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Translated Jeff Matthews

THE ANGEVIN FORTRESS (MASCHIO ANGIOINO) OPENS ITS BASEMENTS:

A NEW ARCHEOLOGICAL TOUR, “TIME LINE”

As of Saturday, 15 April a new guided archeological tour is open to the public, under the auspices of the Timeline Napoli Association as part of the project “The Grail at the Maschio Angioino.” Their press release:

Naples, 10 April 2017. A new guided archeological tour is open to the public at the New Castle [trans. note: the structure has two names in Italian—Maschio Angioino and Castelnuovo; that is, Angevin Fortress and New Castle]. Beginning Saturday, 15 April, and every weekend thereafter, visitors will be taken down into the underground chambers of the Angevin Fortress for a journey that starts with the vestiges of ancient Rome. Visitors will pass along the area directly below the halls of the Aragonese armory and then into the Renaissance Naples of Alphonse I, so-called “The Magnanimous, and of his son and heir, Ferrante of Aragon. The new tour is part of “The Grail at the Angevin Fortress” and is presented by the Timeline Napoli Association, which hopes to let visitors come into contact with this important part of the archeological heritage of the city of Naples and to enjoy the thrill of a hands-on experience—to physically touch history.

It is a museum within a museum, displaying the first plant of this structure built at the behest of Charles I of Anjou beginning in 1279. The leitmotiv of the tour is, indeed, a trip through time; thus, the name of the association and tour, Timeline, a chance to watch the unrolling of one century after another in the same area.

The “Timeline” Tour

Beneath the armory, you'll be able to admire not only archeological remains but one of the best preserved geological sites in the city, made up of pyroclastic deposits from the eruptions of Vesuvius as well as those from the Flegrean Fields. You'll be able to exit to the faussebraye, the defensive wall outside the main walls, of the Beverello tower. The outside wall was introduced by the Aragonese and was an attempt to confront newer offensive weapons such as more precise artillery. The newer defensive measures incorporated a succession of loop-holes for archers, effectively doubling the defenses as they were also supported by the garrison positioned in the higher tower, itself, as well as by flanking fire from light artillery at the base of the tower. Finally, you'll climb to the terrace to look down on the construction site of Piazza Municipio. It was here, during construction for Line #1 of the Metropolitana underground train line that they found—at 13 meters below the current pedestrian surface—an entire section of the Greco-Roman port basin together with five now celebrated naval vessels, the wooden planking of which was extraordinarily well preserved.

You can participate in this guided tour as well as others of the program The Grail at Maschio Angioino every Saturday (departures on the hour from 0930 to 1700) and Sunday (on the hour from 0930 to 1230). Book via telephone: 3317451461 or on the Timeline Napoli Facebook page.

The cost for the tour is 10 euros or two tickets for 15 euros with the second ticket covering one of the other Grail tours. Entrance for children is reduced or even free, depending on age.

Other theme tours at the Maschio Angioino:

The Grail between history and mystery” is a product of IVI Itinerari Video Interattivi which guides participants along esoteric path from the Triumphal Arch to the Hall of Barons. Book by phone at 3483976244.

The veiled secret” is the latest IVI video visit, replete with OLED (organic light-emitting diode) lenses, ideal for bringing to life the story of Lubrezia d'Alagno, Alfonso of Aragon's favorite lady. Booking only by phone at 3273239843.

The Flight of King Charles” is the adventure-filled tale, told here by HK Avventure, of the legendary retreat from Naples of King Charles VIII of France. Includes a safe descent (led by a trained speleologist) into the escape well cut into volcanic rock. Book by phone at 3317451461 or on the Facebook page of HK Avventura.

The fortress of time” is a tour from Timeline Napoli from the slopes of the fortress up and into an ancient gunport, where the defensive strategies of the Aragonese epoch will be explained, and then onto the ancient prisons. Book by phone at 3317451461.

The Dragon's Secret” and the hunt for historic treasure (aimed at children aged 6-9) at the court of Alphonse I of Aragon. Discover with maps and other accessories the true story of the king, the head of the Aragonese branch of Naples, and of the secrets connected to him. Book by phone at 3317451461.

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