La Pedamentina in Naples, Italy: A Case Study in Urban Connectivity

Recently, the City of Naples has been recovering the surviving routes of an old system of vertical pathways, reintroducing them as important connective arteries in Naples’ contemporary urban plan. This pedestrian network features a combination of 135 stairways and 69 stepped walkways, which connect the neighborhoods built on the hills of Naples with the main linear arteries of the bustling city below. Originally built in the Middle Ages, La Pedamentina is the oldest route in this system of pathways.

dMAS walked the 141-steps of La Pedamentina on a cloudy winter day. Starting at the panoramic square in front of the Carthusian Monastery of S. Martino and ending in the crowded streets of Spaccanapoli, we walked the city top to bottom. The pathway successfully united urban strata, creating connections between very different social and spatial realities. The revival of La Pedamentina is part of a larger effort on the part of the city’s administration in collaboration with residents’ associations to clean up and secure public spaces, to increase walkability, and improve urban connectivity in Naples.