Roman Republic and Empire (4th century BCE – 476 CE)
9th – 8th century BCE
Naples, or Napoli to its residents, is a major city located in southern Italy, lying at the foot of Monte Vesuvio. During the Renaissance, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Naples, the biggest Italian state before the unity.
Being over 2,800 years old, Naples has its roots in Greek settlements that were founded during the 6th century BCE. Throughout its existence, ownership of the city changed numerous times and went from Romans to Goths and back.
In the Middle Ages, the Normans took control of the city and managed to remain in power for 300 years, despite the leaders and nobles fighting over the ownership amongst themselves. French rule over Naples started in 1501 under King Louis XII, though it only lasted until 1505, when Spain, led by King Ferdinand, seized power. Under Spanish monarchy, Naples became one of Europe's biggest cities.
In the early 1500s, Cesare Borgia used the facilities in the Porto di Napoli to construct a naval cannon small enough to be placed on a gondola, as designed by Leonardo da Vinci. The designs and the prototype cannon were later destroyed by the Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze, before they could be put to use.