It is believed that Naples was established as early as the 9th century but evidently Greek settlers established a city called Neapolis (new city) in 750 BC. The city prospered under Greek and Roman times and it fell to the Normans in 1139. Later it was occupied by the Spanish for 300 years and was briefly fallen to the Austrians until the British took over. It was here Admiral Nelson had the famous affair with Lady Hamilton.
The old part of the city is the area between Piazza Garibaldi and Via Toledo which makes up the historical centre. Piazza Garibaldi is the transport hub of the city, very busy full of street hawkers and very cosmopolitan with a number of African restaurants, Moroccan groceries and lots of immigrants from Eastern European countries. West of Piazza Garibaldi you will discover the most characteristic quarter of Naples (centro storico) with the busy streets Via dei Tribunali and Via San Biagio dei Librai, full of old buildings displaying Naples character and hectic atmosphere. In Via Tribunali there is a small octagonal chapel the Cappella del Pio Monte della Misericorda containing paintings of Caravaggio and Giordano.
Close by is the Gothic Duomo which is dedicated to the city's patron San Gennaro famous for the miracle of liquefaction of his blood. The Spaccanapoli quarter is one of the most characteristic ones in the heart of the old city. It has many picturesque streets and the church of San Gregorio Armeno with its sumptuous Baroque edifice and late 17th century frescoes by Luca Giordano. Other Naples highlights include the Museo Archeologico Nazionale which has a Farnese collection of antiques from Lazio and Campania and finds from the nearby Roman sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte was the royal residence of the Bourbon King Charles III and today it houses a great collection of art with many important works by Campanian and international artists.