Its elegance heightened by the spruced-up pedestrianized piazza on which it stands, this great ceremonial gateway is one of Naples's finest landmarks of the Renaissance era. Ferdinand II of Aragon commissioned the Florentine sculptor and architect Giuliano da Maiano to build this white triumphal arch—perhaps in competition with the Arco di Trionfo found on the facade of the city's Castel Nuovo—in the late 15th century. As at Castel Nuovo, this arch is framed by two
peperino stone towers, here nicknamed Honor and Virtue, while the statue of Saint Gennaro keeps watch against Mount Vesuvius in the distance. Across Via Carbonara stands the medieval bulk of the Castel Capuano, once home to Angevin and Aragonese rulers until it was transformed in 1540 by the Spanish viceroy into law courts, a function it still fulfills today. On Sunday this is a meeting place for Naples's extracommunitari (immigrants), who chat in their native tongues—from Ukrainian and Polish to Twi and Igbo.
Piazza San Francesco, Naples, 80139, Italy