Castel Nuovo, known locally as Maschio Angioino, has the imposing stone walls, soaring turrets, and crenellated ramparts of a storybook medieval castle. Built as the new royal residence between 1279 and 1282 by Charles I of Anjou, it is one of Naples' most striking buildings and home of the city’s Civic Museum.
Most of the current "New Castle" dates from the 15th century, when the Aragonese monarch Alfonso V carried out a number of renovations to the original building, including its white marble triumphal arch. At the end of the 1600s, Naples was annexed by Spain and the castle was downgraded to military fortress, but Charles III moved back in as king of Naples in 1734 and restored it to its former glory. Today, visitors can tour the castle's halls and courtyard, 14th-century Palatine Chapel decorated with fragments of frescoes from the Giotto school, and Museo Civico.
This castle is best visited with a tour guide as part of a Naples Segway tour or walking tour that includes visits to other landmarks such as the Castel dell'Ovo and Royal Palace. Alternatively, a visit to Castel Nuovo can be combined with a Neapolitan food tour or an archaeological tour of sites in Naples and nearby Pompeii.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Museo Civico is closed on Sundays, but the other areas of the castle remain open to visitors.
- The castle and museum are completely accessible to wheelchairs via elevators and ramps.
- Exploring the historic halls and towers of Castel Nuovo is especially fun for kids.
- There are great views from the castle over the Bay of Naples and city center, so be sure to bring your camera.
How to Get There
Castel Nuovo is located in the center of Naples (Napoli) near the port; metro line 1 and bus line R2 both have Piazza Municipio stops near the castle. Naples is the largest city in Southern Italy and a main transport hub, so an easy day trip from Rome or Sorrento.
When to Get There
The castle is open free of charge each Sunday, which means that it can be very crowded. Better to plan a visit on the other days of the week, when opening hours are from 9am to 7pm. Visit at night to see the castle illuminated.
The Museo Civico
The art collection in the castle's Civic Museum includes 14th- and 15th-century frescoes and sculptures, as well as paintings by Neapolitan artists from the 17th to 20th century.