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Much of the history of Naples is rooted in myth and legend. What is known as fact however is that the Greeks started arriving in waves to Naples begining around the 9th Century B.C. They arrived on the island of Pithecusa, and in the following century they arrived on the island of Cuma. The Greeks built up the area quite a bit, but obviously after a certain time the Romans started imposing their own rule, and the time of the Greeks in Naples was over. In 470, the residents of Cuma founded a new city on the east, which they named Neapolis(new city) to distinguish it from Palepolis(old city). During the Medieval period Naples was an important city. It is believed that the first Christian cemeteries of Southern Italy were in Naples. The city was eventually captured by the Normans in the 9th Century. During the 16th Century the city of Naples became the capital of the Spanish viceroyaly. Naples contined to change loyalties and rulerships until 1860 when Italy was united under one kingdom. The city was severely damaged during World War II, but has been rebuilt, and today stands as the third largest city in Italy.
Many tourists ask about the modern-day history of the local mafia, the Camorra.
One could write a book about the alleged mafia activities in Naples (wait, Roberto Saviano already did that with “Gomorra”), but does the mafia affect tourists?
According to police and media reports, the local mafia or “Camorra” is present in the Naples area and other areas of Southern Italy . The Camorra is suspected of involvement in trash collection, building construction, and importing of counterfeit goods such as cigarettes and fashion items. Crime between rival gangs of Camorra members does occur, mainly in the distant suburbs of Naples , but it is very rare for typical visitors to be involved in Camorra-related crime.