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Plebiscito square: The heart of Naples

In the heart of Naples, stands one of the most majestic and evocative squares in Italy: Plebiscito Square. Surrounded by imposing historic buildings and dominated by the beauty of the Royal Palace and the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola, this square represents a symbol of grandeur and history.

Plebiscito Square is a true feast for the eyes. With an area of over 25,000 square metres, it is one of the largest squares in Europe.

The history of the square

The history of Plebiscito Square dates back to the beginning of the 19th century, when Naples was the capital of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies under the government of the Bourbons. It was King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies who ordered the construction of this monumental square, which was designed by the architect Domenico Fontana. The square was built on a vast area that included the old neighborhood of San Ferdinando and the Royal Palace.

The name of the square has been changed several times throughout its history. During the Bourbon period, it was known as the “Real Palace Square”. Subsequently, during the Napoleonic period, it was renamed “Plebiscito Square” to celebrate the plebiscite which decreed the annexation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to the Kingdom of Italy in 1860. The name has remained unchanged since then.

What to see in Plebiscito Square?

In the center of the square stands the majestic Royal Palace of Naples, once the residence of the Bourbon sovereigns. With its imposing facades and elegant decorations, the palace represents a superb example of Baroque architecture. Today, the Royal Palace houses museums and exhibition rooms that tell the story of the city’s history and art.

On the sides of the square, there are two semicircular wings which house the Basilica of St. Francesco from Paola. This majestic religious building, inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, is a true masterpiece of neoclassical architecture. Inside, the frescoes and ornate altars create an atmosphere of solemnity and spirituality.

In addition to the Royal Palace and the Basilica of St. Francesco from Paola, Plebiscito Square is surrounded by other important historical buildings. Among these, the Prefecture Palace and the Salerno Palace add a touch of elegance and prestige to the square. These buildings testify to the wealth and historical importance of Naples.

The square is also the place chosen for many events, concerts and cultural events that enliven the city. Often, it becomes an open-air stage for musical performances, theatrical performances and public celebrations, attracting tourists and locals who gather to enjoy the city’s lively spirit and infectious energy.

The heart of Naples

Plebiscito Square is much more than a simple square; it is the beating heart of Naples. It is a place of meeting and celebration, where past and present intertwine in a setting of extraordinary beauty. Anyone who visits this square cannot help but feel fascinated by its grandeur and its thousand-year history, which continues to be reflected in the life and culture of Naples.

In conclusion, this place is a living testimony to the history of Naples and of Italy itself. This imposing square embodies the majesty of neoclassical architecture and the importance of the historical moments that marked the course of the country. Visiting it is an experience that brings the visitor closer to the history, art and culture of Naples, offering an open window onto a world of beauty and charm.