Piazza del Mercato has been one of the most important public marketplaces in Naples since ancient Rome. Though the piazza suffered heavy bombardment during World War II and is now ringed with rather dismal postwar buildings, the vibrant soul of Naples lives on in the bustling street market in the square’s center.
This busy piazza mercato in the center of Old Town Naples became the city's main market square in the 13th century. It was used for public executions from the 13th to 19th centuries and was also the site of a 16th-century revolt that ended with the public execution of 200 dissidents here. Given its historic and architectural importance, Piazza del Mercato is best visited with an expert tour guide as part of a walking tour of Naples attractions, including Castel dell'Ovo, the Royal Palace, Cathedral of San Gennaro, and the lively streets of the historic center.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The market vendors sell an eclectic mishmash of food and household items.
- If you plan on visiting the churches located in Market Square during your Naples tour, remember to cover your shoulders and knees and speak softly while inside.
- Another of Naples' most popular outdoor markets, specializing in seafood, is held each day at Porta Nolana.
How to Get There
The central Market Square is located in the heart of Naples, about a 10-minute walk from the Piazza Garibaldi train station. Naples is the capital of Campania, a transportation hub and easy day trip from Capri and the Amalfi Coast.
When to Get There
The weekly market takes place each Monday from 8am to 2pm, unless there is a special seasonal market or event scheduled. If you would like to peruse the market stalls, plan to visit on a Monday morning. Otherwise, the square is best visited on sunny but mild days any time of year.
Cathedrals in Market Square
Tucked among the postwar buildings lining Market Square are three important churches: the gothic Church of Sant'Eligio Maggiore; the Basilica of Santa Maria del Carmine Maggiore, a unique example of Neapolitan Baroque architecture; and the neoclassical Chiesa di Santa Croce e Purgatorio al Mercato. There are also two recently restored 18th-century obelisk-shaped fountains, known as the Fontane del Seguro.