Ovo Castle

About Ovo Castle

If a trip to Naples is on your travel itinerary, then exploring the Ovo Castle, renowned as the oldest surviving fortification of the city, is an experience you cannot afford to miss. Located on the legendary Megaride island, settlements at the site date back to the sixth century BCE, while the first structures can be traced to the first century BCE. The Ovo Castle was constructed by the Normans in the twelfth century, with the current standing structure dating to the fifteenth century.Named the “Egg Castle” due to the legend of a magic egg that protects the city and lies beneath the Ovo Castle, the castle witnessed numerous battles before its desertion in the early nineteenth century. Numerous events and exhibitions are today organised in the interior rooms of the castle, while the exterior portions are renowned for offering breathtaking views of the city and the sea. Explore a medieval tower with battlements, a church with remnants from the Roman era, terraces that showcase the vibrant city and vast sea, and rooms with splendid art and architecture at the Ovo Castle.

Explore Ovo Castle

The External part of the Castel dell’Ovo

The exteriors of the Ovo Castle, which are always open to visitors, include the Ramaglietto pier that overlooks the sea and the Normandy Tower that displays ancient Guelph battlements. The Church of San Salvatore is a major attraction, where visitors can witness granite columns and Roman capitals made of bones, along with frescoes from the late Byzantine period. There are three Terraces, of which the Terrace of the Cannons is renowned for its magnificent views of the sunset. While the West Loggiato terrace faces towards the city and lies next to the interior rooms that were used for royal meetings, the East Loggiato terrace faces the Gulf and stands partially on the site of a destroyed church complex. Rock-carved cells of the old monastic complex still stand and are a popular attraction.

The Interior rooms of the Castel dell’Ovo

The numerous interior rooms of the Ovo Castle are generally inaccessible to the public except during events and exhibitions. While the Sala Italia is the largest and most prestigious room of the castle with its stunning vaulted ceiling, Sala Sirena is carved entirely of tuff rock. Sala delle Colonne, among the most elaborate interior rooms, houses columns resting on pointed arches and is divided into several naves. While the Hall of Prisons was apparently constructed for fortification purposes, Virgilio’s Antro is used today for numerous events and purposes. The Sala Compagna is renowned for its modernity and stands at the highest point in the Ovo Castle, while the Sala Megaride can hold an audience of 80 people.

Events at Castel dell’Ovo

The Castel dell’Ovo Napoli’s halls and terraces are available for conducting meetings, exhibitions, and special events. Upon submission of an official request detailing the event and the required documentation, the castle’s interior spaces can be rented for several kinds of events. Both buffets and small snack parties can be organised on the grounds that no highly inflammable entities are stored on the premises. Concerts and shows during buffets are restricted, while personal events like weddings are allowed film and photo shootings. Exhibitions encashing the historical settings are frequently organised, as are events and even business meetings.

History of Ovo Castle

Roman Era

As the oldest surviving fortification of Naples, the history of Castel dell’Ovo can be traced back to the first century BCE when a wealthy Roman constructed the majestic Castellum Lucullanum at the site, followed by the addition of a fortification in the mid-fifth century CE. By the end of the fifth century, a monastery had been established at the site by a Christian clergyman.

Middle Ages

The Roman structures were destroyed by locals in the ninth century, which was followed by the construction of the Norman Castel dell’Ovo in the twelfth century. From being the seat of the king of Naples, the castle became the seat of the Royal Chamber and the State Treasury after the construction of Castel Nuovo. The current structure dates back to the fifteenth century.

Modern Ages

The Italian Wars of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries saw the Ovo Castle being struck by Spanish and French artillery. During the 1799 Neapolitan Republic, it again came to be used by rebels for attacking the Bourbon population of Naples. The castle later fell into neglect and was restored to its current glory in the 1970s.


