Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples

pink plebiscite square
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Piazza del Plebiscito (in the past Largo di Palazzo or Foro Regio) is one of the most beautiful and characteristic squares of Naples whose name is due to plebiscite which, in October of the 1860, had established the annexation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to the Kingdom of Sardinia.

Although in the sixteenth century the square was already present as a widening of a Palazzo Vicereale, the true story of Piazza del Plebiscito begins only when the Palazzo Reale was completed, when Domenico Fontana, one of the famous architects of the palace, decided to design a "Largo di Palazzo" that it turned no more towards the "Toledana road", but towards the nascent open space, built as if it were a scenic architectural backdrop that made the city dialogue with the opening towards the sea.

Piazza del Plebiscito has one very particular shape. Its structure is half semicircular (the one that starts from the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola in the middle of the square surrounded by the colonnade) and half rectangular, from the closing of the hemicycle to the Royal Palace.

Located in the historic center of the city, between the Lungomare and Via Toledo, the square is about 25000 square meters wide. For this reason it is often used as a location for large events, such as concerts or fairs.

Statues and palaces of Piazza del Plebiscito

In Piazza del Plebiscito there are important statues and palaces, in addition to the famous and spectacular Royal Pontifical Basilica of San Francesco di Paola, characterized by its semicircular colonnade.

  • The equestrian statues of Ferdinando I and Carlo III
  • Palace of the Prefecture
  • Palazzo Salerno
  • Royal Palace of Naples

The rhyme of the statues of the Royal Palace

The nursery rhyme about the statues of Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, also known as "the skit of the 4 kings of Naples“, is a funny popular story that concerns the different positions and movements of the statues placed on the façade of the Royal Palace.

A particularly hilarious little story that he puts on stage an imaginary dialogue between the statues of Charles V of Habsburg, Charles III of Bourbon, Joachim Murat and Vittorio Emanuele II. Here's how it happens:

The skit of the 4 kings of Naples

  • Charles V of Habsburg, with a disdainful expression, points to a point on the road and shouts: “Who pissed the dirt?"(“Who peed on the floor here?”)
  • Charles III of Bourbon, with a solemn and indignant air, replies: “I don't know anything“. (“I know nothing about it!”)
  • Gioacchino Murat, placing a hand on his chest, boldly exclaims: “It was me, and now what are you doing?". (“It was me and now what do you want to do?”)
  • At this point, he intervenes Vittorio Emanuele II angry, he draws his sword and threatens: “Now to cut off your vice". (“Now I'll cut it off, so you can get rid of the habit”)

Cross blindfold Piazza del Plebiscito

As tradition dictates, once you arrive in Piazza del Plebiscito, tourists but also the Neapolitans themselves try their hand at a particular game: cross the square blindfolded.

The challenge consists of let a person blindfolded by Palazzo Reale walk towards the two horse statues placed at the center of the square. A mission, apparently, impossible, given the natural slope of the square which will always tend to turn the blindfolded man into a rectilinear path towards the two statues. Inevitably the brave one will be on the other side of the square, to the right or left, without even realizing it.

According to legend it is one curse launched by Queen Margherita di Savoia that forced the prisoners to cross the square blindfolded to save their lives. But nobody, of course, could do it. The most logical explanation concerns, instead, the paving of sanpietrini that covers the square, arranged in a non-rectilinear way, so as to lead anyone (obviously blindfolded) from one side of the square to the other without ever going on straight.


The traditional challenge of Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples and the curse of Queen Margherita #Naples #PiazzadelPlebiscito #travel #Italy #traveltiktok

♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys - Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

Information about Piazza del Plebiscito

How to Get There:

By subway
Subway 1 Line, Municipio station, walk along Via San Carlo and Piazza Trieste e Trento (route duration: approximately 7 minutes)

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