Check out the lengths this 14th-century Italian castle went to for some of its guests

Aug 15, 2021

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At the top of Vomero Hill in Naples, Italy sits Castel Sant’Elmo, a medieval fortress dating back to the 14th century that offers visitors majestic views of Mount Vesuvius and the Tyrrhenian Sea. It’s one of three castles in Naples, and it is steeped in history.

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The view from here is so well known, it’s the main reason people making the steep climb up the hill to visit Sant’Elmo. Most say it offers the best views of Naples. It’s a breathtaking sight, and thanks to the thoughtful creativity of a local artist, it is also one that visually impaired people can take in as well.

Italy, Campania, Naples, cityscape viewed from Castel Sant'Elmo, gulf of Naples
Italy, Campania, Naples, cityscape viewed from Castel Sant’Elmo, gulf of Naples (image by AGF for Getty Images)

Attached to the northernmost wall of the castle near the west corner that overlooks the land, there is a 92-foot-long railing etched with Braille. It describes the panoramic view for those who cannot see, using the Braille writing system. The railing was created by artist Paolo Puddo in 2017 as part of the art installation, “Follow the Shape,” but it went viral recently after the Twitter user @thegallowboob visited the castle and posted about the railing.

Leisure Italy described it as “a project of inclusion to open a window on the world and its wonders.” Along with a description of the surrounding landscapes, the railing also features quotes from authors and poets, in both Italian and English.

Related: 5 reasons to visit Naples, Italy

It’s such an ingenious idea, it’s amazing more places that offer stunning vistas like this haven’t done something along the same lines. Inclusive artistry gives people with visual impairments the chance to enjoy some of the wonders of travel so many of us take for granted.

Italy, Campania, Naples, cityscape from Castel Sant'Elmo, Vesuvius in background
Italy, Campania, Naples, cityscape from Castel Sant’Elmo, Vesuvius in background. (Photo by AGF for Getty Images)

Hopefully, more people read about the railing at Castel Sant’Elmo and its message and are inspired to take steps to make travel more accessible for everyone.

Featured image by AGF for Getty Images.

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