- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Italian Phrases
Castel Nuovo Review
Known to locals as Maschio Angioino, in reference to its Angevin builders, this imposing castle is now used more for marital than military purposes—a portion of it serves as a government registry office. Its looming Angevin stonework is upstaged by a white four-tiered triumphal entrance arch, ordered by Alfonso of Aragon after he entered the city in 1443 to seize power from the increasingly beleaguered Angevin Giovanna II. At the arch's top, as if justifying Alfonso's claim to the throne, the Archangel Gabriel slays a demon.
Across the courtyard within the castle is the Sala Grande, also known as the Sala dei Baroni, which has a stunning vaulted ceiling 92 feet high. In 1486 local barons hatched a plot against Alfonso's son, King Ferrante, who reacted by inviting them to this hall for a wedding banquet, which promptly turned into a mass arrest. (Ferrante is said to have kept a crocodile in the castle as his special executioner, too.) You can also visit the Sala dell'Armeria, where a glass floor reveals recent excavations of Roman baths from the Augustan period. In the next room on the left, the Cappella Palatina, look on the frescoed walls for Nicolo di Tomaso's painting of Robert Anjou, one of the first realistic portraits ever.
The castle's first floor holds a small gallery that includes a beautiful early Renaissance Adoration of the Magi by Marco Cardisco, with the roles of the three Magi played by the three Aragonese kings: Ferrante I, Ferrante II, and Charles V.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- Italian Holidays! Flights to Naples From 645 R/T ASAPTickets.com
- 3-Star Green Park Fr $62+/Nt Save with Hotels.com, $26/night less
- Book Cavour in May: Stay 3 nights and save 20% off your stay! Save with Expedia, $11/night less
- Explore Europe with MSC Cruises Fr $549 Expedia
- 3-Star Garibaldi Naples Fr $82+/Nt — $82 Save with Hotels.com, $153/night less
Here are the details of my trip to Venice, Montalcino & Florence with my husband in May-June 2010. Read more
Here are the details of my trip to Rome & the Amalfi Coast (with a base in Positano) with my husband in May 2009. Read more
Travelling in July, arriving to Rome from Florence on a Friday morning. Read more
· News & Features
Worried about your rights as a cruise ship passenger?... Read more
They say that if you put it in a tortilla, Los Angeles will eat it.... Read more
Often just a side trip from Hong Kong, Macau is known as a gambler's paradise.... Read more