Piazzetta Nilo, a walk in Naples

“Napule è na camminata” sang Pino Daniele (one of the greatest performers of Neapolitan music). Yes, a walk in the alleys and among the people of Naples is the best way to discover the treasures and wonders of this city. From Via Roma, passing through San Gregorio Armeno and Spaccanapoli, there are many small details that attract the attention of tourists and travelers, different points of historical and artistic interest among churches, palaces, chapels, fountains and sculptures. It is in this way, walking through the narrow streets of the historic center of Naples that you can find yourself in front of a small pearl of the ancient world: the Statue of the god Nile in “Corpo di Napoli” square.

This very ancient sculpture dates back to the Greco-Roman era, when many Egyptians from Alexandria of Egypt settled in the area and wanted to erect a statue that recalled the prosperity and wealth of the Nile River. The sculpture, which gives its name to the adjacent square, is therefore the marble representation of the god Nile lying on the base and leaning against a sphinx, holding in his right hand a Cornucopia, a symbol of abundance.

A small curiosity, to give the name to the wide where actually resides the monument instead, is a misinterpretation of what the work would represent. In fact, it was initially discovered headless and it was also for this reason that it was misinterpreted by local chronicles as the representation of the city that sucks its children, hence the name Corpus of Naples.

It was only after several studies that actually clarified who the subject was, that at the end of the eighteenth century she was given back her face, that of a bearded man as it should have been originally.

Recently the work has undergone another restoration that has restored to the god its original appearance thanks to the fundraiser “Let’s put our heads in place”. The slogan referred to the head of the sphinx that was stolen after the war and then dispersed on the black market, let’s say that this sculpture has never been lucky with his heads. In any case, it was found in 2013 by the Nucleo Tutela del Corpo dei Carabinieri among the works of a collector in Austria. More than 2000 people participated in the collection as evidence of the strong bond between Naples, his body and his children.


INFORMAZIONI Indirizzo: Largo Corpo di Napoli Visitabile liberamente[:]