09 Jun 2017

Piazza Trieste and Trento, this is what it was called a time

The Neapolitan toponymy has changed several times, and for the most varied reasons, over time.
We have already seen the quarrels that have affected via Toledo / via Roma, one of the roads leading to our Gran Caffè; today, however, we deal with another of our dear and near places: Piazza Trieste and Trento.


What we now call Piazza Trieste and Trento is certainly famous for the “artichoke fountain” that fills it in the center: it is one of the monumental fountains of Naples, built by Achille Lauro during the period of its municipal council, between 1952 and 1957.

But, besides our presence on the west side, on the ground floor of the prefecture building, we find, on its margins, the San Carlo theatre, the Royal Palace, the Cardinale Zapata’s palace, with its “Giuseppe Caravita Principe di Sirignano” Museum. , dedicated to Neapolitan artists of the past two centuries, and the seventeenth-century church of San Ferdinando, incorporated in the Umberto I Gallery, from which this place, initially, took its name.

This square, among other things, has changed not only denomination but also position!

Piazza Trieste e Trento antica

Until 1843, in fact, Piazza San Ferdinando stood where today there is a large space between the San Carlo theater and the royal palace, a place designated to what was placed, obliquely, between the two structures:  the viceroy palace, also called Old palace , built in 1540 on a project by Ferdinando Manlio and Giovanni Benincasa, at the behest of Viceroy Don Pedro of Toledo, who was shot down in 1837, when Ferdinando II of the Two Sicilies (Bourbon) conceived a project to enlarge the Royal Palace which provided for this “loss “.

It was only in 1919 that this square took the name we know today, at the behest of the Savoy, in celebration of the Italian victory in the First World War.

Now as then, Piazza Trieste and Trento is irregular in shape, but has been transformed several times, until the end of the nineteenth century, before taking on the appearance and connotations of today.

Another piece of history of Naples, who lived together with Kings, Queens, wealthy men but who also witnessed the transition from the Monarchy to the Republic, attending all phases of Neapolitan life, from the nineteenth century until today.