Rags to Riches: Piazza del Plebiscito II

July 22, 2015 / Places
Napoli, Campania
2007.11.04 23 officer, Pzza Pleb

It’s still very much in search of its own identity, this civic space. One might say: “so goes the piazza, so goes the city”. In a rags to riches and back again story, the area was once a modest fairground of the people and had the name Largo di Palazzo. Claimed by the Spanish for their palace, the French and Bourbons who came after redesigned the piazza in their own image. Later, it took on the name Piazza del Plebiscito in honour of the 1860 plebiscite (vote) that annexed the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to Sardinia, part of the process that led to the unification of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

The 1950s relegated the piazza to a bus depot, the 1960s to a car park, which remained until the G7 came to town in 1994. A year later, Mimmo Paladino’s enormous installation piece Salt Mountain was erected in the piazza, triggering a cultural renaissance that has been revitalising the city ever since.

2012.06.23 06 One Direction fans Piazza del Plebiscito

Today, Piazza Plebiscito is a pedestrian area, a pass-through and a playground – code for watch out for flying soccer balls – and it’s a 25,000 square metre open air arena set between the city and the sea.

2012.02.19 20 Piazza del Plebiscito Naples
2008.06.13 22 Int. Show Jumping, Pzza del Plebiscito

In recent years it has hosted some of the city’s biggest events, and has served as the stage for some of the best names in music – Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Andrea Bocelli, Sting and Pino Daniele, to name just a few.

2007.09.07 05 Piedigrotta Pleb
2006.06.25 12 Sting concert
2009.09.11 15 Elton John concert, Naples
2012.04.06 03 Naples

This is an amuse-bouche for a brand new book! Bonnie Alberts, Barbara Zaragoza, Erin Romano and Penny have created the Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples! Visit partenopepress.com and facebook.com/NUGuidetoNaples to find out more.

Penny Ewles-Bergeron

by Penny Ewles-Bergeron

Author, artist… celebrating the many good things in Naples.

6 Responses to “Rags to Riches: Piazza del Plebiscito II”

  1. Anne Robichaud

    Thanks, Penny ..and you KNOW how much I love Napoli.
    ..and I left my heart in Piazza del Plebiscito: the night of Pino Daniele’s funeral memorial service. Che emozione in this piazza of grand emotions.

  2. Sandi Spector

    Great article for those of us that love Napoli. The book “Napoli Unplugged Guide’ that I just got this year is The Best guide to Naples!

  3. Mary Jo Kolb

    Anne, I noticed there were a lot of women in shorts in one of the photos. Has Italy “relaxed” about this dress choice since our last visit there? Does it vary from region to region or city to city?

  4. Penny Ewles-Bergeron

    Hello all – Anne, you lost your heart to Napoli some time ago, I know! Just like me. Sandi, thrilled that you are enjoying our book. Mary Jo (leaping into the conversation), in our early years in Naples say 2005-09, it was rare to see girls or women in shorts. Later it became more common and especially for the younger girls like these One Direction fans. :-)

  5. Victoria De Maio

    Grazie for sharing GOOD news about Naples! I was there, only for a day, recently after many years and reminded of its many treasures (including the pizza, of course!)


Leave a Reply