Piazza del Plebiscito
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|Piazza del Plebiscito|
View of Piazza del Plebiscito on the Basilica side
|Design||Leopoldo Laperuta, Antonio de Simone|
|Surface||Vesuvian Volcanic Rock|
|Dedicated to||Plebiscite of the 21st October 1860|
It is named after the plebiscite taken on October 2, 1860 that brought Naples into the unified Kingdom of Italy under the House of Savoy. It is located very closely to the gulf of Naples, and bounded on the east by the Royal Palace and on the west by the church of San Francesco di Paola with colonnades extending to both sides. Other surrounding buildings include the Palazzo Salerno and, its mirror, the Prefecture Palace (on the left arm of the church).
In the first years of the 19th century, the King of Naples, Murat (Napoleon's brother-in-law), planned the square and building as a tribute to the emperor. Soon after Napoleon was finally dispatched to St Helena, the Bourbons were restored to the throne, and Ferdinand I continued the construction but converted the finished product into the church one sees today. He dedicated it to Saint Francis of Paola, who had stayed in a monastery on this site in the 15th century. The church is reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome. The façade is fronted by a portico resting on six columns and two Ionic pillars. Inside, the church is circular with two side chapels. The dome is 53 metres high.
Occasionally, the square is used for open-air concerts. Artists who have performed here include Elton John, Maroon 5 and Muse. In May 2013, Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band gave a concert at the venue.
Piazza del Plebiscito with Royal Palace
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