Explore Castel Sant’Elmo

The mighty medieval Castle Sant’Elmo, imposes itself high and dominates the city of Naples, the Gulf and its streets, with the yellow of the Neapolitan tuff, prevailing from the hill of the district Vomero.

It is possible to admire it from different points of the city and it is easily reachable through the funicular of Montesanto that connects the historical center of Naples with the hilly part (also the funicular of Chiaia and Centrale are not too far from the Castle).

The history of Castel Sant’Elmo is a fascinating one, made up of successions, sieges and revenge. The fortress has always been the ambition and desire of kings and queens, both for its strategic position and for its extension. On the hill, at first there was a Norman watchtower, called Belforte; it was in 1329 that Robert the Wise ordered the construction of a palace: the Palatium Castrum. Contended and besieged, historical figures lived in the castle, such as Queen Joan I of Anjou, Charles of Durres, Alphonsus of Aragon and Emperor Charles V.

To change the fate of the castle was a lightning that fell into the powder magazine at the end of the sixteenth century causing a strong explosion that blew up a large part of the fortress. After a short period of uninhabitation, the castle became a military prison in whose cells they were also locked up: Tommaso Campanella and Giovanna di Capua, the jurist Francesco Mario Pagano and Gennaro Serra di Cassano at the time of the French Revolution.

Looking at it from afar, as well as entering into it, you have the impression of perceiving the castel Sant’Elmo almost as if it were a reality capable of embracing, controlling and protecting, as if it were put in paternal attitude towards the whole city and anyone who is within its six-pointed star plan.

Currently the Castel Sant’Elmo houses the Museo Napoli Novecento which collects sculptures, graphics and paintings made by Neapolitan artists on the ‘900 Neapolitan. Among the main roles that the Sant’Elmo castle occupies in the urban context of the city, there is that of a multifunctional center that aims to reduce the distance with the city and broaden the interest in art and culture in its entirety, by communicating and intersecting the various arts.

A project that has taken shape and has established itself over the years thanks to shows and events of all kinds and that, in particular, has given the opportunity for Neapolitans to live and be active and participating citizens of their city.

Via Tito Angelini, 22 – 80129 Naples
Opening hours:
Every day from 08:30 to 19:30.

The Museo del Novecento in Naples is open every day,
except on Tuesdays;
access is every hour from 9:00 a.m.
Last admission at 18:00;
On Tuesdays Castel Sant’Elmo is open for visits.
to the Arms Square, the stands and the pedestrian walkways.
full price: € 5,00

reduced: € 2,50 Tuesday: € 2,50

Ticket times and prices may vary depending on
events and/or exhibitions in progress.
FREE for citizens of the European Union under 18 years of age
and the first Sunday of each month