One of the most important railway museums in Europe.
The Pietrarsa Museum is one of the most important railway museums in Europe. Visiting it is a suggestive and evocative journey into Italy’s past. Pietrarsa was Italy’s first industrial hub. The workshops were built exactly on the site of the first Italian railway section, the Naples-Portici line, inaugurated on the 3th of October 1839.
These buildings, with characteristic nineteenth-century architectural features, were once the Royal Workshops for Mechanical Works, Ammunition Production and Locomotives.They were founded by Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies in 1840. His purpose was to free his realm from dependance on British and French technical supremacy. The factory was still active at the end of the 1970s when the rise in electric and diesel engines brought about the demise of steam power and of the plant itself. In 1977 the workshops were earmarked to become a museum which was subsequently opened in 1989 after major restoration works.
The Museum is spread over an area of 36,000 square meters, of which 14,000 are covered, and it is divided into pavilions and sectors in which rare and unique examples are exhibited: more than 55 historical rolling stocks including: the faithful reproduction of the Bayard, the inaugural train of the first Naples railway section – Porticoes of 1839; carriage 10 of the Royal Train built by Fiat in 1929 for the wedding of Umberto II of Savoy to Maria Josè of Belgium; several steam, diesel and electric locomotives.
Outside, you can enjoy a Mediterranean Garden along the seafront terrace, offering unique views over the Gulf of Naples.