Castel dell’Ovo

Via Eldorado, 3, 80132 Napoli NA, Italia

Simona Bertolaso



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Castel dell’Ovo, is the oldest castle in the city of Naples and is one of the elements that stand out most in the famous panorama of the gulf.
Castel dell’Ovo is located between the districts of San Ferdinando and Chiaia, in front of via Partenope. Have you ever visited it? Of Norman origin, this austere fortress underwent several reconstruction works during the period of Angevin and Aragonese domination. Who knows how many stories have been told up here, how many kisses and how many hugs have sealed a promise to the scent of the sea.
To be curious even today is its particular name. Do you know where it comes from? In this article we will tell you about a very famous legend that still shrouds the Neapolitan manor with mystery. Obviously the protagonist of the legend is an egg (hence the name Castel dell’Ovo) and the Roman poet Virgil. Dante’s guide in the Divine Comedy, author of some of the most famous works of Latin literature, is a character deeply linked to Neapolitan history.
Around 1270, Charles I of Anjou had some important renovations done and the castle was named "Castrum Ovi incantati", Castel dell’Ovo incantato.
In those years, the legend was spread that the poet Virgil had hidden an egg in a cage in the basement.
As long as it remained intact, the city and the castle would be safe, from "that egg hung all the facts and the fortune of Castel Marino".
Given the superstition of the Neapolitans, this legend was for them a "it’s not true, but I believe it", so much so that when, in 1370, a storm caused part of the castle to collapse, Queen Giovanna I had to reassure them publicly that the egg had not broken.

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