La Nunziatella

April 23, 2009 / Local Interest
lanunziatella1Some people have fairies at the bottom of their garden. We have the oldest military academy in Europe at the end of our street. La Nunziatella was founded in 1787 to turn out officers for the kingdom of Naples.

These days the boys study strategy, topography, firearms practise, horse riding and all manner of sports within a classic Italian school programme.

Twice a year the cadets parade to Piazza del Plebiscito for a grand ceremony. And we rush to the balcony.

At other times you see them out and about, dressed either in summer white buttoned jackets and blue trousers or their winter black with dramatic cloaks and spadini – short dress swords – always on display. You’d think there has been a mass breakout from the opera house!

lanunziatella2But you have to dress and act the part when you live and work in a splendid red citadel like la Nunziatella.

Penny Ewles-Bergeron

by Penny Ewles-Bergeron

Author, artist… celebrating the many good things in Naples.

4 Responses to “La Nunziatella”

  1. vanna moore

    I was born and raised in Napoli, and reading the Italian Notebook of the day on the Nunziatella brough back memories of my teenage years, when all of us young girls admired the handsome cadets in their spiffy uniforms. We do have plenty of treasures in Naples and the Nunziatella is definitely one of them!

  2. Rick Black

    Interesting, but what are the two times per year? It is disheartening to know about events but not be able to plan to see them. Thanks for a great story anyway.

  3. hebegb

    Hi Rick, I’m pretty sure it happens on November 15th (swearing in, I believe), but wouldn’t know the other date. Perhaps Penny can fill us in!

  4. Penny Ewles-Bergeron
    Penny Ewles-Bergeron

    Hello Rick. Apologies for skimpy info. Editorial word limits (Hi GB!) mean text is sometimes general rather than specific. hebegb is absolutely right. The swearing in takes place on 15th November each year; the other event is in May and dates vary for the ‘consegna della stecca’ from the cadets of the third to those of the 2nd company. (I’m assuming these companies are the respective three years’ worth of pupils at the academy.) ‘Stecca’ has a lot of definitions in English, but I’m not sure what the military one would be – perhaps baton (to use the French!). The relevant page of the Nunziatella website is: .
    and Vanna – the heart still goes pitter pat the sight of those lovely uniforms!
    Best, Penny


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