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Piazza San Domenico Maggiore

Surrounded by palaces and a 13th-century church, this historic square is a great place to have coffee and a pastry and watch how the locals relax.

Enjoy simply watching people in the Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, one of Naples’ most attractive and bustling squares. Students, tourists, street vendors and musicians keep the scene interesting at almost every hour of the day. Take in the atmosphere while admiring the surrounding buildings, which are some of the city’s finest.

The square is dominated by the apse of the cathedral for which it is named, the Maggiore San Domenico. Built between 1283 and 1324, this church has had several facelifts, including a Baroque remodeling in 1670. In the 19th century it was restored to its original Gothic style. Inside you can see the remains of the very first church that stood here, a modest Romanesque chapel dating back to the 10th century. There are also several impressive works of Renaissance art, such as frescoes by Cavalli and copies of originals by Caravaggio.

You won’t miss the tall monument in the center of the square. Known locally as the Guglia di San Domenico, this obelisk was constructed as a token of gratitude to St. Domenico for delivering the city from the great plague of 1656. Baroque reliefs decorate the sides of the base, and a statue of St. Domenico stands at the top, looking out toward the city, protecting the church from further danger.

Also of note are the palaces that line the other three sides of the square. In the 17th century, the Neapolitan aristocracy began to build their homes here. The most interesting of these is the Palazzo Petrucci, which still has its original entrance and courtyard and is now home to a famous restaurant.

The soul of the square, however, comes from those who make their way here to meet, sell their wares, or simply relax in its beautiful surroundings. You can easily spend an afternoon here browsing the vintage shops, stopping for a pizza or admiring the treats in the famous cake shops. Be sure to take your time over coffee as you observe the comings and goings of Neapolitan life.

The Piazza San Domenico Maggiore is located close to the center of Naples and is open daily year-round.


Guide to Exploring around Piazza San Domenico Maggiore


Best Lodging Options Near Piazza San Domenico Maggiore

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UNAHOTELS Napoli

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    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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    Decumani Hotel De Charme

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    Via San Giovanni Maggiore, Pignatelli 15, Naples, NA
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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      Artemisia Domus $88
      Artemisia Domus

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      13 Via dei Carrozzieri a Monteoliveto, Naples
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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        Hotel San Pietro

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        Via San Pietro ad Aram, 18, Naples, NA
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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          Hotel Real Orto Botanico $65
          Hotel Real Orto Botanico

          Hotel Real Orto Botanico

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            Piazza Bovio 22

            Piazza Bovio 22

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              B&B Made in Naples $62
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                Vico II Quercia 4, Floor 2, Naples
                   
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