Via Toledo and Spanish neighborhoods

Il centro antico

« Childbirth. I will not forget either the Via Toledo or all the other districts of Naples; in my eyes it is, without any comparison, the most beautiful city in the universe ».

Via Toledo has always been considered the most important artery of Naples and not by chance the French writer Stendhal underlines its beauty. Via Toledo starts from Piazza Dante and ends at Piazza Triste and Trento creating the direct connection between the area of ​​the decumani and Piazza del Plebiscito. Descending towards the sea, on the right side of via Toledo, the Spanish Quarters develop.

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Via Toledo

Via Toledo is about 1.2 km long km . The route starts with Piazza Dante and ends in Piazza Trieste e Trento , in the sequence of the road other arteries of considerable importance branch off, squares, churches and palaces. The street is one of the stops of Neapolitan shopping and cultural life since the XVIth century. Over the centuries its fame has been increased through the Grand Tour trips and some quotations in Neapolitan songs.

On May 15, 1848, the street was the scene of the repression put in place by Ferdinand II against the Neapolitan liberals who defended the newly established constitution, there were raised barricades conquered by the departments of Swiss army mercenaries with numerous deaths and the subsequent looting of Palazzo Cirella. October 18th of 1870 to the 1980 the street is called Via Roma in honor of the neocapitale of the Kingdom of Italy .

The road sees in 2012 the inauguration of the station Toledo of the Metropolitana di Napoli and is, starting from via Armando Diaz up to piazza Trieste e Trento , entirely used for pedestrian transit.

Piazza Dante

Piazza Dante is the beginning of via Toledo and, through access to Port'Alba on the north side of the square, the same flows together the Decumano major. It was originally called Largo del Mercatello, since it was held there, since the 1588 , one of the two markets of the city, differentiating itself with the diminutive market from the largest and oldest of Piazza del Mercato.

The square assumed the current structure in the second half of the 18th century , with the intervention of the architect Luigi Vanvitelli ; the commissioned "Foro Carolino" was to be a commemorative monument of the sovereign Carlo III di Borbone. From 1843 the central niche is the entrance to the Jesuit boarding school, which has become the 1861 National Convitto Vittorio Emanuele II , housed in the rooms of the ancient convent of San Sebastiano .

At the center of the square stands a large statue of Dante Alighieri , by sculptors Tito Angelini and Tommaso Solari junior, inaugurated on July 13th 1871 (date from which the square is named after the great poet). Again, there are four monumental churches at the square: counterclockwise from the north that of the Immaculate Healthcare Workers, Santa Maria di Caravaggio, of San Domenico Soriano and San Michele a Port'Alba.

Piazza Trieste and Trento

Highly relevant road network, here they converge via Toledo , via Chiaia and via San Carlo; moreover it is the main point of access to the nearby, and much more famous, piazza del Plebiscito. Piazza Trieste and Trento assumed its current name in the 1919 in celebration of the Italian victory in the First World War , while the current structure is affected by the transformations urban planning implemented until the end of the Nineteenth century.

Irregularly shaped, the Teatro San Carlo , the Palazzo Reale , the Palazzo del Palazzo Cardinal Zapat a and the seventeenth century church of San Ferdinando , incorporated in the same lot of the Galleria Umberto I . At the center of the square is the Fontana del Carciofo , desired by Achille Lauro in the fifties of the 20th century. On the west side, on the ground floor of the Prefecture building, is the famous Caffè Gambrinus , where it is still preserved the decoration created by some important artists active between the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, as Gabriele D'Annunzio and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.

Toledo - Station of the art

Toledo was designed by the Spanish designer Óscar Tusquets Blanca and was inaugurated on September 17th 2012. In the external area of ​​the stop there are three hexagonal pyramids, covered with ocher and blue panels, that provide light natural to the first level of the station. Also in Via Diaz there is the corten steel statue of William Kentridge , The six-meter-high rider from Toledo, inaugurated December 15th 2012. The elevator (clad in glass panels) is positioned near the escalator, provided with a corrugated roof, and is followed by a particular walk formed by large orange circles and equipped with seats made of volcanic stone .

The remains of the walls of the Aragonese age are integrated into the architectural plan, while the cast a plowed Neolithic field, found during the excavation work of the station, is exhibited at the Stazione Museo , in " Neapolis Station ", in the corridor connecting with National Archaeological Museum of Naples. The atrium is characterized by two mosaics by William Kentridge created by the mosaic artist Costantino Aureliano Buccolieri. The first, Central Railway for the city of Naples, The second mosaic, located above the escalators, is titled Bonifica of the lower districts of Naples in relation to the metropolitan railway. As the depth increases, the path is marked by the alternation of the colors that mark the various levels of the airport: in the atrium the floor and walls are black, which recalls the asphalt of contemporary civilization, descending become color ocra (alluding to the warm colors of the earth and the tufo Neapolitan) while in the binary plan they become blue like the sea and the abysses.

