The street was created by Spanish viceroy Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, 2nd Marquis of Villafranca in 1536; Don Pedro charge Ferdinando Manlio, an Italian architect, who also built Quartieri Spagnoli. Among, the buildings fronting the street are the Galleria Umberto I, the Teatro Augusteo, and the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Via Toledo's name was changed as a political gesture in 1870. It was then renamed Via Roma già via Toledo (i.e., "formerly via Toledo"), in celebration of a Unified Italy and as a symbolic way of washing off centuries of foreign (i.e., Spanish) control of Naples. The “già via Toledo” was a compromise between proponents of the old name and new. Gradually it became just Via Roma through the 1970s, but in the 1980s it reclaimed its former name – Via Toledo. Still some people, especially older people who always knew it as Via Roma, still have a hard time calling it Via Toledo.
- Marrone, Romualdo (2004). Le Strade di Napoli (in Italian). 2. Rome: Newton & Compton. ISBN 88-541-0068-4.
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