Piazza del Gesù, Naples Italy

Piazza del Gesù Nuovo

Coming from Via Toledo, your introduction to this world is the cramped, disorderly Piazza del Gesù Nuovo. It's decorated by the gaudiest and most random of Naples' monuments, the Guglia della immacolata. A guglia (pinnacle) is a kind of rococo obelisk, dripping with frills, saints and putti.

The unsightly and unfinished façade behind the Guglia, covered with pyramidal extrusions in dark basalt, belongs to the church of Gesù Nuovo. As strange as it is, the façade which was originally part of a late 15th-century palace, has become one of the landmarks of Naples. The interior is typically lavish Neapolitan Baroque, gloriously overdone in acres of colored marbles and frescoes, some by Solimena.

One of his best works is here, above the main door inside. Dating from 1725, it depicts three angels driving the Syrian minister Eliodorus out of the Temple of Jerusalem. In the second chapel on the right you will see a bronze statue of Naples'newest saint - Saint Giuseppe Moscati.

He was a doctor who lectured at Naples University and otherwise devoted himself to caring for the poor, and died on 12 April 1927.


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MMXXIII Tèmperàntia Àngelus Sol