R4TD37 Hustle and bustle around Obelisco San Domenico at Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, Centro Storico quarter, Naples, Campania, Italy
large, group, of, people, small, business, Italian, culture, candid, city, life, real, people, crowd, on, the, move, walking, crowded, Campania, Centro, Storico, Europe, Italy, Mezzogiorno, Naples, Obelisco, San, Domenico, Piazza, San, Domenico, Maggiore, Southern, Europe, Southern, Italy, Spacca-Napoli, Spaccanapoli, UNESCO, World, Heritage, Site, accidental, people, architecture, bustle, cityscape, cloudy, flagstone, horizontal, hustle, incidental, people, overcast, passersby, pedestrian, area, pedestrian, zone, street, scene, urban, scene, small, business, commercial, commerce, street, market, busy, city

Alamy Stock Photo

Piazza San Domenico Maggiore


Star of this operatic square is the 18th-century Guglia di San Domenico. The work of Cosimo Fanzago, Francesco Antonio Picchiatti and Domenico Antonio Vaccaro, the obelisk honours its namesake saint for stamping out the plague epidemic of 1656. Unfaithful Maria d'Avalos and her lover, Don Fabrizio, weren't quite as lucky – Palazzo dei Di Sangro is where Maria's jealous husband, Neapolitan musician Carlo Gesualdo, murdered the lovebirds in 1590.

Altogether more upbeat is the Gothic Chiesa di San Domenico Maggiore, whose curious nave flanks the piazza's northern edge. If you can see a face in the facade, you're not having visions: it was an intentional add-on, created to jazz up the church's derrière after the piazza's creation.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Naples attractions

1. Guglia di San Domenico

Taking centre stage on elegant, operatic Piazza di San Domenico Maggiore is this 18th-century obelisk. The work of Cosimo Fanzago, Francesco Antonio…

2. Lello Esposito

0.03 MILES

Dividing his time between Naples and New York, the infectiously charming Lello Esposito (who speaks very little English) is intrigued by Neapolitan…

3. Palazzo dei Di Sangro

0.03 MILES

It's in this 16th-century palazzo that Neapolitan musician Carlo Gesualdo murdered his unfaithful wife, Maria d'Avalos, and her handsome lover, Don…

4. Chiesa di San Domenico Maggiore

0.03 MILES

Completed in 1324 on the orders of Charles I of Anjou, this was the royal church of the Angevins. Pietro Cavallini's frescoes in the Cappella Brancaccio…

5. Chiesa di Sant'Angelo a Nilo

0.04 MILES

This modest 14th-century church houses one of the first great artworks to grace the Neapolitan Renaissance – the majestic tomb of Cardinal Rinaldo…

6. Cappella Sansevero

0.06 MILES

It's in this Masonic-inspired baroque chapel that you'll find Giuseppe Sanmartino's incredible sculpture, Cristo velato (Veiled Christ), its marble veil…

7. Maradona Shrine

0.07 MILES

Bar Nilo is home to this tongue-in-cheek shrine dedicated to Argentine football player and ex-Napoli deity Diego Armando Maradona. Stuck to an epic poem…

8. Lisa Weber Laboratorio di Ceramica

0.08 MILES

This is the earthy workshop of Swiss-expat ceramicist Lisa Weber, whose creations span whimsical translucent candle holders and Pompeii-esque terracotta…