The central station of Naples between innovation and history

Among the countless natural and historical beauties that the city of Naples has to offer, the central station, placed in Garibaldi square, is certainly among the pearls of the entire history of the city of Naples.

The central station of Naples is one of the treasure chests that preserve the history of Naples. Even if it is one of the most changeable places in the city, so much so that in the last sixty years it has undergone major interventions that have altered its style and appearance, embodies the historical and cultural changes of the Neapolitan city.

The history of the central station of Naples

The history of the Italian railway is closely linked to Naples and its railway lines. In fact, even before the unification of Italy, the first Italian railway was built in 1839 which led from Naples to Portici. The first station was the Bayard family station, while the present central station owes its origins to the unification project of Italy, when in 1867 the old central station of Naples was finished, on a project by the french architect Paul Amilhan with the support of the Neapolitan Nicola Breglia, of which today only a few photos remain. The station, located about 100 meters ahead of the current station, in full Renaissance style, consisted of a single level placed on a porch in front of which were housed small iron and glass structures that allowed the passage of light.

Composed, initially, of six tracks it was soon necessary to carry out an expansion work, so much so that in 1939 a plan was drawn up which was realized, however, after the war following a public competition.

The design of the new station was coordinated by Carlo Cocchia together with other leading exponents of Italian and Neapolitan architecture of the period including Pierluigi Nervi, Bruno Zevi, Giulio De Luca, Luigi Piccinato and Giuseppe Vaccaro and was completed in 1960 with the demolition of all the old structures because, to avoid inconvenience to rail traffic, it was decided to build the new station first. The new station included a canopy with the famous pyramid-shaped block roof, 24 tracks and the state railroad skyscraper.

The new central station of Naples: expansion and innovation

As aforesaid the central station of Naples is one of the most changeable works of the entire Neapolitan architectural panorama. In fact, renovation and expansion works are still in progress which have led to the construction of the metro line 1 station and the famous project by Dominique Perrault, which has reorganized the road system, a large green area on the left and a walk covered by a metal lattice of semipermeable canopies on the right, as well as a gigantic shopping gallery, often embellished with artistic installations by different artists.

The central station is, therefore, one of the works to visit to experience the city in depth, thanks also to the evident historical stratification through which one can savor hidden and traditional aspects of Naples.