Piazza del Plebiscito
Piazza del Plebiscito is located in the historic center of Naples, between the waterfront and Via Toledo. With an area of approximately 25.000 square meters, is one of the biggest squares in Italy. The name comes from the plebiscite of October 21, 1860, which declared the annexation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to the Kingdom of Sardinia. Until the seventeenth century, the Square was a widening irregular that housed the popular festivals, and took on a more regular form only after the construction of Basilica and the Royal Palace. During the Napoleonic period, at the behest of Joachim Murat and design by Leopoldo Laperutafu, the Square was completely redesigned: a series of palaces were built to frame the Doric hemicycle in lava stone and marble. At the center of the colonnade stands out, as dominant element, the Basilica of St. Francesco di Paola, built by Ferdinand I as a votive offering for having regained his kingdom; opposite, there is the Royal Palace. On the hemicycle overlook Salerno Palace and the Palace of the Prefecture. In front of the Basilica, rise the statues of Charles III and Ferdinand I of Bourbon, respectively works of Antonio Canova and his student, Antonio Calì.