Visit – Naples

From a surreal Brutalist beauty to one of Caravaggio’s clear-cut masterpieces, the best things to see in Napoli

Casa del Portuale

Built by Aldo Loris Rossi and located in the heart of the industrial port, Casa del Portuale is Brutalist surrealism at its very best. Originally built to house social services for the workers, it is now abandoned and slowly rots away but is considered one of the most important concrete buildings in the world. Naples lacks a forward-thinking hotel and Casa del Portuale would be an amazing project for those that care. My vote would be for Grupo Habita of Mexico to come on board and resurrect this concrete ship of dreams. Despite its disrepair, it’s still a stunning building and is well worth the adventure of trying to reach it. 

Casa Portuale, Interno Porto

Pio Monte della Misericordia

Caravaggio may not have been the most charming of fellows; he posted thugs at the gates to the city ensuring that itinerant artists were given a beating and sent on their way. Luckily for us, though, he was generous with his genius and his brush. The Seven Works of Mercy is a good portrait of the city. Light to dark to brutal to beautiful, rather like the old master himself. You can see it at the high altar of this church. 

Pio Monte della Misericordia, Via dei Tribunali, 253; piomontedellamisericordia.it

Madre Museum

Thomas Dane Gallery

There are plenty of big galleries to visit in Naples, including the excellent MADRE in the Palazzo Donnaregina, but some of the smaller spaces are also well worth a visit. Thomas Dane opened a few years back and always ensures ocular nourishment in its beautiful space. It’s well run, elegant and refreshing, and is housed in a beautiful palazzo overlooking the bay. Past exhibitions include shows by Michael Landy and Dana Schutz. 

Thomas Dane Gallery, Via Luigi Settembrini, 79; thomasdanegallery.com

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