Royal Palace Naples. A must for a visit to the city

Monuments

If you decide to walk through the streets of Naples, and you are near the beautiful Piazza del Plebiscito, you will certainly notice two buildings of great importance, the Royal Palace and the neoclassical Basilica of San Francesco da Paola.

The Royal Palace of Naples was the historic residence first of the Spanish viceroys, then of the Bourbon dynasty, then briefly of the Bonaparte during the French rule and finally of the Savoy following the unification of Italy.

It was built by the will of the Spanish viceroy Fernandez Ruiz de Castro, designed by the architect Domenico Fontana, and the entire building can be considered as a material proof of the stratification of historical events that has occurred over time in the city.

It was built according to late Renaissance criteria, with the exception of the facade which has hints of classical style, such as columns and other ornamental elements.

On the facade have also been included in eight niches as many statues of some of the most important kings of Naples: Roger the Norman, Frederick II of Swabia, Charles I of Anjou, Alfonso I of Aragon, Charles V of Habsburg, Charles III of Bourbon, Joachim Murat and Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy.

On the main floor, which can be reached through a monumental staircase covered with marble and stucco, there are some of the most representative rooms of the palace, including the Royal Apartments, the Court Theatre, the Throne Room and the Palatine Chapel dedicated to the Assumption.

The Court Theatre is located in place of the Royal Hall that was used to host receptions and shows. The new project included white and gold stucco decorations and papier-mâché sculptures. The Royal Chapel of the Assumption, on the other hand, was included in Fontana’s original project, so it has always been used for religious services. The interior is in Baroque style, and among the furnishings stands out the altar, a masterpiece of the Neapolitan artist Dioniso Lazzari, who creates it through the use of marble with golden finishes. For a period it was also the seat of the Neapolitan School of Music and of the Masters of the Chapel.

These two rooms, the Theatre and the Chapel, were compromised by the bombing of the Second World War, so the current appearance is the result of the restorations carried out later.

The Royal Palace hides inside its splendid hanging gardens with plants of both local and exotic species.  They were reopened after a long restoration in November 2018, and now offer an exclusive walk on the sea and the gardens of the Molosiglio, a small public park in the San Ferdinando district.

In addition, you can admire the so-called New Arm, initially used as a wing for the holidays, but which currently occupies the rooms of the National Library Vittorio Emanuele II, a place that houses a collection of one and a half million volumes, including rare medieval manuscripts and papyri from Herculaneum.

And what about the English garden of the Palace, a must for a royal residence: randomly bordered flowerbeds, home to permanent works of art, local plants that mix with exotic plants to form an environment of colors and scents unique in its kind. In the same way, every corner of the Royal Palace still converges to reveal what was the magnificence due to a king, visit them and you will feel like such, you will not regret it.

INFORMATION

Historical apartment – Open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Ticket price: 4,00 € full price; 2,00 € reduced.

Courtyards and gardens – open to the public free of charge every day from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

*CLOSED on Wednesday, 25 April, 1 May, Nat