Piazza del Gesù Nuovo


Flanked by the spiky Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo and the Basilica di Santa Chiara, this lively square is one of Naples' most beautiful. For hundreds of years it was the principal western entrance to the city, but it wasn't until two major modifications in the 16th century that the piazza took on its current proportions.

Firstly, Ferrante Sanseverino knocked down the houses that were blocking his beautiful 15th-century palazzo (later to become the Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo) and in one fell swoop cleared the square's northern flank. Some years later, Spanish viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo demolished the Angevin city gate and once again moved the city walls westwards.

At its centre soars Giuseppe Genuino's ornate Guglia dell'Immacolata, a statue of the Virgin Mary built between 1747 and 1750. On 8 December, the feast of the Immacolata, a fireman scrambles up to the top to rest a giant wreath of flowers on the statue.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Naples attractions

1. Guglia dell'Immacolata

0.01 MILES

Soaring high above beautiful Piazza del Gesù Nuovo is Giuseppe Genuino's lavish Guglia dell'Immacolata, an obelisk built between 1747 and 1750. On 8…

2. Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo

0.03 MILES

The extraordinary Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo is an architectural Kinder Surprise. Its shell is the 15th-century, Giuseppe Valeriani–designed facade of Palazzo…

3. Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara

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Vast, Gothic and cleverly deceptive, the mighty Basilica di Santa Chiara stands at the heart of this tranquil monastery complex. The church was severely…

4. Palazzo Orsini in Gravina

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5. La Bottega del Mandolino

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6. Piazza Dante

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7. Port'Alba

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A Mediterranean Diagon Alley, Port'Alba is an atmospheric porthole into the centro storico, best experienced on weekday afternoons. Crammed with bookshops…

8. Chiesa di Sant'Anna dei Lombardi

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This magnificent church is testament to the close links that once existed between the Neapolitan Aragonese and the Florentine Medici dynasty. One…