According to the legend, The Parthenopean siren, gave its name to the city that rose around its tomb; but, leaving out its myths and the more or less reliable hypothesis on its origin, it is certain that Naples, born in the IV cent. A.C. from the union of two ancient cities of Greek origin, Palepolis and Neapolis - expanded during the Roman period, keeping for centuries its unaltered character of a Greek city.Famous since the classical era, it was praised by historians and poets, for its beauty and civilization. Silio Italicus proclaims it "the hospitable room of the Muses"; Stazio praises it "for the healthiness of its mild climate, its civil order, for the studies which flourish on it, for the religion and the courtesy of its customs"; Strabone compares it with the most cultured cities in Greece; Virgil composed in it the "Georgiche" and desired to confirm his grateful admiration also in connection with the cordiality with which he was received. When the city became a Roman colony under the Empire, it gradually grew in gymnasium, porticos, acqueducts, high graded schools, new streets, tunnels and the Roman patricians made of it their preferred sojourn, populating the coast with sumptuous villas, th e most celebrated of which were those of Vedio Pollione at Posillipo and of Lucullus, and the coast spread from the hill of Pizzofalcone as far as the Castello dell'Ovo (Castle of the Egg). When the last Emperor of the West died within the walls of Castro Luculliano, the city fell in its rank and was conquered by the barbarians. It was placed under the protection of the Byzantines, after having victouriosly resisted to the Longobards sieges in VIII century, when it became the seat of a dukedom that knew how to preserve its autonomy up to 1139, when it was annexed to the kingdom, founded by Ruggero II, the Norman. When the Norman dynasty replaced the Suabian, its importance diminnished, but it did not cease, since Frederic II raised the city to an intellectual capital of his kingdom, by founding a University for Studies, where among teachers: Saint Thomas d'Aquino; Pier delle Vigne and Taddeo da Sessa became famous. In 1266 with Carlo d'Angiò, Naples was raised to the dignity of capital of a kingdom to which Carlo d'Angiò gave his own name and especially with Robert the Wise, the city awakened to a new life. The population increased, sacred and civil buildings increased in number and several colonies of Florentines, Lombards, Catalans and Provençals, established themselves in the city and gave a strong increase to the industries, trade and commerce. Intrigues, tragedies, political fights determined the fall of the Angiovin dynasty till 1442, when a new period of splendour, under Alfonso, il Magnanimo, started for Neapolitan history and this lasted until 1504, when all Southern Italy, brought down to the rank of a vice-kingdom, was subjected to Spanish domination, exploited and overtaxed by the dominators, Naples was forced to endure two centuries of slavery, nevertheless the city, by terrible pestilences, continued to renew and expand itself, especially during viceroy Pietro de Toledo's government (1532-1553) when important works were carried out, among which the opening of a new street which still bears his name and the widening of the city's walls. In 1734 with the installation of the Bourbon dynasty, Naples rose once more to the rank of a capital. The city owned its building development, as well as the construction of monumental works to Charles of the Bourbons. It became one of the most attractive metropolis of Europe, the preferred place of illustrious Italian and foreign travellers: from President Des Bosses to Wolfang Goethe. The example of the enlightened government of Charles of Bourbon was not followed by his successors, who were deaf to the voice of the new era and were overcome by the events. In 1806 Bonaparte proclamed himself, King of Naples, and two years later, Gioacchino Murat who succeeded him, was shot at Pizzo Calabro. During the French domination, the city had a good period of prosperity and civil progress and improved in the field of culture and economic reforms. But when Ferdinand IV returned to the trone, his estrangement from the Bourbons and the select part of the town, became always deeper and finally caused the fall of the dynasty. On September 6, 1860, the last King of Naples, Francis II sailed for Gaeta and from that day the vicessitudes of the city were completely inserted in those of the Kingdom of Italy. After its annexation, important works were carried out to renew the city end to adapt it to its new needs. In 1884 entire sections were recovered; subsequently new city sections were brought into existence as well as new panoramic streets; the harbour was amplified; new schools; hospitals and charitable and cultural institutions were opened. Factories, ship building yards; railway stations; hotels and autoroads were added. Special attention was given to repair the damages caused by time and the desctructive fury os men, as well as to restore important monuments, that are the reliable witnesses of history and the civilization rank of a