Often regarded as being one of the most important museums in Italy, the Capodimonte Museum is the leading depository to everything related to Neapolitan paintings and decorative arts. It also hosts several important works from other Italian schools of painting, as well as some important ancient Roman sculptures. Some of the collection’s highlights include the Portrait of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and the Baronci Altarpiece by Raphael, the Antea by Parmigianino, the Transfiguration by Giovanni Bellini, the Annunciation and the Mary Magdalena by Titian, to name just a few.
The first and second floors are entirely dedicated to the 100+ Neapolitan School paintings (which date back from anywhere between the 13th and the 18th centuries), while the other rooms of the palace are dedicated to antique 18th-century furniture and the porcelain and majolica collections.
The museum is located in the Capodimonte Palace, a grand palazzo which used to belong to the House of Bourbon, a European royal house of French origin back in the 18th century. The palace was built by King Charles VII of Naples and Sicily (who would later on become Charles III of Spain) as he needed somewhere to house the tremendous Farnese art collection which he had inherited from his mother, the last descendant of an important Italian sovereign ducal family.
The museum is open every day of the week except on Wednesdays from 8:30AM to 7:30PM. Entry costs €7.50 per adult (reduced to €6.50 after 2PM) and €3.75 per child. It is free of charge for every visitor on the first Sunday of every month. Guided visits are strongly suggested, as some of the museum’s rooms are not open to the public. Visits start at 10:15, 12:15, 3:15 and 5:15 daily.