NAPLES (It. Napoli; anciently, Neapolis). The largest city and the second seaport of Italy, capital of the 'Province of Naples. formerly the capital of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, situ ated on the western coast of the Peninsula, at the foot of encircling hills, on the north side of the Bay of Naples, in latitude 40° 51' N.. and longi tude 14° 16' E.(Map: Italy. J 7). It is about five miles long and three miles broad. The climate is mild, although the variations in temperature and humidity. owing to alternating winds from the north and south, arc often great and sudden. The thermometer ranges from 26° F. in January to 07° in July, the average winter temperature being 50°, the average summer temperature 73°. Fogs are rare and SUMS' seldom falls. The rainy season lasts from the end of January to the be ginning of April. The heat of summer is tem pered by the sea wind that blows until about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Vesuvius acts as a great natural barometer: when its smoke blows toward Capri, fair weather is always expected.
The far-famed situation of the city on the sea, amid its amphitheatre of hills, can be compared perhaps only with that of Constantinople. Across the bay to the south is visible the his island of Capri ; on the eastern shore are villas, vineyards, and orange groves grouped around tiny cities, while over all towers Vesuvius with ominous grandeur. The environs in general are unsurpassed for loveliness and the great variety of interest they present. Sorrento, Capri, Ischia, and the Phlegrtran district are localities that delight the sightseer. Other striking attrac tions are the former monastery of the Carnal dolites (q.v.), and the hill of Posilipo with its multiple associations and its fine streets offering magnificent views.
Architecturally Naples is by contrast surpris ingly poor. The ancient and commercial part of the city lies east of a line drawn from Capodi monte through Sant' Elmo to Castello dell' Ovo, and is divided from north to south by the Via Boma.
The modern and western part, where are nearly all the principal hotels, is bordered on the south by the famous Riviera di Chiaia along the bay in a curved course of three miles. Here the Villa Nazionale stretches away—a splendid park dating from 1780. It is embellished with lordly
allees, statues, and miniature temples. It con tains the well-known aquarium of Naples, which is filled with a great variety of extraordinary fish—frutti di mare. It is, in fact, a school established for the scientific investigation of the aquatic fauna and flora of the Slediterranean. The public squares or larghi of Naples arc adorned with fountains and obelisks; and within the precincts of the city are several highly prized springs of fresh mineral waters.
The handsome Renaissance Porta Capuana is justly celebrated. The castles are numerous. Among the principal ones are the Castello Nuovo, called the Bastille of Naples. somewhat similar to the Tower of London, and adorned with a fine triumphal arch erected in honor of Alfonso of Aragon : the Caste/lo Sant' Elmo, commanding a magnificent view from the ramparts; and the historic egg-shaped Castello dell' Own. The last was begun in 1154. It is situated on an islet connected with the mainland, and is one of the conspicuous features. Near it is the street Santa Lucia—the centre of the noisy Neapolitan life. particularly of the lower classes. Women engaged in domestic duties, naked children, and peddlers of all sorts present a unique spectacle here in a city characterized by festivals and processions and bustling traffic. The neighboring royal pal ace is of modern construction. It has an impos ing facade decorated with rich statues. The in terior is uninteresting.
Of the nearly four hundred churches none is very striking. The cathedral, dedicated to Saint arias, contains the celebrated vials in which the liquefaction of the saint's blood is alleged to take place on three annual festivals. The (-Infra also contains the tombs of Charles of Anjou :111(1 Pope Innocent IV., besides numerous tine paintings and statues. San Martino is an interesting religious precinct, with its belve dere, cloisters, and museum. In the monastery attached to the Church of Santi Severino e Sosio are deposited the valuable archives of the former Neapolitan kingdom, consisting of sonic 10,000 manuscripts, the earliest dating from 703.