Piazza Bovio Naples

The Piazza Giovanni Bovio is a 19th century historic square in Naples. It was constructed in the second half of the 19th century, as part of an urban renewal plan known as the Risanamento. The square was completely renovated in 2011.

Piazza Bovio Naples

History and description

Piazza Bovio/King Vittotio Emanuele II, Naples
The Piazza Bovio and the statue of King Vittorio Emanuele II

Originally, the Piazza Giovanni Bovio was named after the Palazzo della Borsa, the most imposing building in the square. It is still not unusual for locals to refer to it as the Piazza Borsa.

The main street off the Piazza Bovio is the Corso Umberto I, a new thoroughfare also constructed during the Risanamento.

The square owes its current name to the philosopher Giovanni Bovio, who used to live in one of the buildings facing the square. The building in question is graced with a plaque with an epitaph.

Archaeologcal finds

When metro line A was constructed, several archaeological remains were found in the area. These include a Byzantine tower that had been built with material “borrowed” from a nearby honorary arch. Other finds are a block with reliefs depicting war trophies and a ship’s prow, and two marble slabs decorated with images of legionaries. The objects can be seen in the Museum metro stop (line 1).

Fountain go, fountain come

The Fountain of Neptune, which used to adorn the square, was moved to the Via Medina in 2001 (and has since been moved again, to the Piazza Municipio). A statue of King Vittorio Emanuele II, which until 2011 had graced the Piazza Municipio, was then moved to the Piazza Bovio. The occasion was the 150th annivesity of the Unification of Italy.

It is a sculpture group consisting of an equestrian statue of the king himself, the mermaid Parthenope (mythical founder of the city) and an eagle. Emilio Franceschi designed, but Alfonso Balzico sculpte, the 80-ton king. Salvatore Cepparulo was responsible for the mermaid.


The metro station in the square is called Università, referring to the many faculties in the surrounding area.

Piazza Bovio, Naples

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