Hidden Gem in Italy: Sanfelice’s Baroque Staircase (Naples)

18th century Neapolitan Rococo architecture is best illustrated in the work of Ferdinando Sanfelice (1675-1748), who is known for his striking staircases.

We especially love the Palazzo della Spagnuolo. Via dei Virgini, 19.  Sanfelice’s stairway in this building is distinctive for its height, the large size of its openings onto the courtyard, and the movement of the design. This is a great example of how architecture of the Baroque keeps your eye in movement: notice in this picture how Sanfelice skillfully draws your gaze upward — the lines are sharply vertical and the flanking arches are not regular but follow the line of the staircase — giving the structure a lightness that would otherwise not exist.

Palazzo della Spagnuolo (Naples)

Palazzo della Spagnuolo (Naples)