If you are visiting the magnificent city of Naples in Italy’s Campania region, here is an idea for a lovely evening that many tourists may not get to see. Bacoli is just outside the center of Naples and is known for its lake as well as an 18th-century villa converted into a museum known as the Casina Vanvitelliana. Let’s find out more!
Where is Bacoli?
Bacoli is a small “suburb” of Naples that sits right on the gulf and overlooks the islands of Procida and Ischia. You can take an hour metro ride from the center of Naples to Lago Fusaro. This lake is actually an ancient lagoon that has been used for harvesting oysters and mussels for over 2,000 years. The volcanic origins provide natural sulfur-rich springs. During Angevin rule, the lake was used for hemp production and maceration. In fact, the word fusaro is Latin for “to soak”.
The main attraction here now is the lovely, late Baroque villa that sits on the lake at the end of the pier. Built in the mid-1700s by order of King Charles III, the house and grounds were initially used for hunting. It was actually transformed into what we see today under Ferdinand IV and his architects Carlo Vanvitelli and son Luigi, hence the name Casina Vanvitelliana. Its unusual octagonal shape and large windows make it more of a pagoda than a villa. Over the years, it has housed illustrious guests such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gioachino Rossini, as well as former President of the Republic of Italy, Luigi Einaudi.
The best time to visit is in the late afternoon/ early evening when you can enjoy the lovely park, visit the Casina (oftentimes there are ongoing art exhibits), and best of all, see one of the most beautiful sunsets in Naples setting over the lake and gulf. Tickets are required. Visit the Pro Loco Association for more information (Italian only).