On the quays floor, there is a monumental underground environment, dominated by the ovoid mouth of the Crater de luz , a large cone that crosses all the floors of the station. Looking inside, it is possible to recognize the sunlight and a play of LED lights, Relative light, by Robert Wilson. Robert Wilson, a multifaceted artist engaged in various fields of expression, from theatrical direction to video art, has also realized , in the corridor that leads to the quay floor, an enthralling environmental installation, twenty-four meters long and entitled "By the sea ... you and me": two long LED light boxes that reproduce the image of a sea just rippled by the continuous movement of the waves, obtained thanks to the use of lenticular technology .

Zevallos Palace

The building was erected between the 1637 and 1639 from Cosimo Fanzago up will of the Spanish family Zevallos , duchi of Ostuni , who wanted a noble palace for them on via Toledo , failing to build one on the neighbors as crowded Quartieri Spagnoli. The first owner of the building was Giovanni Zevallos .

The works composing the Palazzo Zevallos Galleries are on display intof the rooms on the main floor with chronological criteria. These are made up of paintings ranging from Neapolitan Seicento to those of the nineteenth century which are part of the Posillipo school and Resina , until you get to sculptures and drawings in pencil and charcoal of Vincenzo Gemito executed between the nineteenth and twentieth century, which was dedicated whole room. Among the most important pieces of the collection is the latest work by Caravaggio , the Martirio di sant'Orsola , from 1610

Basilica of the Holy Spirit

The Basilica of the Holy Spirit was built in 1562. The exterior of the church is characterized by a sober and imposing baroque façade , from whose body rises one of the largest and most elegant domes in the city. To the left of the façade is the Palazzo del Conservatorio dello Spirito Santo , where the monumental baroque portal remains as original architectural elements. the inner courtyard and the oratory of the Confraternita dei Verdi on the right, where the altar is a canvas of the Nativity of Giacomo Farelli . On the right of the church there is still the vico that runs parallel to the building, the oratory of the Confraternity of Whites, where the main altar is a Majesty of All Saints of Girolamo Learned .

Spanish Neighborhoods

The neighborhoods arise around the XVIth century in order to receive the Spanish military garrisons destined to the repression of possible revolts of the Neapolitan population . Since the time of their birth, the Spanish quarters presented criminality phenomena and above all prostitution, linked to the continuous search for "fun" by the Spanish soldiers.

More recently the area has begun to know a modest rehabilitation. Thanks to the particular urban layout, the new shops and restaurants, the small fish and fruit and vegetable markets that are stationed inside, at the opening of the new underground station and, in general, to the folklore that the area preserves, the Quartieri Spagnoli they are not rarely sought after by photos of curious and tourists from all over the world.

The Quartieri Spagnoli represent a nucleus of artistic and historical importance of the city of Naples, which offers also several ideas of popular culture and the lifestyle of Naples, as, for example, the presence of small craft shops, or of "Neapolitan bass" , or, again, of small and dark alleys characterized by high stairways and hanging clothes to dry between the buildings.

Naples Underground

The term "subterranean Naples" indicates the dense and complex network of tunnels and cavities , which are located in the Neapolitan subsoil and which form a real city that traces the surface city. The underground city stretches under the whole historical center, to it are linked myths and legends still alive today in the collective imagination of the Neapolitans.

The galleries below Naples have been used in different ways over the centuries. Born after the extraction of tuff for the construction of the city, they were then used as aqueducts and as a shelter at the time of the Second World War. The subsoil of Naples fascinates and impresses with the grandeur of the cavities, and therefore of the spaces, and for the maze of cunicoli that intersect for several kilometers under the streets and buildings.

Get off with us in the bowels of the city to discover its history and mysteries through the city's most fascinating underground tour. The guided tour is suitable to all and is particularly welcome to children. It is a real time travel of 2400 years starting from one of the alleys of the neighborhoods Spaniards, near Piazza del Plebiscito, and ends in Via Chiaia a few steps from the meeting point of Piazza Trieste and Trento. The entrance to the underground Naples is in the Spanish quarters, precisely in vico S. Anna of Palazzo 52, close to via Toledo and the central Piazza del Plebiscito and Piazza Trieste e Trento where the meeting point is located (outside of the Caffè Gambrinus) from where the visit to the underground Naples starts.