Naples is the regional capital of Campania. It is the third-largest city of Italy behind Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits. Its metropolitan area is the third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe.
First settled by Greeks in the second millennium BC, Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited urban areas in the world. In the ninth century BC, a colony known as Parthenope was established on the Island of Megaride.The city was an important part of Magna Graecia, played a major role in the merging of Greek and Roman society, and was a significant cultural center under the Romans.
Due to poverty and lack of opportunity, waves of Italians emigrated from Naples in the late 19th and early 20th century, with most going to the United States, where they settled in industrial cities. Between 1925 and 1936, Naples was expanded and upgraded by Benito Mussolini's government. During the later years of World War II, it sustained severe damage from Allied bombing as they invaded the peninsula. The city received extensive post-1945 reconstruction work.
Naples' historic city center is the largest in Europe and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A wide range of culturally and historically significant sites are nearby, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Naples is also known for its natural beauties, such as Posillipo, Phlegraean Fields, Nisida, and Vesuvius.
Data and Facts
- As of August 2019, the population of Naples is about 1 million people.
- The very first pizzeria in world, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, was opened in Naples in 1830
- Castel dell’Ovo is linked to a legend about a magic egg that contained protective powers
- It contains catacombs that dates back to the 3rd century
- It has the largest city centre in Europe
- Under threat from two Volcanoes, Vesuvius and Campi Flegrei, the latter deemed more dangerous
- Naples is the Italian city with the most Michelin Star restaurants
Each of the 8,101 comune in Italy is today represented locally by a city council headed by an elected mayor, known as a sindaco and informally called the first citizen (primo cittadino). This system, or one very similar to it, has been in place since the invasion of Italy by Napoleonic forces in 1808. When the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was restored, the system was kept in place with members of the nobility filling mayoral roles. By the end of the 19th century, party politics had begun to emerge; during the fascist era, each commune was represented by a podestà. Since World War II, the political landscape of Naples has been neither strongly right-wing nor left-wing – both Christian democrats and democratic socialists have governed the city at different times, with roughly equal frequency. Currently, the mayor of Naples is Luigi de Magistris of the Democracy and Autonomy party; de Magistris has held the position since the 2011 elections.
Naples is Italy's fourth-largest economy after Milan, Rome and Turin, and is the world's 103rd-largest urban economy by purchasing power, with an estimated 2011 GDP of US$83.6 billion, equivalent to $28,749 per capita. Naples is a major cargo terminal, and the port of Naples is one of the Mediterranean's largest and busiest. The city has experienced significant economic growth since World War II, but joblessness remains a major problem,and the city is characterised by high levels of political corruption and organised crime.
Naples is a major national and international tourist destination, being one of Italy and Europe's top tourist cities. Tourists began visiting Naples in the 18th century, during the Grand Tour. In early 2002, there were over 249,590 enterprises operating in the province registered in the Chamber of Commerce Public Register. The service sector employs the majority of Neapolitans, although more than half of these are small enterprises with fewer than 20 workers; 70 companies are said to be medium-sized with more than 200 workers; and 15 have more than 500 workers.
The city of Naples, located in Italy's southern region known as the Mezzogiorno, has long been considered a destination that's not worth a trip. With the tradition of Italian cities competing with each other to attract tourism in place, Naples doesn't fare well.
Naples also has a trash problem that goes way back. Now the three towns of Nola, Acerra, and Marigliano — all of which surround Naples — are referred to as the «Triangle of Death» because of the above average cancer rates there. Italian and American scientists found that breast cancer rates are 47% above the national rate there and birth defects are 80% above the national average in that region.
Crime is also a major problem in Naples. Although it's hard to find exact numbers for Naple's crime rate, the Camorra — the local mafia — is enough proof that crime is an issue in the area. Locals refer to the Camorra as «the system,» since the group controls life in the city — they act as a sort of government. They're often compared to the mafia, and are one of Italy's largest criminal organizations.
The business environment in Naples suffers because of the same topics brought up in the other sections of this article. Naples has one of the weaker economies, mediocre infrastructure and other nagging problems like the crime rate. It’s one of the oldest cities in the world and this plays into virtually every aspect of the business climate. Innovation in business practices is practically unheard of in the area.
