Where to go and what to see in Positillipo, Italy

Where to go and what to see in Positillipo, Italy

Positillipo is a hilly district of Naples and one of the most elegant and prestigious areas of the city. Prepare yourself for a journey back in time, amidst treasures and architectural specimens that will take your breath away. There are also many curiosities: marvelous panoramic roads, parks overlooking the bay, in addition to the tombs of Virgil and Leopardi.


The first to inhabit this wonderful land were the Greeks, followed by the Romans. The passage of these important cultures is evidenced by the archaeological finds present in various areas. After the ancient era, the territory was enclosed by fortress walls and fell into decay. The city began to develop only in the first half of the 1800s and had to be largely rebuilt after the destruction suffered during World War II. Its history is also enriched by the legend of Posillipo, a man who dove into the sea because his beloved Nisida did not answer him. The gods turned his body into a cape.

Where to go and what to see in Positillipo, Italy - Photo 2



Positillipo comes from the Greek Pausilypon, which means “respite from danger,” a hopeful name that represents the feeling felt and experienced by residents and all those who come to visit the area. Another translation is “eliminating pain” and refers to the beautiful panorama that has been one of the flagships of Naples for thousands of years.

Roman ruins, Villa Pausilipona

This grandiose villa stretches over nine hectares. A space that included a number of sumptuous buildings, arcades, columns, gardens, groves. It is one of the first examples of architecture that adapts to the environment . The first owner was Publio Vedio Pollione, one of the richest men of the late Republic. After his death the villa became part of imperial state property and Augustus improved it into an imperial residence. Subsequently the villa fell into decline and gradually dissolved into the landscape. In order to partially rediscover it, some excavations were carried out in 1820.

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Where to go and what to see in Positillipo, Italy - Photo 3

Roman ruins, Villa Pausilipona

Clear sea

In Positillipo you can explore Marechiaro, a picturesque village with a rich history. Fenestella (“the window”) contributed to its popularity. Legend has it that Salvatore Di Giacomo, Neapolitan poet and writer, saw this window with a carnation sprouting on the windowsill and was inspired to Marecchiara, one of the most famous Neapolitan songs. Over the years, the area has inspired many poets and singers. The area in the 60’s became a symbol of the “Sweet Life”, sparking the interest of Hollywood guests, for gourmet tourism and its restaurants overlooking the sea.

Where to go and what to see in Positillipo, Italy - Photo 4

Clear sea

Church of Sant’Antonio.

This is a sanctuary church whose founding dates back to the 17th century: it consists of one nave with a cylindrical vault and three chapels. Between 1750 and 1775 a sacristy, a cloister and a bell tower were added. Located at the top of the ramp, it rises above Naples and offers a special perspective . Among the most interesting elements are the wooden statue of Sant’Antonio, a wooden crucifix from the 1600s and a depiction of San Nicola di Bari.

Via Positillipo

This beautiful panoramic route, which begins in Mergellina, offers a unique view that allows you to admire the profile of Naples, stretching over the bay and with Vesuvius behind you. On the way you can admire the Palazzo Donanna, the fountain Sebeto di Fanzago, the Villa Doria D’Angri. Next is the neo-Gothic church of Santa Maria di Bellavista.

Church of the Addolorata

It is one of the historic churches of Naples, built in neoclassical style: the façade in white marble has four Doric columns, a triangular tympanum and a central dome. The vestibule is preceded by a peperno staircase. The religious structure is partly inspired by the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola.

Where to go and what to see in Positillipo, Italy - Photo 5

Church of the Addolorata

Schilizzi Mausoleum.

This is a tombstone dedicated to the fallen Neapolitans in World War I. It was built between 1881 and 1889 and is one of the most interesting examples of Italian neo-Egyptian architecture. It was designed by the architect Alfonso Guerra, who managed to mix different elements, taking inspiration from different repertoires, as evidenced by the plan of the church with 3 naves. It now houses the fallen of the Second World War. Later adaptations were made and caryatids were placed.

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Where to go and what to see in Positillipo, Italy - Photo 6

Schilizzi Mausoleum.

Villa Rosebery.

This elegant building dates back to the 19th century and had numerous owners, including Louis Bourbon, brother of Ferdinand II. In 1897, English statesman Archibald Philip Primrose, Earl of Rosebery, became its owner. Since 1957, the Rosebery Villa has been part of the endowment of the President of the Republic .

Where to go and what to see in Positillipo, Italy - Photo 7

Villa Rosebery.

The visit is arranged through a park that combines Mediterranean flora with the simplicity of an English garden . Here you can see thought-provoking views as well as admire a neoclassical temple. Among the stops not to be missed are the Palazzina Borbonica and the Excellent Guest House.

The coast of Naples: beaches, promenades, piers. Positillipo Hill

Naples is primarily a port city, located in the bay of the Gulf of Naples on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Although a large part of the coast of Naples is occupied by a large port (cruise, industrial), stretching from the city center to its southeastern tip, but the western part of the coast of Naples is quite suitable for leisurely walks and sunbathing and sea bathing.

