The Golden Mile and Portici Royal Palace
Golden Mile is the name given to the stretch of road SS18 Tirrena Inferiore also known as Strada Regia delle Calabrie. It is the second half of the eighteenth century when this name is attributed to a stretch of road equal to a mile, according to the system of units used in the first half of the eighteenth century, in the province of Naples between Herculaneum and Torre del Greco. Mildness of the climate, healthy area, fascinating landscape that from the countryside with fragrant citrus gardens thins out towards the sea, majestic panorama that embraces the Gulf of Naples and the three islands of Campania is the scenario that makes King Charles of Bourbon fall in love, who decides in 1738 , to have a palace built for the summer holidays in Portici. In the same year he also started the excavations of Ercolanum. The prestige of the presence of the royal residence combined with the beauty of the place meant that the nobility of the time decided to move and have villas built for their holidays. The best architects of the time were called with the task of erecting villas with entrance from the Golden Mile road and which had spectacular gardens, often thinning out towards the sea. Luigi Vanvitelli, Ferdinando Fuga, Domenico Antonio Vaccaro, Ferdinando San Felice built beautiful villas in the Baroque style with rococo and neoclassical gardens.
Over time, the term Mile d’oro has extended to include the road from Portici to Torre Annunziata. Along the whole artery there are beautiful villas that have been protected by the Vesuvian Villas Authority since 1971. The Parliament took this decision to establish an institution in order to protect these majestic buildings, but which over time have sometimes lost their splendor. Today there are 122 villas surveyed and in almost all of them the image of San Gennaro who had the arduous task of protecting the inhabitants of the villas from Vesuvius is found engraved somewhere. The Ville Vesuviane Foundation has decided to allow the online visit of Villa Campolieto and Villa delle Ginestre. In this era of pandemic it will therefore be possible to retrace the history, art and architecture of this golden heritage with a guided tour that has characterized the history of the South from the Court of the Bourbons onwards. Villa delle Ginestre in Torre del Greco was also the home of the poet Giacomo Leopardi for a period who wrote the poem “La Ginestra” in this place.
A delightful break after the visit
During a tour to visit the Vesuvian villas, along the Golden Mile, in Torre del Greco, a few steps from the historic Villa Campolieto, you will find Casa Kbirr, the home of craft beer made in Naples and dedicated to Naples.
It is a restaurant and meeting place for beer lovers. Open only for dinner, Casa Kbirr is an informal place where it will be possible to taste some Neapolitan specialties accompanied by the house beer: from ragù to fried meatball, from broken candle to sauce of Genoese to the sauté.