It is known as Naples’ biggest piazza, held right in the city’s heart and renowned for being the main gathering spot for both locals and tourists.
Elegant and grand, the enormous open space is simply stunning any way you look. Featuring some of the city’s main monuments, including the royal palace, and Basilica of San Francesco da Paola. Trickling out from the piazza is a range of narrow streets, making the entire centre a prime place to see the local hotspots!
The History of Piazza del Plebiscito
The piazza obtained its name from the plebiscite nestled here in the year of 1860, but before that was known as ‘Largo del Palazzo’, translating to the square of the palace. The name Piazza del Plebiscito was chosen under the Kingdom of Two Sicily, to consent to the takeover of Italy.
The square is framed by four stunning buildings, known as the Royal Palace, the Basilica of St. Francis of Paola, the Prefecture and the Palace of Salerno.
The Royal Palace
This historic monument is hard to miss when visiting the piazza del plebiscite, once being the home residence of the Spanish viceroys. The entire palace features stunning displays of beauty, with the majestic rooms home to four-poster beds and the jaw-dropping gold chandeliers, with even the hallways covered in ceiling carvings and rich furniture. Visitors can step back in time and imagine themselves as these past royals, wandering the walls and discovering the secrets and stories of these historic people.
Basilica of St. Francis of Paola
Named after the Saint Francis of Paola, who was a homeless friar who became the founder of the Roman Catholic Order of Minims. The church is said to be similar to the Pantheon in Rome, with the façade featuring a portico resting on six columns and two Ionic pillars. The portico section was created by Neapolitan architect Leopoldo Laperuta. Inside the basilica features two side chapels, with a huge dome stretching up 53 metres high, created by the Swiss architect Pietro Bianchi. The architecture isn’t the only attraction on display, with the basilica’s indoors bursting with spectacular statues and altarpieces all with a grand story behind them.
The historic building isn’t the only feature worth seeing when visiting the Piazza del Plebiscito. As the nearby bars and restaurants are bursting with live music, bustling atmosphere, and friendly locals. Many visitors opt to visit these local bars and restaurants after sightseeing around the square’s historic buildings, refuelling with the delicious servings of food and drink before heading out again for a couple more hours of adventure. Noteworthy spots include the famed Gran Caffè Gambrinus, which is great for a quick snack and delicious local coffee, found right between the square and Naples Old Town.