Now in its 18th year, Maggio dei Monumenti 2012 starts today, May 2nd. Running through June 3rd, it is a month long celebration of Naples cultural heritage: its art, architecture and archaeology, and its cultural traditions: literature, theater, music, and dance.

A packed calendar of events, the slogan this year is, oMaggio ai monumenti – per amare Napoli, Tribute to the Monuments – For the love of Naples. As in years past, there will be a wide variety of guided tours, concerts, theater and dance programs, lectures and readings, and an opportunity to discover some of Naples unique treasures that are rarely open to the public.

Highlights of this year’s program include:

From the top of Vomero hill to the streets of Centro Storico, discover the city’s well known history and little known facts with experts from local cultural organizations who will take you on 12 Special Guided Walks in the city.

Acoustic concerts in catacombs, tango in Galleria di Principe and solo concerts in the recently reopened San Giovanni Maggiore a Pignatelli are just some of what’s been planned for The Weekends in the Places of May Series.

As in years past, Naples will open the doors to a number of sites and structures that are normally closed throughout the year. Visit the Ancient Theater of Neapolis, Naples Botanical Gardens and many more places during this years edition of Maggio dei Monumenti Special Openings.

In advance of its June opening, get a preview of Naples newest Metro Station, Stazione Toledo and its great works of art May 26th and 27th.

For opening weekend of Maggio dei Monumenti, the staging of the famous work of poet Giacomo Leopardi at Palazzo Serra di Cassano, Operette Morali di Giacomo Leopardi runs May 2nd through May 5th.

At Naples PAN Palazzo delle Arti through June 27th, the exhibit Behind the Eyes – Works of the Photographer Cesare Accetta, a look athe last 20 years of Neapolitan theater through the photography of Cesare Accetta.

The second edition of “Book festival at Naples Underground and the Cloister of San Paolo Maggiore,” Another Galaxy runs from May 18th – 20th.

For 4 days at over 80 addresses scattered throughout the city, Wine & The City is the first widespread event dedicated to fine Italian wines.

And that’s just for starters!

Our list of Maggio dei Monumenti Events is already jam packed and we will be adding to it over the coming days. In the meantime, you can check Comune di Napoli’s complete Maggio dei Monumenti Program (in Italian only).

More about Maggio dei Monumenti 2012