The grand semicircular Piazza del Plebiscito is named after the referendum that united southern Italy with Piedmont under the House of Savoy in the 19th century. A miraculous swath of peaceful public space in raucous Naples, the piazza is the site of two top monuments: The Royal Palace and San Francesco di Paola Church.
As Naples’ largest public space—and one of the largest in Italy—the Piazza del Plebiscito is a natural starting point for walking, Segway, bike, and food tours that head north, deeper into the historical center. These tours typically take some time to admire the Royal Palace, San Carlo Opera House, and Galleria Umberto I, all just a few steps away.
Travelers who would like to explore farther afield can take advantage of tours that combine visits to the piazza with excursions to Pompeii or the island retreats of Ischia and Procida.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Travelers who are not planners can get a satisfying introduction to the city by starting at the piazza and simply walking north on Via Toledo.
- The San Francesco di Paola Church is the highlight of the piazza.
- Concerts, protests, and other public events bring large crowds—it’s a good idea to check ahead of time if you’d like to avoid them.
How to Get There
Facing the Royal Palace and the San Carlo Opera House, the Piazza del Plebiscito is situated between the seafront and the southern terminus of Via Toledo. Travelers can take Metro line 1 to Municipio Station and walk south on Via Vittorio Emanuele III past Via San Carlo and Piazza Trieste e Trento. The E6, N1, N3, and R2 bus lines stop nearby.
When to Get There
The Piazza del Plebiscito is usually quiet but comes alive mid-afternoon, when local kids take advantage of the spacious, flat space to kick around soccer balls. Since the piazza is the city’s most prominent, it often hosts protests, concerts, and other public events that can get too crowded for comfort and are probably best avoided. New Year’s Eve celebrations and concerts, however, are a great way to see how Neapolitans party.
Top Sites Near Piazza del Plebiscito
In addition to the San Carlo Opera House, Royal Palace, and Umberto I Gallery, many of Naples’ most-visited monuments are located just a short walk from the piazza. The Angevin fortress and art gallery Castel Nuovo is located farther east along Corso Vittorio Emanuele III, and the Castel dell’Ovo lies south off the waterside promenade on Via Partenope. Look northwest from the center of the piazza toward the hills and you’ll see San Martino, a monastery housing one of the city’s finest art collections.