However, Naples is famous for its food, and has a lucrative business environment for it. It has the most Michelin Starred restaurants in any part of the world. However the entry barriers are very large, and older businesses tend to dominate.
The Autostrada A1, the longest motorway in Italy, links Naples to Milan. The A3 runs southwards from Naples to Salerno, where the motorway to Reggio Calabria begins, while the A16 runs east to Canosa. The A16 is nicknamed the autostrada dei Due Mari because it connects the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Adriatic Sea. Suburban rail services are provided by Trenitalia, Circumvesuviana, Ferrovia Cumana and Metronapoli. The city's main railway station is Napoli Centrale, which is located in Piazza Garibaldi; other significant stations include the Napoli Campi Flegrei and Napoli Mergellina. Naples' streets are famously narrow , so the general public commonly use compact hatchback cars and scooters for personal transit. Since 2007 trains running at almost 300 km/h have connected Naples with Rome with a journey time of under an hour, and direct high speed services also operate to Florence, Milan and Turin. Direct sleeper 'boat train' services operate nightly to cities in Sicily.
The port of Naples runs several public ferry, hydrofoil and SWATH catamaran services, linking numerous locations in both the Neapolitan province, including Capri, Ischia and Sorrento, and the Salernitan province, including Salerno, Positano and Amalfi.
While there are plenty of trains — high speed or scenic — that travel to and from Naples train travel within the Mezzogiorno region is pretty limited. According to the New York Times, some trains in the south travel as slow as 8.7 miles per hour.
Then there's the fact that the main highway in the Mezzogiorno region — the A3 Autostrada — is in horrible condition and there's not much hope for future reparations. According to the Daily Beast, back in 2012, the European Union demanded that Italy pay back a total of $471 million in grant money after the European Commission's anti-fraud office determined that the grant money had gone to the Italian mafia, and not towards actually repairing the highway.
Naples, and its region, Campania, is part of the Mezzogiorno which lags behind the rest of the country in terms of economic growth. In the past few years this southern Italian city has also been fostering a growing community of tech start-ups and app creators. The hope is it will change not just Naples' reputation, but also its fortunes and so reverse a brain drain that's seen many of the city's young graduates leave to find jobs in the more prosperous north of Italy, or even abroad. Here the jobless rate was 22.2% in the first quarter of this year, almost double the national average. Evja makes sensors that are placed in fields and greenhouses to transmit real-time indicators of growing conditions.
What has really changed the game for Naples' tech scene is Apple's recent arrival in the city. In 2015, Apple opened an academy in Naples, in conjunction with University of Naples Federico II, where students spend a year training to be developers, coders, app creators and start-up entrepreneurs. And where Apple goes, others follow. In 2018, networking giant Cisco opened its own networking academy in Naples. That's helped provide a steady supply of skilled graduates.
Social Wellness and Human Resources
Between 1981 and 1996 the birth rate was much higher in Naples than in Northern Italy cities and led to a positive growth rate, even if it fell from 6.2% to 3.1%between 1981 and 1996; net migration was negative, -% over the same period. In addition to the counter-urbanization underway, Naples is the least attractive of the major cities. The higher birth rates seen in some Northern and Eastern peripheric quarters, Pianura and Soccavo, and some central quarters ,where the birth rate is double the city average, seem to be due to a higher fertility rate rather than to the demographic structure of the population.
Throughout the ‘70s, Naples was able to keep a strong industrial presence, thanks to the presence of numerous heavy industries, most of them public and a large number of SME’s from many sectors. Naples has been rapidly deindustrializing over the past 15 years, and the growth in the service sector has not been sufficient to compensate for job losses. SME’s have also not developed much further, probably because of the lack of adequate infrastructure or services, the presence of an increasingly bold and aggressive organized crime - a problem which grew enormously following the public works contracts awarded after the earthquake - and because of competition of the informal sector.
Work opportunities are available above all in the informal sector, if not unregistered or even illegal, yet the breadth of the informal sector shouldn’t be taken as proof that unemployment is overestimated: "informal work in Naples is not of the same kind as that found in the Northeast of Italy. It is unskilled, precarious and poorly paid.