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"The Art Ways" - the Open-Air Museum in the Old Centre and the Decumans

The Guglia (spire-shaped monument) in Piazza del Gesù
The Guglia (spire-shaped monument) in Piazza del Gesù

The area of the old town centre was that of the first settlement of Neapolis (5th century BC), the "new city", so called to distinguish it from Palepolis, the old city that stood in the area of Pizzofalcone.

The urban plan of Neapolis was that of a "chessboard" formed of three wide roads from east to west, called "decumans": the upper decuman (Via Sapienza, Via Pisanelli, Via Anticaglia, etc.), the main decuman (Via Tribunale), and the lower decuman (Via B. Croce, Via S. Biagio dei Librai, etc.) intersected by a series of connecting roads from north to south called "cardines" (cardinal points).

The old town centre of Naples is very different from that of other Italian towns: there are stratifications of various ages beginning from the Greaco-Roman period up to today.