Travelling Turtle

Royal Pontifical Basilica of San Francesco di Paola

Imposing and majestic, the Royal Pontifical Basilica of San Francesco da Paola is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city of Naples. Located in the splendid Piazza del Plebiscito, the basilica is a place of religious devotion and an architectural masterpiece.

The history of the Basilica San Francesco da Paola dates back to the 19th century, when King Ferdinand I of Bourbon commissioned the construction of a place of worship to honor San Francesco di Paola, patron saint of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Designed by architect Pietro Bianchi, the building was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, with a majestic dome and an imposing colonnade. The basilica was completed in 1836 and subsequently obtained the title of “Royal” by King Ferdinand II.


Exterior of the basilica immediately captures visitors’ attention. The semicircular colonnade with 16 white marble columns creates an imposing portico that embraces the square. A colonnade, in Doric style, support an entablature and a tympanum decorated with bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the life of San Francesco di Paola. The impressive dome topped by a cross dominates the horizon and offers a breathtaking sight.

Royal Pontifical Basilica of San Francesco di Paola


The interior of the basilica offers a feeling of serenity and sacredness. The plan is a Greek cross, with a central dome that radiates light and grandeur. Interiors are decorated with fine marble, frescoes and works of art that tell the story and devotion towards San Francesco di Paola. The main altar is adorned with an icon of the saint, while the side chapels host works by renowned artists such as Giuseppe Cammarano and Domenico Morelli.

This place is an essential stop for those who visit Naples. Its imposing architecture, richly decorated interiors and the spirituality that can be felt make it a unique and fascinating place. Visitors can participate in religious celebrations, admire the works of art or simply enjoy the beauty of the place. The basilica is a testimony to the faith and art that characterize the city of Naples, a place where history and spirituality come together in an unforgettable experience.