The ancient street Via Toledo has to be one of the busiest streets of Naples, always teeming with people, colourful and full of life, day and night. Almost 1.2 kilometres in length, Via Toledo begins at Piazza Dante and ends near Piazza del Plebiscito. It is lined with shops, art galleries, restaurants and palaces.
One of the street’s most famous palaces is the “Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano”, a stunning Baroque-style building commissioned by Giovanni Zevallos, Duke of Ostuni in 1646 and which still displays the family heraldic shield. The Palace has been renovated and modernised over the years and is now a public museum and gallery, sporting a stunning marble staircase, a variety of remarkable 19th century frescoes and a glass-ceilinged public hall. The Galleria Umberto I is another of the famous street’s residents. Named after Umberto I who was the king of Italy at the time of its construction, and made up of a cross-shaped structure covered by a glass dome braced by 16 metal ribs, the building is now part of the UNESCO listings of the Historic Centre of Naples. From shops that sell all the latest merchandise to restaurants serving delicious, authentic, local repast, Via Toledo offers a perfect example of Neapolitan life, old and new. Even its famous three flavoured ice cream can vouch for that.
Naples International Airport is situated right on the edge of town, and a taxi ride to Via Toledo shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. The city’s Metro serves Via Toledo from Piazza Garibaldi is under the Central Station. The four funicular railways, Centrale, Chiaia, Mergellina and Montesanto, are also an enjoyable way of getting around the city.
Via Toledo was created in 1536 by the Spanish viceroy Pedro Álvarez de Toledo. He was the fifth Marquis of Villafranca and Commander in Chief of a Neapolitan army.