The Finest Building Never Finished
The places that "feel" the least crowded in downtown Naples (although the whole city is teeming) are those that were laid out symmetrically in square blocks, either in the historic center of the city (laid out by the Greeks, 2500 years ago) or in the Spanish Quarters (laid out originally to garrison Spanish troops 450 years ago). Other than that, there are areas that sprawl every which way, streets angled oddly, alleys that lead nowhere, squares that are every shape but square —a whole medieval clutter. It's as if the angel of the Lord in charge of passing out cities at the time had tripped and spilled parts of cities and just let the pieces lie and take root where they landed.
I never would have expected to find what remained of a
spectacular villa built (at least, partially built) in
the Montesanto section of Naples, where the angel got
sloppy. It is the Palazzo
Spinelli di Tarsia (the yellow building in
the center of the photo, left).
The original rectangle is still intact, although there is no longer passage from the secondary structure in the front to the main building (photo, left), which faces due south and is subdivided into many flats. The central courtyard is now called Largo Tarsia (Tarsia square) and is a parking lot for the residents. Entrance is from both sides from adjacent narrow streets. The front building, with a life of its own, is now subdivided into establishments of one sort or another, including a cinema. What was presumably the garden was among the first to go when a market set up in the 1800s. A street, via Tarsia, runs through that section now.
1962 this part of the building has been the home
of the“Teatro Bracco,"
named for Roberto Bracco, often nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in the 1920s, but always overlooked, very likely because he was a "dissident" to the Fascist regime of Mussolini.