Royal Park of Capodimonte

The largest park in Italy as well as the most beautiful one, boasting 400 vegetal species coming from all over the world. A socially involved site where everyone is welcome

With a breathtaking panoramic view of Capri, Canary Island palm trees and a spectacular fountain, home to a large family of turtles, the Royal Park of Capodimonte (www.museocapodimonte.beniculturali.it) really is a stunning site. Its large botanical structure boasts 400 different vegetal species from all over the world, arranged on a 134 hectares field and positioned during two centuries of strenuous work. It is the largest city park in Italy while the Museum of Capodimonte, a Bourbon era royal palace built as an hunting lodge, competing with the most beautiful European mansions of this kind, makes this place even more unique, one that must be visited.

Thanks to its Mediterranean, mild weather and the precious contribution of talented botanists, starting from the 1700s many rare and exotic vegetal species have been planted, such as camphora and camellia coming from Asia, magnolia and taxodi trees coming from America as well as Australian eucalypti. Along with yew trees, cypresses and pines, you’ll find a beautiful Lebanon cidar and a Melaleuca, a quite rare plant, wrongly known as “paper tree”.

Due to its historical, architectural and botanical heritage the Royal Park of Capodimonte has been labeled as the Most Beautiful Park of Italy in 2014. Its director Sylvain Bellenger, a well-read, elegant French man with a fascination for the city of Naples, has received the GreenCare Award in 2017 for his strong commitment in taking care of and valuing this gorgeous historical garden.

The architect Ferdinando Sanfelice, who worked on the area surrounding the Royal Palace in 1734, as well as the botanicals who worked during the 19th century, divided the gardens into four different types: a landscape garden facing the Gulf of Naples; an english-chinese style garden decorated with exotic plants; a late Baroque styled garden with a geometrical design embellished by fountains and statues; a real wood enmarked for hunting, with grafts of small agrarian cultivation areas for fruit trees and wheat to feed the pheasants, bred for the royal hunting trips.

Another unique characteristic of this place is its remarkable porcelain factory, which was operating from 1744 until 1759, and a Church dedicated to the cult of San Gennaro, patron saint of the city.
The Park is currently listed among the Unesco cultural heritage sites, due to its large historical, architectural and botanical patrimony thus involving the Director Bellenger, with his entire team, into promoting the park and its fruition with a brand new approach: a socially active park with services aimed at welcoming any type of visitor.
Here, besides visiting the extraordinary museum collections kept inside the Royal Palace, you can also ride a bike, do sports – running, yoga and so on – or even play soccer in dedicated areas. There are also dog parks. You can enjoy the beauty of nature by lying on the grass or sitting on a bench.
The view of the city of Naples from Capodimonte used to be one of the main inspirations for  ancient painters. Today, right from this panoramic viewpoint, you can still see it as it used to look like to a foreign visitor on his Grand Tour.

The Royal Park of Capodimonte has re-opened to public after lockdown with some relevant renovation and upgrading works. 14 more hectares of land, 14 more kilometers of boulevards have been restored and 1000 trees were planted. The director Bellenger, when asked about the re-opening, has stated: “The lockdown has brought many benefits to the Park and to nature in general, thus showing us how our impact could damage the environment. This is why we’re promoting a project aimed at safeguarding nature. The park will be lit by a photovoltaic system, we don’t need to violate nature. We planted 1000 new trees, so the Park is now re -opening while boasting 1000 more trees”.

 

Via Miano, 2, 80131 Napoli