Piazza del Plebiscito

Square in Naples

Piazza Del Plebiscito, Naples
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Argo Navis

Piazza del Plebiscito is a prominent public square in the heart of Naples, Italy. Its name derives from the plebiscite of October 21, 1860, which brought Naples under the unified Kingdom of Italy, governed by the House of Savoy. Situated near the Gulf of Naples, this spacious square is flanked by significant architectural landmarks including the Royal Palace to the east and the church of San Francesco di Paola to the west, notable for its twin colonnades that extend outward.

Initially conceived in the early 19th century by Murat, King of Naples and Napoleon’s brother-in-law, the square was intended as a grand tribute to the emperor. However, following Napoleon’s exile to St. Helena and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, Ferdinand I altered its purpose, dedicating the newly constructed church to Saint Francis of Paola, who had a historical connection to the site. The church’s design is inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, featuring a portico supported by six columns and two Ionic pillars, with a high dome and a circular interior that includes two side chapels.

By 1963, the increasing number of vehicles in Naples led to the square’s conversion into a public parking lot, which significantly altered its character. This use persisted until the 1990s when, in preparation for the 1994 G7 summit, extensive renovations were undertaken. These included replacing the asphalt with traditional paving stones and eventually pedestrianizing the entire area.

Today, Piazza del Plebiscito not only stands as a testament to Naples’ rich historical tapestry but also serves as a vibrant cultural venue. It hosts open-air concerts featuring both renowned Italian artists like Franco Battiato and Pino Daniele and international stars such as Elton John, Maroon 5, and Muse. In May 2013, it was the setting for a memorable performance by Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band, further cementing its status as a central fixture in Naples’ cultural scene.

The Piazza del Plebiscito appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Naples!

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Visiting Piazza del Plebiscito


24 Hours



Address: Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes
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