The Ovo Castle has a rectangular plan and stands approximately 200 by 45 metres at its widest point. A tall bastion looks down upon the 100-metre causeway that connects the medieval castle to the seashore. The interiors of the castle have numerous buildings that house special events and exhibitions for visitors, while at the rear end of the Castel dell’Ovo lies a lengthy promontory that functioned once as a docking area. On the southeast of the castle stands a massive round tower outside the walls, while outside the eastern wall lies the small 19th-century village of Borgo Marinaro.

Plan Your Visit

Opening timing & Location
How to reach
Best time to visit
Things to know before you go

Summer timingWeekdays – 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM, with last entry permitted at 7 PM.Sundays and public holidays – 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, with the last entry permitted at 1:30 PM.

Winter timingWeekdays – 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM, with the last entry permitted at 6 PM.Sundays and public holidays - 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, with the last entry permitted at 1:30 PM.

Location – The Ovo Castle is located at Via Eldorado, 3, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy.

By Car – Take the Via Marina after exiting Centro-Porto from the highway to reach Piazza Municipio.By Train – The nearest railway station from Piazza Municipio is the Piazza Garibaldi station. Take the subway Line 1 or bus route R2 to reach Piazza Municipio.By Subway – Take subway Line 1 from Piazza Garibaldi in the direction of Piscinola, and hop off at the Toledo stop. Walk approximately 750 metres to reach your destination.By Bus – The bus route R2 will take you from Piazza Garibaldi to Piazza Municipio.

The best time to visit Castel dell’Ovo Napoli is in the early evenings. As you end your visit at the highest point in the castle, you would be able to witness an enchanting view of the sunset, which is among the castle’s best highlights. It is recommended that you visit on weekdays as the castle closes in the afternoon on Sundays and public holidays.While the Ovo Castle is a bewitching sight to witness throughout the year, the best time to explore is during the spring and summer months. The warmer months make the walk on the terraces and outside a pleasant affair.

  1. Visitors can explore Castel dell’Ovo and the museum free of cost as there are no entry fees required.
  2. Interiors of the Ovo Castle can be accessed by visitors during special exhibitions and events, while the exteriors are open to the public at all times.
  3. The Castle is mostly accessible for wheelchairs and strollers, and an elevator has been provided from the ground floor to the ramparts for visitors with mobility issues.


Why is Castel dell’Ovo famous?

The Castel dell’Ovo is renowned as Naples’ oldest standing fortification and offers magnificent views of the lively city and the surrounding seas. The Castle is also known for allowing common people to organise a variety of events in its medieval-era rooms that are generally inaccessible to the public. The sunset views from the castle’s highest point are among the best sights in Naples.

Is Castel dell’Ovo worth visiting?

Yes, Castel dell’Ovo Napoli is worth visiting for all the bewitching historical and natural beauty it offers. As the oldest surviving fortification of Naples, the castle has amazing vantage points for witnessing the city and its attractions along with the vast seas. While the exterior portions focus on the protective installations of the structure, the interior portions exhibit the living quarters of its medieval inhabitants. One can also organise or attend events and exhibitions in the elaborate interior rooms.

When was the Castel Nuovo built?

The Castel Nuovo, which replaced the Ovo Castle as the prime centre of the Naples royal family and functioning, was constructed in the years 1279 to 1282 and is an iconic medieval Renaissance fortress near the port of Naples.

Why is it called Castel dell’Ovo?

Castel dell’Ovo translates to the “Egg Castle”, and was so named according to an ancient legend. It is believed that a magical egg lies underneath the castle, which protects the city of Naples. The castle would stand as long as the egg stays intact, and the cracking of the egg would mean harm to the city and its inhabitants.

What are the nearest attractions to Castel dell’Ovo?

The most popular nearby attractions to Ovo Castle are the Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola, Piazza del Plebiscito, Royal Palace of Naples, San Carlo Theatre, Galleria Umberto I, and Castel Nuovo.

How much time do we need for visiting Castel dell’Ovo?

Visitors generally spend approximately an hour exploring Ovo Castle. It is recommended that you visit in the early evening hours and end the tour at the highest point of the castle to witness spectacular views of the sun setting on the cityscape.


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