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Statue of Giovanni Battista Vico: View of the statue in the Villa Communale
The park was laid out in 1780 by King Ferdinand IV (later known as Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies) on land reclaimed along the coast between the main body of the city and the small port of Mergellina. It was a Royal Garden opened to the public in 1869.
Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744) spent most of his professional life as Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Naples. He was trained in jurisprudence, but read widely in Classics, philology, and philosophy, all of which informed his highly original views on history, historiography, and culture. His thought is most fully expressed in his mature work, the Scienzia Nuova or The New Science. In his own time, Vico was relatively unknown, but from the nineteenth century onwards his views found a wider audience and today his influence is widespread in the humanities and social sciences.