Visit this waterfront stone castle in the old fishing village of Borgo del Marini for fantastic views over the bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
Perched majestically on the tiny island of Megaride is the elegant Castel Dell’Ovo (‘Egg Castle’ in English). This 15th century structure was the seat of power in the area for many centuries. Originally built in the 12th century by the Normans, the castle has been renovated many times over the course of history. Now, the twin-towered castle grants visitors with breathtaking panoramas, while the Museum of Prehistory it houses tells a tale of the area's people.
Adding to the fascinating history of the castle is a local legend that Roman poet Virgil allegedly buried a magic egg under the stone foundations of the Castle to keep it safe from destruction. He warned that the fate of the egg would parallel that of the castle, and if the egg was destroyed, the castle would be too. Hence, the peculiar name of the castle.
Occupying part of the castle is the Museum of Prehistory, which holds regular exhibitions featuring the ancient civilisations that lived locally. You can see collections of ceramics, clothes and other artefacts of daily life here. Venture up the two towers, Torre Maestra and Torre Normanna, for commanding views of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. See the old cannons facing out from the tower walls and scout for evidence of bombardment within the castle doors.
The castle is connected to the mainland by a 100-metre causeway—the beautiful views make it a popular spot for wedding photos.
The Castel Dell’Ovo is open daily except for Sundays. Admission to the castle is free. Ticket prices for the Museum of Prehistory vary depending on the exhibition. Take a local bus to Saint Lucia on the shoreline, and walk down the causeway. Surrounding the castle is the area of Borgo Marinari, where you can grab a bite in one of the many seafood restaurants and cafés that line the narrow streets.