When Ferdinand II died, the nobles that had
rebelled, did it again, and offered the crown to Frederick whose nephew had been
. The Spanish allied to the French against them and invaded in
1501. Frederick could not keep the crown and surrendered to who would be
crowned as Ferdinand III of Naples, the king of Spain.
Throughout the 16th and 17th
century as Spain became richer thanks to the wealth the colonies provided it
with, Naples became the biggest city in Europe and the number of inhabitants
needed more building.
The barons were controlled. viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo
had the Spanish Quarter built and a great number of churches and monasteries to
meet the souls’ needs. Architects and artists arrived in Naples and left their magnificent
pieces in it. Cosimo Fanzago
designed the Guglia di San Gennaro and Certosa di
San Martino in the baroque style. Caravaggio
, Guiseppe de Ribera, Massimo
, Luca Giordano
and Francesco Solimena
embellished Naples with many of
their great works.
In the 17th century the economic
devastation led viceroys to introduce higher taxes and in turn it led to the
The levy on fresh fruit imposed in the
middle of the 17th century caused the rebellion whose leader was a
fisherman called Masaniello.
Some of its followers in fact intended to make the
Spanish leave Naples and killed him who only wished to abolish the tax. Even
the French tried to take advantage of the situation and sent a noble man to seize
the city. Later on the new viceroy crushed the rebellion and the town seemingly
Along the 17th century in 60
years Naples Mother Nature stroke naples with all its forces. Mount Vesuvius
erupted leaving a toll of about 3500 inhabitants. .25 years later a plague epidemic
took ¾ of its population and later on an earthquake that stroke Benevento
reached Naples and badly damaged the town.
Between the coronation of Charles VII
the unification of Italy Naples was totally overhauled and turned into a
dazzling capital. New palazzos were built and the Teatro San Carlo
largest and most splendorous in the European continent. Charles VII governed
quite satisfactorily and gave Naples a great period of growth yet he was not a
bright military or politician.
As an echo of the events in France, Naples
tried its own republican period which ended shortly after with blood staining the
city. The Neapolitan nobility did not welcome the French Revolution.
was Marie Antoinette
’s sister and as news of her been guillotined reached
Naples the Neapolitans waged war against the French. Rome had been taken by the
French and Neapolitan troops were not strong enough and were repelled to the
The queen and king left to Palermo. With the only support of the
noblemen, and bourgeoisie of which many followed the Republican ideas, Naples
was taken and the Parthenopean republic established in 1799. This try failed
because of the bad financial situation; and bad organization which caused a
state of confusion. That was the time for Fernando and Maria Carolina to
The way was prepared by Cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo
to Calabria who took Naples.
When the monarchy came back the following of the republican ideology were
The French in spite of failing were still eyeing
up Naples. They finally took the city and Napoleon’s brother-in-law was crowned
as king of Naples. While in power he made radical changes to the structure by officially
ending feudalism, sharing out land in a fairer way; drawing foreign investment
and encouraging industry. No matter how effective the measures could be he was
not accepted by the royalists.
When he was forced to leave the crown in 1815,
Ferdinand return to Sicily and reigned until his death in 1825.
The constitutions of 1820 and 1848 were not
respected by the monarchy which still exerted their despotism. When the
fighting for Italian unification, landed in Sicily, the
royalist troops, even though superior in number, were defeated. They were not
convinced of what they were fighting for. King Francesco II resorted to
guaranteeing he would bring back the last constitution. By then it was too late
and Garibaldi was heading to Naples, which took in 1860. The king and some
royalists who had sheltered behind the river Volturno tried now attacks on the
nationalists and were beaten again. About a month later Naples voted to strive
for Italy’s unification and crowning the Savoy as monarchs.
The history of Naples after the unification
was not what expected.
Poverty led to emigration, the cholera epidemics of 1884
left a terrible death toll in the towns slums. The government of town
implemented a number of measures: the poorest slums were cleared away and a new
residential quarter was built. During the Fascist regime sparkling new
buildings were erected, an airport was constructed, the railway and metro lines
put and a funicular to Vomero was finished.
The WWII left a great death toll in Naples
as its position as a port made it a focus of intense aerial bombing.
was badly and extensively damaged.
In 1943 the Nazis had seized the city and the
Allies were ready to enter the city. “The four days of Naples” is the name given
to the series of popular rebellions that ex soldiers and young boys had
organized to led to Germans out of town. Finally the Allies army invaded the
city in October. They established a temporary government which had to face the starvation
of Neapolitans to which the German prisoners and Italian fascists added. On top
of it, the Vesuvius’ eruption took place in 1944. By then the Camorra
criminal organizations were in position the offer help in exchange for the Allies
allowing their illegal activities.