangenziale has alleviated traffic through and around the city; and major construction continues on the new underground railway system, the metropolitana, which, even its current unfinished state now provides easy transportation for the first time in the history of the city from the upper reaches of the Vomero hill section of the city into the downtown area. As a result of at least some of these improved conditions in the city, tourism has increased.


City/Town : Latitude: 40.833333, Longitude: 14.25


Matches 1 to 10 of 10

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Birth    Person ID 
1 van Aragon, Alfonso IV  1299Napoli, Italia I631314
2 Barbato, Michael  18 May 1888Napoli, Italia I669424
3 van Bourbon Sicilie, Maria Theresia  06 Jun 1772Napoli, Italia I354757
4 D'Anjou, Bianca  1280Napoli, Italia I631312
5 von Leykam, Maria Antonia  15 Aug 1806Napoli, Italia I688783
6 Lintermans, Marie  1617Napoli, Italia I85968
7 Pignatari, Franciso  11 Feb 1917Napoli, Italia I684793
8 de Rothschild, Adele Hannah Charlotte  11 Jan 1843Napoli, Italia I739145
9 von Rothschild, Emma Louise  23 Mar 1844Napoli, Italia I739120
10 von Rothschild, Wilhelm Carl  16 May 1828Napoli, Italia I739131


Matches 1 to 1 of 1

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Christened    Person ID 
1 Lintermans, Marie  04 Oct 1617Napoli, Italia I85968


Matches 1 to 6 of 6

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Died    Person ID 
1 van Aragon, Alfons  27 Jun 1458Napoli, Italia I96884
2 van Aragon, Johanna  09 Jan 1517Napoli, Italia I96894
3 Bonfanti, Maria Magdalena  18 Oct 1617Napoli, Italia I85967
4 Kessler, Jean Baptiste August  14 Dec 1900Napoli, Italia I404746
5 von Rothschild, Carl Mayer  10 Mar 1855Napoli, Italia I739058
6 Tiktak, Egbert  07 Aug 1862Napoli, Italia I602508


Matches 1 to 1 of 1

   Family    Married    Family ID 
1 Lintermans / Bonfanti  1615Napoli, Italia F34889



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