- The Conference Site
- Local Attractions
- Around Naples
The Conference Site
Villa Doria D'Angri
Via Petrarca, 80 - 80122 Napoli
The entire length of the Posillipo coast and hillside—from the Mergellina harbor out to Cape Posillipo, the promontory that separates the Bay of Naples from the Bay of Pozzuoli—has attracted artists and poets ever since the Greeks sailed into the bay thousands of years ago. The area remained largely undeveloped until a road, via Posillipo, was built between 1812-24. That road starts at sea-level at the Mergellina harbor and moves up the coast to the cape. Even photos from a mere century ago show the coast and hillside to be still largely a wooded area. Overbuilding since the end of WWII has now made it difficult to pick out from the mass of recent buildings some of the grand villas that were built in the early 1800s.
Once such structure is the Villa Doria d’Angri, built for prince Marcantonio Doria between 1831 and 1836. If you stand at the seaside a bit past the Mergellina harbor and look above the road as it starts its route up the coast, the villa should jump out at you, even though it is no longer the solitary structure it must have been when it was built. The architects were Bartolomeo Grasso, Antonio Francesconi and Guglielmo Bechi, who worked with a large team of artists and decorators to construct this grand neo-classical mansion replete with Pompeian atrium and fountains, all with a stunning view overlooking the bay.
Some of the premises has fallen victim to the “death of a thousand cuts” over the years—large outdoor vases, statuary, and furnishings have disappeared, for example, as have the painted tapestries from the villa’s “Chinese room.” The villa is known for having been the residence of German composer, Richard Wagner, when he was in Naples in 1880 as a guest of the English family that had acquired the villa. The premises have been acquired by the former University Naval Institute of Naples--now "Parthenope" University--and serve as an academic and cultural venue.
(The villa is not to be confused with the Palazzo Doria d’Angri, site of the historic proclamation by Garibaldi annexing the Kingdom of Naples to the nation of Italy. Same name, same family, different building.)
- Tourism in Campania
- Archaeology in Campania
- The Islands of the Gulf of Naples
- The Phlegrean Fields