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The most beautiful and pleasant part of the coastline of Naples originates from a small marina near Piazza Plebiscito and Molosiglio Gardens.

Photo of the marina and park

From the park begins the promenades of Naples. The promenade of Via Nazario Sauro, flows smoothly into Via Partenope.

Here you will find the statue of Umberto I and the monument of the Fountain of Giant, an elegant triple-arch construction, decorated with sculptures, was designed in the 17th century for the Royal Palace of Naples, where the fountain stood near the colossal ancient statue and takes its name. From there the fountain was moved to the Palazzo Immacolatella, but in 1905 it was moved to its present location in Via Partenope. The monument is also called “Fountain of Immacolatella” (Fontana dell’Immacolatella).

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Further along the coast of Naples is the medieval castle of Castel dell’Ovo, also known as the Castle of the Eggs or the Egg Castle. Located on the former island of Megarides, now a peninsula in Naples, the castle is one of the main attractions of the city.Read more about Castel del Ovo.

Near the castle there is a small marina and to the entrance of the castle there is a bridge (causeway) that connects the island and the castle with the seafront of Naples.

Along Via Partenope are the most prestigious hotels of Naples, such as the 5-star hotel Grand Vesuvio, the 4-star hotels Royal Continental and Eurostars Excelsior.

Via Partenope then turns into Via Francesco Caracciolo, a popular stroll with locals and visitors alike. Here, on one side are the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and on the other is the Riviera di Chiaia (city park).

From this point begins the few beach areas where beach services are available at the height of the tourist season.

Then the coast of Naples is characterized by the picturesque Mergellina and Saint Nazzaro Harbour, along which there are taverns and restaurants and fishermen sell their “catch” – fish and seafood. The road along the harbor is called Mergellina promenade.

Posillipo Hill, Naples

The hillside of Posillipo, one of the most beautiful and green spots in Naples, starts from the harbor.

The coastal area of the Posillipo promontory has some of the best views of the Bay of Naples, Vesuvius and the surrounding countryside.

The Fontana del Sebeto is one of the monumental fountains of Naples. The fountain was built in 1635 at the behest of Viceroy Emanuele de Fonseca.

The road then runs above the coast along the hillside. Directly down to the sea you can go by stairs (equipped descents).

The beach of Bagno Elena is the most famous and popular beach of the area. On the west side of the beach, by the sea waters, there is the historic monument of the 17th century, the Palazzo Donn’Anna.

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Behind the palazzo is the beach of Bagno Sirena with a wooden pier with a sunbathing platform and sun loungers. Near the beaches there is a abundance of accommodation, among which are guest houses, apartments and villas. All Pozillipo Hill accommodations can be viewed and booked here.

Via Posillipo onwards

Piazza S. Luigi

An open space with great panoramic views

The last and the westernmost point of the coastline of Naples is the small volcanic island Islet Of Nisida connected to the mainland by a stone bridge.

In the 16th century there was built a castle, which belongs to the family Macedonio Fernandez. In the 19th century there was a prison on Nisida. During World War II, the island was occupied by the British army and used as a prison. From 1946 to 1961, the island was home to the Air Academy of the Italian Air Force Academy. Nisida is now divided between the naval headquarters, owned by the Italian Navy, and a juvenile detention facility.

There is an observation deck near the island.

The slope of Coroglio (Discesa Coroglio) leads to the island.

Near the observation deck, at the bottom of the slope, is the historical monument Parco archeologico Pausilypon (Parco archeologico Pausilypon). There are archaeological sites in the park: an amphitheatre, the remains of a villa and the Grotto di Seiano: an artificial tunnel, about 770 metres long. The path of this ancient passage was built about two thousand years ago by the architect Seiano.

The Archaeological Park can be visited for free every day from Monday to Saturday, except on public holidays, by reservation only:

– by calling 081.2301030, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday;

– by sending a fax to 081.2301030;

– by writing to e-mail with your phone number: patrimonio.artistico.beniculturali@comune.napoli.it.

Tours leave at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. with groups of up to 40 people.

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It is also possible to pay for tours on Sundays with private guides.

There is a C1 bus line stop near the park entrance.

Attention! Tour hours and contacts are subject to change, check before you visit.

At the top of the cliff, near the island of Nisida, there is Virgiliano Park, also known as Parco Virgiliano (Remembrance Park). The viewpoints of the park offer stunning views of the bay and the surrounding area. The central entrance is from Via Virgilio.

Next to Virgiliano Park is Panda Park, an amusement park.

Also in the vicinity you can visit the Etruscan Archaeological Museum “De Feis” (Vuseo Archeologico Etrusco “De Feis”). Admission is free (free of charge). The museum is located in a private wing of the Denza Institute and houses a noteworthy set of buccero pottery. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Groups can also visit the museum on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

To get to this point from downtown Naples (stops near Piazza Plebiscito) you can take bus line 140. The stops are on Via Discesa Coroglio, the terminus is the Piazza Capo di Posillipo ring.

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