If stones could talk, those used to construct Naples' castles would speak volumes.
Every ancient building has a fascinating story to tell, even more so when they are castles: historic residences of Royals and Emperors, and more often than not, key players in war and conspiracy.
Perhaps more than those of any other city, the palaces of Naples witnessed the frequent exchange of power, which characterized medieval Europe.
A tour of Naples' castles might easily commence with one of the city's most-loved symbols, the Castel dell'Ovo, or Egg castle.
Legend has it that, hidden away within the castle's underground passageways, there is a cage containing a magic egg, on which the fate and fortune of both the city and the sea-edge castle depends
Castel dell'Ovo sits on the islet of Megaride, which, another legend recounts, was once inhabited by the mermaid Parthenope. It was here, in the 1st century BC that the Roman patrician, Lucius Licinius Lucullus built a magnificent villa, known as the "Castrum Lucullanum".
The first fortifications date back to the times of the Normans. Ruggiero the Norman made Castel dell'Ovo his residence in 1140. When Charles I of Anjou built his new castle in Naples, Castell d'Ovo became the seat of the Royal Chamber and State Treasury.
It was not until the 15th century, during the Aragon domination, that the Castle was given its present form.