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The Piazza del Plebiscito is an immense paved area across which the domed San Francesco di Paola church and the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace of Naples) face each other.  The area was once covered with a conglomeration of buildings, but this arrangement proved offensive to Joachim Murat, Napoleon’s brother-in-law, who found himself ruling Naples from 1808 until 1815.  He had the buildings removed as part of a plan for a large, symmetrical expanse and began construction on some of the surrounding buildings.  But Napoleon’s misfortune became Murat’s misfortune, and he was ousted before the plan could be completed.  The reinstated Ferdinand of Bourbon resolved to finish things, though, and he commissioned the design and construction of the San Francesco di Paola church, a large domed structure inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.

Nella and Piazza
Nella and Piazza
Bob and Piazza
Bob and Piazza
Piazza del Plebiscito
Piazza del Plebiscito
HD Video (20.6 MB)  SD Video (7.9 MB)
San Francesco di Paola
San Francesco di Paola Church
Ferdinand I
Statue of Ferdinand I (by Antonio Calý)
Inside San Francesco di Paola
Inside San Francesco di Paola (SD Video, 9.1 MB)

Automobiles are not allowed in the Piazza these days, and the youth of Naples takes advantage of the open space to practice their soccer.

Soccer Practice
Soccer Practice in the Piazza

Construction on the Palazzo Reale began in 1600 but wasn’t completed until 1843.  As one would expect of a royal palace, it’s full of magnificent rooms.  Again, they accepted the ArteCard, and like the Castel Sant’ Elmo, they let us in for free.  It appeared that photography was against the rules, so we didn’t take very many pictures while inside.

Palazzo Reale
The Palazzo Reale
Monumental Staircase
The Monumental Staircase
Climbing the Staircase
Climbing the Staircase
HD Video (20.7 MB)  SD Video (6.3 MB)
Throne Room
The Throne Room (SD Video, 9.7 MB)
Roof Garden
The Roof Garden
Mantel, Luca Giordano's Room
Mantel, Luca Giordano's Room
Hall of Hercules
The Hall of Hercules (SD Video, 4.7 MB)
Vase, Hall of Hercules
French Vase, Hall of Hercules

The fašade was fair game, though, so we took several pictures of the niches containing statues of several of the most well-known kings of Naples ("well-known" being a relative term for non-Italians).

Fašade
Eastern Fašade
Outside the Palace
Outside the Palace
HD Video (18.8 MB)  SD Video (8.6 MB)
Roger II
Roger II (Ruggiero il Normanno), 1095-1154
Charles I
Charles I (Carlo d'Angio), 1226-1285

Near the Piazza is the medieval-looking Castel Nuovo, originally built in the 13th Century, and then completely rebuilt in the 15th Century.  It was called nuovo, or new, to distinguish it from the other castles in town, which were less new.  The castle has five large cylindrical towers made of darker stone from the rest of the structure and an archway (the Arco di Trionfo) which is quite impressive, but doesn’t seem to match anything else in the castle architecturally, despite being built around the same time.

Castel Nuovo from Castel Sant'Elmo
Castel Nuovo from Castel Sant'Elmo
Castel Nuovo
Castel Nuovo
Connie and Castle
Connie and Castle
Castel Nuovo
Castel Nuovo
HD Video (18.4 MB)  SD Video (7.0 MB)
Arco di Trionfo (Top)
Arco di Trionfo (Top)
Arco di Trionfo (Bottom)
Arco di Trionfo (Bottom)
From the Castel Nuovo, we walked up the Via Toledo all the way back to our hotel.  We spent the last part of our last day in Naples recovering from the first part, but we eventually stirred ourselves enough to go to a pizzeria around the corner which had wonderful pizza and wonderful pasta, apparently par for the course in Naples.

Via Toledo
Via Toledo
The Spanish Quarter
The Spanish Quarter
Nella and Bob at Dinner
Nella and Bob at Dinner
Seafood Pasta
Seafood Pasta

There was much we didn’t see in and around Naples, but we had a great time with what we did see, and hope to return someday.

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