Many things are not what they used to be, but the building housing the Filangieri Civic Museum, on via Duomo, is not even where it used to be! It was built between 1464 and 1490 by Tuscan artisans for the wealthy Neapolitan merchant, Angelo Como, a favorite at the Aragonese court. The building is, thus, in the style of the Florentine Renaissance and is known as Palazzo Como. It was sold in 1587 and was incorporated into an adjacent monastery.
In 1881-82, because of the demolition and construction going on during the urban renewal of Naples (called, in Italian, the Risanamento—literally, ‘restoring to health’), it was necessary to dismantle the entire building stone by stone and move it back some 20 meters so that via Duomo could be widened. Since that date, the building has housed the museum donated by Gaetano Filangieri, prince of Satriano (not to be confused with his grandfather of the same name—click here.)
Though parts of the collection were destroyed in air raids in WW II, the museum still displays an impressive assortment of arms, porcelain and period costumes. Additionally, there is the recent addition of a large table-top scale wooden model of the city of Naples as it existed during the Spanish viceroyship.
At this writing, the
museum is closed for repairs as well as the construction
going on for the via Duomo station of the new
Naples Metropolitana. Many of the exhibits are
temporarily on display in the Maschio
Update: The museum was reopened in 2012
The Filangieri Museum also
has an adjunct site, the premises and contents of the
entire Villa Livia in the
Chiaia section of Naples.