The Royal Palace of Naples is a palace, museum, and historical tourist destination located in central Naples, southern Italy. It was one of the four residences near Naples used by the Bourbon Kings during their rule of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1734-1860): the others were the palaces of Caserta, Capodimonte overlooking Naples, and the third Portici, on the slopes of Vesuvius.
The history of Naples’ Royal Palace is complicated, because the region itself was ruled by so many different countries and families in the years before Italy’s unification. For hundreds of years, Naples was the seat of power for various kingdoms; there were the Bourbons, the Spanish and more recently the House of Savoy. The construction of the Royal Palace began in the 1600s, to prepare for a visit from the King of Spain, that never actually happened; it wasn’t used as a residence until the 1700s – when it served as one of the Bourbon Kings’ Palace. As Naples’s Royal Palace changed hands, more wings were added and remodeled, but Palazzo Reale was also damaged repeatedly, first by fire and later by bombs during World War II which destroyed the library which had been moved here for safe keeping. Subsequent restoration, however, means that it is possible to enjoy the changing tastes of the royal owners over the years – and the luxury in which they lived and ruled over the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.