nation. Unfortunately the remains of monuments of the classical era are very rare and little is left over of the artistic production of the centuries that follow. To be acquainted with the monuments of the Bizantine - Longobards and Norman-Swabian periods, one must go to Capua; to Sant'Angeli in Formis; Caserta Vecchia; Ventaroli; Sessa Aurunca, but in the catacombs of San Gennaro in Fonte, Naples has valuable documents pertaining to the history of the first centuries of art and Christian civilization. With the accession to the throne, Charles II of Angiò and especially with Robert the Wise, as it has been said, the artistic revival of the city begins. French architects who came as retinue of the Angiovins, built castles and churches which Italian sculptors and painters from Giotto to Tino da Camaino embellished with their works Castel Sant'Elmo, Castelnuovo, the Cathedral, the Churches of San Lorenzo, Santa Chiara, Donnaregina, S. Eligio, San Pietro a Majella, San Domenico Maggiore, l'Incoronata, belong to this period. Towards the middle of the XV century with the Aragonese - while men of letters and poets, such as : Panormita, Giovanni Pontano, Jacopo Sannazaro, who were helped and encouraged by sovereign munifience, divulged with their work a humanistic culture - Cataland artists from all part of Italy, came to Naples, which grew rich with works of art and noble constructions such as: the Arch of Alfonso d'Aragona, the Pontano Chapel, Porta Capuana, the churches of Sant'Anna dei Lombardi, San Giovanni a Carbonara, Palazzo Cuomo, The Palace of Diomede Carafa, now known as the Palazzo Santangelo, Palazzo Guarino, Palazzo Marigliano, the Church of Santa Caterina a Formiello, belong to the first period of twenty years of the century. Other sacred and profane buildings followed. These were embellished by several painters from Southern Italy, such as: Andrea Sabatino, painter; Giovanni Mormanno, architect; and Giovanni Merlian, sculptor, who distinguished themselves in their marvellous work. In the last period of ten years in the 16th century and the first half of the following century, artists from France or Catalogna, who came down from Northern Italy, such as: Cosimo Fanzago, Giovanni Antonio Dosio, Domenico Fontana, Francesco Picchiatti restored the old edifices, and new constructions, such as the Royal Palace, the Certosa of San Martino, the Palace of Studies and the Monte di Pietà, were added to the city. In the 17th century, Neapolitan art, does not only improve with churches and princely houses, obelisks, spires, statues and fountains, but enriches the streets and squares of the city. Under the new baroque cover, the ogival arches in the old churches disappear, and so do the two fold light windows and the severe altars. Plasters, volutes abuntant ornamental drawings, marble drapings cover the naked and grey stones on the frescoes walls. But if in this intense constructive activity, Naples did not contribute with its own artists in the field of painting, it asserted itself with genial works, by Battistello Caracciolo, Bernardo Cavallino, Massimo Stanzione, Mattia Preti, Luca Giordano, and thanks to the dialy, productive activity of these artists, Naples became one of the principal and more important centres of the Italian artistic production in the 18th century. With artists of the 18th century - Solimene, De Mura, Fuga, Sanfelice, Sammartino, a new decorative taste was discovered, which prevailed in architecture and in the figurative arts that are put into relation to the character and importance of the pompous architectonic organism. In the new unusual fronts of the lordly palaces, extra plaster is added to the cornices. There are wide and magnificent courtyards, colonnades, sumptuous and fanciful staircases and an ornamental taste, full of whims, was unfolded in alcoves, in boudoirs, ball rooms, balconies and ceilings, as well as in paintings, music and literature, perfectly toned with the refined spirit of the 18th century. During the reign of Charles of Bourbon, Naples adorned itself with other magnisicent buildings such as: the Royal Palaces of Capodimonte and Portici, l'Albergo dei Poveri, Palazzo Angri, Palazzo Serra di Cassano, Palazzo Casacalenda, Palazzo Partanna, Palazzo Spinelli di Tarsia, the Carolina Forum, Luigi Vanvitelli gave a masterby testimony of his genius in the Royal Palace of Caserta. In the 19th century, following Vanvitelli, Naples still had a great architect: Antonio Nicolini, to whom it owes the San Carlo Opera House and the Villa Floridiana. The building expansion continued in the XX century and to the new streets of Vomero, Arenella, Vasto and Posillipo, provided with new buildings, were added the Galleria Laziale, the new Maritime Station, the new Central Railway Station, the Central Post Office, the Palace of the Bank of Italy and the Finance Office Building. During the second world war, the monuments of Naples suffered very serious damage. The measures adopted and the works carried out, led to cancel such offenses and to guaranty the preservation of an ideal patrimony that demands the esteem and admiration by all civil people.