The Umberto I Gallery in Naples: renewal and café-chantant

Nov 30, 2018 515

The Umberto I Gallery in Naples was built between 1887 and 1890, and now represents one of the most famous outcomes of the so-called Risanamento – the great urban planning operation that radically changed the city at the end of the 19th century, with new squares, streets and buildings replacing pre-existing ones.

The new plan was officially motivated by an outburst of cholera in 1884, when city leaders believed the epidemic was due to the urban decay widespread in the tangled alleys of historical districts such as Chiaia, Pendino, Vicaria, Mercato and Porto. It attracted praise as well as critiques: author Matilde Serao, for example, was convinced it was not truly renovating the city, but rather hiding the problems in Naples.

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