Royal Palace of Caserta and Naples the woman
The myth of the mermaid Parthenope who named the city lying death on the Gulf
We are in the Royal Palace of Caserta (i.e. Reggia di Caserta), it seems to be in the Palace of Versailles. There is a fountain built for Queen Margherita that has the shape of a heart.
Naples is a women, even its myth is women. There is the mermaid Parthenope, her myth through the pagan myth became the myth of the Holy Mother. Mermaids had only one weakness, if they couldn’t charm a man they died. Partenope died and lied on the gulf of Naples. That was the first residential area.
Villa Floridiana is dedicated to a woman, it’s a gift of love from a king to his beloved that wasn’t noble and so couldn’t afford the life as a queen.
Full video text: Royal Palace of Caserta and Naples the woman
Just a few km from Capua is the Royal Palace of Caserta.
Look where I’ve brought you!
This could almost be Versailles! Don’t you think?
Just like Versailles, you can travel in a carriage.
Zoe, let’s take a ride in a carriage as well..
…in a carriage…
Shall we go and see the garden first?
We also have a really expert guide.
This is the heart-shaped Margherita fountain, named after the Queen.
The Bourbon wanted to emulate Versailles and King Louis.
This palace is smaller than Versailles, but even the French agree that it is more beautiful.
There may be the noise of the water, but this is truly something marvellous.
From here I can see this beautiful fountain, and down there, the Villa.
An extraordinary sight, not bad for a place of recreation.
A fairy tale! It reminds me of the first fairy tale teller.
He was born here long before the Brothers Grimm.
Basile, the author of the Cunto de li cunti (Tale of Tales).
When Basil died, his sister published this collection of popular fairy tales.
And one of those could be set right here.
(In Neapolitan) Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was a prince
This prince had a little daughter who was so beautiful, sweet and kind,
and her father loved her so very much….
In all of this Basil had drawn his inspiration from the people.
The poor can become rich, the rich poor.
The bad good and vice versa.
The beautiful, the ugly, a hotchpotch of situations in Basile’s fairy tales.
That’s life, and it teaches us just this!
Seeing oneself in the same mirror in which Queen Margherita once saw herself.
She and all the court, it’s exciting.
Cinderella became Queen, and in the same way Caserta tells us about beauty.
And Naples tells us about the Parthenopean Siren.
Because Naples is female, someone has actually written a guidebook about it.
Here we are in Naples in Villa Floridiana, where Rita is waiting for us.
Your guidebook, it’s you! “Napoli al femminile” (Naples is female) by Rita Covello.
Naples is female, there are very few cities more female than Naples.
Its mythology is female too, with the Parthenopean Siren.
What can be more female than Sirens?
Its shape is reminiscent of a Siren lying down.
Then there’s the cave of the Sybil, all a mythology, a story.
The goddesses, the Mater Matutas that are everywhere.
The myth of the Parthenopean Siren across Pagan myth becomes that of the Madonna.
This mixed religiosity, that continues, is strongly felt.
Beauty is everywhere in Naples, like in Villa Floridiana, for example.
This villa is dedicated to a woman, it’s a love gift to a woman.
There were people who would receive presents like this?
Er, yes, but this was of course the King!
Ferdinand IV of Bourbon who was married to Maria Carolina of Habsburg.
But, he had a lover from Palermo, Lucia Migliaccio.
When his wife died he married her, but given that she was not of noble blood, he gave her this villa.
It was a gift to recompense her for not being able to live the life of a Queen.
Shall we sit here for a moment?
From up there Lucia Migliaccio could see even better, the trees were a little smaller then.
She could see Capri, and the Siren.
The Sirens were daughters of a deity and of a muse.
They had the power to bewitch men.
Their only weak point was that if a man resisted their chants
they would kill themselves.
One of the three, Parthenope, died and was washed ashore in the Gulf of Naples.
On the island of Megaride where Castel dell’Ovo is now located.
This has been identified as the first inhabited settlement of the city of Parthenope, dedicated to the Siren.
Naples is really very feminine, in this too.
It is feminine for its Gulf, that welcomes and embraces.
This volcano, that is male, accompanies the Gulf.
An extraordinary place.
There are no words, it’s just Naples.
Visit Naples: helpful hints
Italian name: Napoli
Naples has its own international airport, connected to the city centre by a bus (it takes 15 minutes and it costs 5€). For transcontinental flights you have to stop in other airports, Rome is the closest one.
In Naples you find both buses, subways and funicular. The ticket is the same for all the transports and it costs 1,5€. For more information check the ANM website. If you prefer to visit the city on foot, here you can find an idea for you tour.
What to do
Naples is the capital city of Campania region, in Southern Italy. Naples is on a beautiful Gulf, extended from the Sorrento Peninsula to the volcaninc area called Phlegrean Fields, on the background the huge Vesuvius, one of the two active volcanoes in Italy. In the Gulf, three famous islands – Capri, Ischia and Procida. The historical centre of Naples is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995, the most important monuments are the Dome, Palazzo Reale and the Maschio Angioino.
Speaking of food, Naples is the city where Pizza is born!
Where to sleep
The best place to sleep in Naples is of course the city centre. Other very good alternatives are Posilippo and Vomero area, the harbor and the University area, the boardwalk and the more expensive Chiaia area.