Elena Ferrante’s Brilliant City, Naples

Naples is the capital of the Italian region Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city’s administrative limits. The Metropolitan City of Naples had a population of 3,115,320. Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Naples’ historic city centre is the largest in Europe, covering 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) and enclosing 27 centuries of history, and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Naples has long been a major cultural centre with a global sphere of influence, particularly during the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras. In its geographical area are located numerous culturally and historically significant sites, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Naples is also known for its natural beauties (Posillipo, Phlegraean Fields, Nisida, Vesuvius). Naples is synonymous with pizza, which originated in the city and was declared as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Neapolitan music has furthermore been highly influential, credited with the invention of the romantic guitar and the mandolin, as well as notable contributions to opera and folk standards. Popular characters and historical figures who have come to symbolise the city include Januarius, the patron saint of Naples, the comic figure Pulcinella, and the Sirens from the Greek epic poem the Odyssey. Naples is the Italian city with the highest number of accredited stars from the Michelin Guide.

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