The performances of the emperor Nero in Naples

by Cristina Bianco

Nero is one of the most controversial characters in our history. We all know him from an early age for his follies and his bizarre character, halfway between legend and truth. On the other hand, the Latin authors were often not objective in their descriptions!

However, there is the artistic side of the emperor that deserves to be explored: he had a unbridled passion for everything that was art. Enthusiast music and of I sing, he loved perform whenever he could, especially in front of a great audience.


Alas, however, we cannot be sure of his skill, since no one dared to criticize him, indeed, everyone praised him publicly in order to obtain more favors from the emperor. 

Nero's exhibition: a memorable success

Our city seems to have little to do with Nero. But this is not the case: in the 63 AD., the emperor went to Naples with a very specific objective. In fact, he decided to come and perform in a city that, due to its natural characteristics, he considered excellent for art and inclined to fine arts. On the other hand, it is no coincidence that we have ihe theater of Nero right in the center of Naples.

And finally he performed. The show took place in the so-called Crypta Neapolitan and it is said to have been a real success. Some even tell of a very particular episode: the public, driven by an unstoppable enthusiasm for the performance of the emperor, he would have exulted with such vigor that part of the stage was dropped.

Nero, delighted by this result, continued to perform in the city of Naples, which has always continued to stand out thanks to its passion for the arts.

-Cristina Bianco 

* the Neapolitan Crypta in which Nero performed was initially dedicated to the cult of the god Priapus, subsequently, in the 12th century, the situation changed. The pagan rites, in fact, were replaced by a Christian feast: the Madonna di Piedigrotta.

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