The Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples

This very grand piazza is among the largest in Italy and was planned by the King of Naples, Murat (Napoleon’s brother-in-law). He planned both the square and building as a tribute to the Napoleon.

Soon after Napoleon was finally dispatched to St Helena, the Bourbons were restored to the throne, and Ferdinand I continued the construction but converted the finished product into the church one sees today. He dedicated it to Saint Francis of Paola, who had lived in a monastery on this site in the 15th century.

Named after the plebiscite taken on October 21, 1860, that brought Naples into the unified Kingdom of Italy under the House of Savoy, the piazza is very close to the gulf of Naples, and bounded by the Royal Palace to the east and the church of San Francesco di Paola to the west, with its hallmark twin colonnades extending to each side.

The church is reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome. The façade is fronted by a portico resting on six columns and two Ionic pillars. Inside, the church is circular with two side chapels. The dome is 53 metres high.

There are 2 equestrian monuments in the piazza, one of Charles III of Bourbon and his son Ferdinand I of the 2 Sicilies, both placed on marble bases (with no inscriptions!) facing the Royal Palace across the piazza.

Below: Ferdinand I

Across from the Plebiscito is the Palazzo Reale, which I recently posted about.

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