Discover the Architecture of Naples

Piazza Matteotti

This is one of the most important piazzas in the city and it is here you’ll find some of the best known buildings, such as the curving post office – a result of Mussolini whimsical request for ‘good Italian architecture’ in the nineteen twenties. True to his request there are many other lovely baroque and handsome period styludine_004_piazza_matteottied buildings here.

Palazzo Reale

Architecture lov
ers should make a bee-line for this palace to admire some of the city’s best building styles. Commissioned by the Spanish viceroys during the prosperous Aragon rule in the early 17th Century, the Palazzo eventually took 150 years to complete, by which time the Hapsburgs had usurped the Spanish and Campagnia was relishing a brief period of independence before the unification of Italy.

It was the home of ruler at the time, Charles III of Bourbon, and today is open to the public with 30 first floor rooms on display, including beautiful frescoes and paintings, some vaulted chambers, and a lovely private Court Theatre. The magnificent staircase is claimed to be the finest of its kind in Europe. It is also home to the national library (Napoli section), which includes the vast Farnese collection, brought to Naples by Charles of Bourbon. It contains more than 2000 papyruses from Herculaneum and fragments of a Coptic Bible dating from the 5th Century.

Monte di Pietà

This grand house dates from the early 16th century and offers an insight into the wealth and lifestyle of the rich in Naples during the Middle Ages. It includes a grand courtyard, a sumptuous interior and a chapel, which has many excellent frescoes painted by Belisario Corenzio.

San Francesco di Paola

You can’t miss the San Francesco di Paola when in Naples, as it sits smack in the centre of Piazza del Plebiscito and is modeled on the Pantheon in Rome. Commissioned in 1817 by wealthy and powerful Hapsburg ruler, Ferdinand I, it is a masterpiece distinguished by its neo-classic basilica and magnificent altar, which is detailed in gold and precious stones from the long lost Church of the Santi Apostoli.