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Castel dell'Ovo (Castle of the Egg)

  • Via Eldorado 3 Map It
  • Naples
  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

Updated 03/30/2015

Fodor's Review

The oldest castle in Naples, the 12th-century Castel dell'Ovo dangles over the Porto Santa Lucia on a thin promontory. Built atop the ruins of an ancient Roman villa, the castle these days shares its views with some of the city's top hotels. Its gigantic rooms, rock tunnels, and belvederes over the bay are among Naples's most striking sights.

You enter the castle through its main entrance, past its forbidding trio of cannons. On the right is a large picture of the castle in Renaissance times. Turn left and glimpse through the battlements the sleepy Borgo Marinaro below. An elevator on the right ascends to the castle top, or you can also continue along the walkway overlooking the ramparts. The roof's Sala della Terrazze offers a postcard-come-true view of Capri. This is a peaceful spot for strolling and enjoying the views, all the more so now that the Lungomare outside is a pedestrian-only area.

As for the castle's name, the poet Virgil is supposed have hidden inside it an

egg that had protective powers as long as it remained intact. The belief was taken so seriously that to quell the people's panic after Naples suffered an earthquake, an invasion, and a plague in quick succession, its monarch felt compelled to produce an intact egg, solemnly declaring it to be the Virgilian original.

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Sight Information


Santa Lucia waterfront, Via Eldorado 3, off Via Partenope, Naples, 80121, Italy

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Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Mon.–Sat. 8–6:45, Sun. 8–1:45

Updated 03/30/2015


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