Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Spanish Quarter of Naples

The Spanish Quarter is the result of a major urban planning project by Don Pedro in the mid 1500's. The grid system of streets moves the buildings up the side of San Martino. All the east-west streets lead directly up steep slopes and run perpendicular to Via Roma, a very important street even today. The streets became very steep and there were many stairs that had to be taken to make it to the end of the streets. The steepness added to the already impressive heights of the buildings in this quarter. The north-south streets were laid each on a different level as they progressed upwards. These were secondary streets but created the grid that is very evident in plan. The area today is not very pedestrian friendly and not friendly to strangers. Despite the dangers of present today, it used to be a very nice area of Naples because the straight streets made it easy to patrol. Walking through this area was an experience architecturally. It was impressive to understand the grid of streets and how they moved up the side of the mountain.

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