Now a chiefly residential neighborhood, the Vomero Hill was once the patrician address of many of Naples's most extravagant estates. La Floridiana is the sole surviving 19th-century example, built in 1817 on order of Ferdinand I for Lucia Migliaccio, duchess of Floridia—their portraits hang by the main entrance. Only nine shocking months after his first wife, the Habsburg Maria Carolina, died, when the court was still in mourning, Ferdinand secretly married Lucia, his longtime mistress. Scandal ensued, but the king and his new wife were too happy to worry, escaping high above the city to this elegant little estate. Designed by architect Antonio Niccolini in the Neoclassical style, the house is now occupied by the Museo Nazionale della Ceramica Duca di Martina, a museum devoted to the decorative arts of the 18th and 19th centuries. Countless cases on the upper floor display what Edith Wharton described as "all those fragile and elaborate trifles the irony of fate preserves when
brick and marble crumble": Sèvres, Limoges, and Meissen porcelains, gold watches, ivory fans, glassware, enamels, majolica vases. Sadly, there are no period rooms left to see. Outside is a park done in the English style by Degenhardt, who also designed the park at Capodimonte. Too bad—graffiti defaces the Grecian Tempietto and the lawns are worn bare by aspiring soccer players.
Via Cimarosa 77, Naples, Campania, 80127, Italy