Strolling by the quarter of Santa Lucia
A stroll through the antique quarter of Santa Lucia, a place where the city of Naples was founded.
The history of the quarter of Santa Lucia coincides with the history of Naples. The latter one was founded on Monte Echia in the 8th century B.C., where one of today’s main streets of the quarter, via Monte di Dio, is located.
In the 6th century B.C. its lower part was named Neapolis, “the new urban zone”, while the more antique one was called Palepolis (“old city”). The main commercial activity of the locals has always been fishery and trade since the Roman Empire until recent period. Crowds of hardworking fishermen and the suggestive scenery of the neighbourhood have always created a particular atmosphere in the area. Being a favorite site of Spanish Viceroys, the zone of Santa Lucia soon became a charming hamlet, a headquarter of craftsmen and a destination of travellers and buyers.
Urban works have modified the area, transforming a simple fishermen’s hamlet into one of the most prestigious sites of the period. A charm of the location made it become one of the legs of Grand Tour, a form of tourism for elites organized in the 18th century. The princes of Francavilla established a casino on via Chiatamone, which hosted among its guests Giacomo Casanova and Alexandre Dumas. As a consequence of a recent ulterior transformation of the quarter (the 19th and the 20th century), criticized by several famous authorities, such as the writer Matilde Serao, via Santa Lucia has become an intern road, no longer right along the coast.
Nowadays the area houses several renowned hotels, the most beautiful in the city. The Art Nouveau architecture and the beauty of mansions located on those streets make it being considered a residential and tourist site par excellence. Ascending towards via Monte di Dio, through the alleys of Monte Echia, it is possible to admire an extraordinary landscape. It is a worthwhile part of Naples that we recommend to everyone!