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Edenlandia

Edenlandia is the largest amusement park—or “fun fair”—in Naples and one of the best-known such attractions in Italy. It opened in 1965. It is located at the extreme west end of the gigantic Overseas Fair Grounds, the Mostra d’oltremare in the Fuorigrotta suburb of Naples. Those fair grounds have an interesting history (see link, above) and were originally a pre-war Fascist undertaking that underwent dramatic post-war subdivision more in keeping with the needs of urban expansion and, obviously, no longer dedicated to the megalomaniacal display of Italy’s African colonies. When the park was opened in the 1960s, there was a small road that led by the entrance as one drove out from Naples to Bagnoli. That road is now a major thoroughfare, viale Kennedy, and has newer buildings along it for the entire length.

The amusement park is adjacent to the now (thank God!) defunct premises of a dog-racing track and to the renovated grounds of the Naples Zoo. Apparently, both Edenlandia and the zoo are now owned or sponsored by the same persons or agency since one ticket gets you into both. Edenlandia—along with the zoo—fell on hard times after the boom years of the 1970s, but, as far as I know, Edenlandia—unlike the zoo—always managed to stay open. These days, the amusement park seems to be doing well. I have been out there on a few weekends and notice that it is very popular and generally regarded as a good place to take the kids.

As I recall, I used Edenlandia at one time to increase my Italian vocabulary. Such a park is, in fact, called a Luna Park in Italian—“Moon Park.” I don’t know why “moon” or why they used the English word, “park.”  A Ferris wheel is boringly called a “giant wheel” in Italian (and in some other languages) but the “roller coaster” is called The Russian Mountains in Italian. I do know why, but I’m not going to tell you because they took out that ride and that was my favorite. Someone has to pay for that outrage, so it might as well be you.

[See updates: Nov. 2012    April 2015  & August 2016-bad news for another year]


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