Via Belvedere and the true story of the Vomero Village

by Federico Quagliuolo

Via Belvedere is the point of contact between the old and the new, ancient and modern Naples united in one hundred meters of asphalt.

Many say that the Vomero is a neighborhood without history, without a soul, a lucky pile of buildings born from the building speculation of Remediation and from the blind hunger of the gods for money building blocks from the 1950s. Indeed, apparently it seems that the only small survivor, a crumb of a millenary history, is the village of Antignano, miraculously left safe by the "pickaxe " fascist.

Antignano it was not once part of the area. Indeed, the one behind Piazza degli Artisti was a small village quite far from Vomero.

Via Belvedere Vomero
Via Belvedere today, entrance to the Carafa palace
Via Belvedere e la vera storia del Villaggio del Vomero

Via Belvedere and the game of Vomere

Hidden from Via Cilea as the ancient alleys of the Port were hidden from Corso Umberto, right Via Belvedere is the last true testimony, the tale of origins of Vomero: from the houses of 60's a S. Maria della Libera, passing through the high rises than 300 years does a Calata San Francesco, up to the elegant villas of the early 1900s a Via Aniello Falcone. A single street is the meeting point of more than two millennia of history.
Furthermore, the story of Via Belvedere begins exactly 2200 years ago, when the very ancient was inaugurated Via Puteolim Neapolis per colles, a path created by Greek colonists which, then, was improved precisely on the arrival of the Roman Empire in Naples.
The road connected Pozzuoli to the historic center passing through Via Santo Stefano, Via Belvedere and then Antignano, which, it seems, took its name from the street, also called Antiniana.

Because the village of Via Belvedere was called "Vomero it's a nice one mystery, but it looks like, right in the area of Via Cilea, the peasants had established a kind of bovine olympics: the day of game of the Vomere it was in fact the moment in which all the farmers of the area met who, after tying a plow to the best bovine in their field, tried to trace a furrow in the ground as straight and long as possible, challenging others to do better.

Until seventy years ago, the ancient farmers, the last witnesses of the campaigns, of the crops of broccoli and immense ones flower fields told by all the Neapolitan poets, they spoke of "Vomero Vecchio" And "Vomero New“, As if they wanted to distinguish two worlds, as if there was one crisis of rejection against the concrete that had destroyed the places of their life.

La cartina dell'antico casale del Vomero nel 1700 (crediti a
The map of the ancient Vomero farmhouse in 1700
(credits to

Garibaldi wanted to transfer the poor of Naples to Vomero

In reality, the distinction between "old" and "new" Vomero was introduced years earlier by Savoy, in 1880, when Via Scarlatti was built: the new district, in fact, had to be born on the model of Paris and Turin, sweeping away the ancient peasant traditions to make the hills of Naples a kind of elite residence, a place only for rich nobles and bourgeois. Garibaldiinstead, he had repeatedly asked to build houses on the hills to house the proletarian classes which, shortly thereafter, they would be evicted and leave without a bed, to build Saint Lucia and Corso Umberto.
Then came the years of Speculation, of the building permits of the 1950s: the cement ate the history and memory of the ancient village, while the time he thought about taking away the life and testimonies of the last survivors who populated the ancient village of Vomero and saw it disappear along with their youth. It didn't take much to confuse old and new and thus, forgetting the past, ancient and modern Vomero became one single neighborhood who “stole” the proper name from the village of Via Belvedere.

And so, while the tales of the grandmothers are the rag of latest memories of the children of the true inhabitants of Vomero, the only thing that survives today is one small plaque, which testifies to existence of the ancient village, hidden in a palace of about 200 years ago in Calata San Francesco:

Via Belvedere e la vera storia del Villaggio del Vomero

-Federico Quagliuolo


Many believe that Via Belvedere is so called because, once upon a time, there was a magnificent one panorama. There is actually a bit of linguistic confusion: it refers to the Villa Carafa of Belvedere. There is also the middle school Andrea Belvedere, a 17th century abbot who loved to paint, so much so that he became one of the most important flower painters and still life of his time.

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Luana 12 September 2020 - 18:56

Complimented by a Vomerese in via Belvedere, unfortunately in exile like too many Neapolitans

Gabriella Maturi 14 September 2020 - 9:04

The discovery of this group created by Federico excites me and offers me further reasons for hope in the youth of our region.I don't live in Naples but I love it passionately and knowing these stories is good for my heart because it broadens my knowledge of the city and does well hope for the group's ability to bring together more and more boys and girls, boys and girls. I'll tell my granddaughters about it.

Immaculate. Martinucci 27 November 2020 - 14:29

Congratulations Federico. I am, as Erri De Luca. Says, an adored writer, Naples de for six years. I love my city and your videos bring it back to me in all its beauty and also enriched by your knowledge. Thanks for what you do and good work.

Federico Quagliuolo 27 November 2020 - 14:30

Thanks, that's a wonderful message!


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