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Art and nature in harmony: The Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples - A royal experience for the senses

In 1738, Charles of Bourbon decided to build a large building to preserve the collection of paintings inherited from his mother Elisabeth Farnese. The result was the Capodimonte Palace, whose current museum is one of the most important art galleries at regional and national level. You can admire masterpieces by Botticelli, Masaccio or Titian, among others, and see ancient artefacts of Egyptian, Greco-Roman and Far Eastern origin. You'll also love the exhibitions on Neapolitan artists and the contemporary art collection, which houses Andy Warhol's famous Vesuvius.

Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte: Naples’ Pristine Nexus of Art and Nature

Regal Beginnings

After the construction of the Royal Palace of Capodimonte by Charles of Bourbon, the once purely artistic purpose of storing his inherited masterpieces changed into a royal residence. Bourbons, French and Savoy lived within the royal walls of the palace. During Napoleonic rule, the palace eventually fell victim to "looters". As in other cases, with Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, over 300 stolen paintings never returned to Italy. Only through the cunning of Ferdinand of Bourbon were some of them saved, brought to Palermo the year before the French arrived in Naples.Since the Second World War, the Royal Palace has finally been reorganised and dedicated exclusively to what was born: to house the paintings of one of the oldest and most prestigious collections in the world.

An Artistic Odyssey

Housed within the opulent palace, the museum boasts an enviable collection of European art. Masterpieces from renowned artists like Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael, and Michelangelo adorn its walls. Spanning from the 13th to the 18th centuries, the artworks present a vivid chronicle of evolving styles, from Renaissance splendors to Baroque intricacies. Each room and corridor transports visitors through time, celebrating Europe's rich artistic tapestry.

Royal Apartments & Historical Narratives

The museum offers not only art, but also an insight into the sumptuous life of the Bourbon monarchy. The royal apartments, which have been carefully restored, show a representative picture of courtly life, from ornate bedrooms and reception rooms to the court theatre. Furniture, porcelain and tapestries add further facets to the historical narrative and illustrate the tastes and ambitions of Naples' former rulers.

Real Bosco – A Natural Retreat

The Real Bosco that surrounds the museum is a testament to the harmonious marriage of culture and nature. The extensive woodland, with its winding paths, historic sculptures and tranquil ponds, provides a refreshing counterpoint to the artistic pursuits inside. Between the trees, you can catch a panoramic view of Naples, the bay and Mount Vesuvius in the distance.

Contemporary Exhibitions & Initiatives

The Capodimonte isn't just rooted in the past. With its dynamic contemporary art exhibitions, artist residencies, and educational initiatives, it fosters a dialogue between history and modernity, ensuring its relevance and vibrancy in today's cultural landscape.

 

Highlights of Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte

  • Farnese Collection: Born in the cities of Rome, Parma and Piacenza, this collection contains up to 329 paintings, the result of the work and passion of Alessandro Farnese, who in the 16th century began to collect some of the most important pieces of the time. This collection is so prestigious that the Royal Palace of Capodimonte was built to house it. The internal structure of the building is designed precisely in accordance with this: the rooms destined to house the paintings to be exhibited were built on the upper part facing the sea.
  • Armory Room: A room dedicated to arms and armor, tracing the evolution of warfare techniques and the artistry involved in crafting these protective gears.
  • The Porcelain Collection: A mesmerizing display of porcelain artifacts, testifying to the trade relations and artistic exchanges between Europe and the Far East.
  • Real Bosco's Historic Fountains: Scattered amidst the greenery, these fountains, with their ornate designs and sculptures, add a touch of man-made beauty to the natural surroundings.
  • Modern Art Installations: Scattered throughout, these pieces by contemporary artists spark debates, discussions, and reflections on art's ever-evolving nature. 

 

Opening hours of Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte 

Muesum 

Daily: 8:30 am – 7:30 pm and Friday: 8:30 am – 10:30 pm
Closed: Wednesdays
Also closed on: January 1st, December 25th
The last admission is always one hour before closing time. The galleries begin to close from 7:00 pm. 

Park 

October, February, March
Daily: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

November to January
Daily: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Closed on: December 25th, Easter Monday

April to September
Daily: 7:00 am – 7:30 pm

 

Reservations for Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte

A reservation is not needed.

 

Restrictions for Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte

  • Accessibility: Accessible by wheelchair 
  • Food and Drinks: Food and drinks are not allowed inside the museum. 
  • Photography and Filming: Taking pictures is allowed for personal use only.
  • Group sizes: Access for organised groups of visitors is not recommended on the special free admission days and on the first Sunday of each month.

 

 

How to get to Museo e Real Besco di Capodimonte

Bus: ANM 3M Porta Piccola, Via Miano ANM 178 stop Porta Piccola, Via Miano ANM R4 stop on Via Capodimonte ANM C63 stop Porta Grande, via Capodimonte 

Metro: L1 to Museum stop; then continue by bus L2 to Piazza Cavour stop; then continue by bus 

 

Address of Museo e Real Besco di Capodimonte

Address:
Via Miano, 2,80131 Napoli (NA)

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Neapolitan's renowned museum houses the paintings of some of the most important painters of the art scene of the last five hundred years. The beautiful room of the Umbrian-Tuscan painters, which brings together works by Sandro Botticelli, Raffaello, Filippino Lippi and many others, is a prime example of this. But that's not all: the Royal Palace is not only about art, but also about architecture and greenery. The whole building is one of the most successful products of the neoclassical style, so much in vogue in the 18th century. Moreover, in the Royal Bosco di Capodimonte, you can see exotic plants and hundreds of different types of trees.

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