Castel dell’ovo

7660484488_3f35157eae_b.jpg

The majestic and tranquil “Castle of the Egg” is an ideal and convenient site to see, especially if you need a break from the hustle and bustle of Naples’ chaotic downtown.  Once you have visited you will understand why this beautiful Spanish castle is often the focal point of pictures of the Bay of Naples.  The castle appears to float gracefully over the water, as it sits atop the islet Megaride, linked to the mainland by bridge.   Besides touring the picturesque halls of the Castel dell’ovo you may also have the chance to see one of the periodical art exhibits at the on-site museum.

You may be wondering about the origin of this castle’s strange name.  Well, legend has it that the classic poet Virgil placed a magic egg under the foundations of the castle as a way to protect it.  Unfortunately, if the egg breaks, both the castle and the entire city will meet their doom.

The small islet was first colonized by Greeks in the 9th century B.C.   Since this time, the islet has been under control of various rulers, who have transformed the edifice from a fortress, to a Roman villa, to a monastery, and to a castle (the city’s oldest).

Places to visit inside the castle include the Museum of Ethno-Prehistory, Sala delle Collone (“Columns Hall”), and Loggiato.  For spectacular views don’t miss the Torre Maestra and the Torre Normanna.  If you want to dine, just outside the castle there are old fisherman’s houses which have been turned into quality restaurants.   The site is only a 15-20 minute walk from the hostel.

Phone: 081-2400055

Hours: Mon-Sat, 8am-6pm. Sun, 8am-2pm

Bus: 152, C25, or 140

Admission: Free for castle.  Prices vary for exhibits, 10% discount with Artcard.