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main index © Jeff Matthews entry May 2007
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 Quarter (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.
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).
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.
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