Beneath a gorgeous ceiling mosaic painted in a psychedelic swirl of violet-blue, a wide escalator descends about 130 feet underground into one of the deepest metro stations in Naples. This is the Toledo metro station, the crowning jewel of the “Art Stations” of the Naples Metro.
The Art Stations project (Stazioni dell’Arte) entrusted the vision of the city’s public transit stations to contemporary artists and architects in order to bring art to people’s everyday lives. The dazzling Toledo underground station stands out among the bunch, and was even nominated as the most beautiful transit station in Europe.
Each level of the station is designed around a different color representing a different theme related to the city. The walls and floor of the atrium on the first level are black, recalling the asphalt of contemporary civilization. The remains of Aragonese walls are also integrated into the atrium, which is adorned with mosaics inspired by the history of Naples.
As you descend down the escalator, the walls become ochre and yellow, alluding to the colors of Neapolitan tuff and the sun. Further down, on the deepest level, the color scheme becomes blue and green like the sea. In the corridor leading to the quay floor, there is an 80-foot-long environmental installation with two LED light boxes that reproduce the image of a sea, rippled by the continuous movement of the waves.
A large cone called the “Crater de Luz” crosses all the floors of the station, creating an opening above the beautiful escalator that leads to the quayside, beaming light all along the way. Outside the station, there are three hexagonal pyramids, and a corten steel statue called the “Knight of Toledo” guards one of the entrances. The elevator is located near the escalator, provided with a corrugated roof, and is followed by a walkway formed by large orange circles and equipped with seats made of volcanic stone.
Know Before You Go
Toledo Underground Station is located on the iconic Via Toledo in the city's Spanish quarter. The other Art Stations are found along lines 1 and 6 of the Naples Metro.