The Capodimonte Wood, a timeless beauty

by Laura d'Avossa

It extends for over 120 hectares and in 2014 he was elected the most beautiful park in Italy, the Bosco di Capodimonte today is a meeting place and leisure.

The Capodimonte wood, the origins

In the eighteenth century the area of Capodimonte wood it was entirely used for hunting activities in Charles of Bourbon. The homonymous park was born in 1734-1735 with the project of Ferdinando Sanfelice, one of the most illustrious architects of the time. Part of the park consisted of the garden which included only the area around the Royal Palace, the complex then extended with farms, factories, the hunting forest and large panoramic openings on the Gulf of Naples.

It was a huge royal residence, used exclusively by the king and his guests. Only with Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies the park was opened to the public for the first time. Twice a year, to coincide with the religious holidays, the sovereign allowed citizens to walk along its avenues, to allow them to reach theCapuchin hermitage, a religious meeting place located on the edge of the wood.

Capodimonte wood

The flora of the Capodimonte wood

The today's appearance of the Capodimonte wood is the result of transformations and stories of the past, of generations that have left their mark on their passage, each enriching it in their own way. Altogether today there are over 400 different plant species. The garden is divided into four large areas: The Landscape Garden, Anglo-Chinese, Late Baroque and Pastoral Landscape, each characterized by different types of vegetation.

The Landscape Garden stars the view over the city of Naples and the fountain with dolphins in white marble. Since its opening to the public, the flora of the forest has been enriched with new species, but some plants currently present are the original ones. The Canarian palms found in this area were in fact introduced at the time of the Savoy.

The Anglo-Chinese Garden consists of the English garden with rare exotic species and harmonious compositions.

The geometries of the Late Baroque Garden: five avenues lead into a thick vegetation of holm oaks, maples and other tall trees.

The Capodimonte Wood, a timeless beauty
Late Baroque Garden-Bosco di Capodimonte

Finally the Pastoral Garden Landscape it has a more rustic aspect than the rest of the park. Originally in this area there was the Closed of the Pheasant intended for the breeding of pheasants, since 1835 it has instead been made up of hills and prairies.

The current arrangement of trees, plants and avenues was dictated by the German Friedrich Dehnhardt, the first director of Capodimonte. His management of the forest lasted forty years, today to remember him there is a statue hidden among the trees near Porta Grande. he writes Sylvain Bellenger, director of the Museum and Real Bosco di Capodimonte:

“For the garden, plants are like the cells of a living organism, which continues to grow and transform, so much so that a place changes its appearance continuously, even from one day to the next. But since the garden was conceived according to a project, if left to itself, the plant material begins to proceed on its own and if it is not exercised by those in charge of continuous control, it leads to confusion, degradation. "

Today the forest is a cultural asset, protected byUnesco and still evolving. Continuous maintenance works allow to preserve the natural beauty of a place that never fades.

Laura d'Avossa

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1 Comment

Vincenzo Crocetto 27 September 2021 - 23:06

Well done Laura D'Avossa
A good article on one of the
Multiple beauties of Naples


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