Palazzo Serra di Cassano is a building in Naples
, built for the wealthy Serra Family, one of the original 54 families of the 'old nobility' of Genoa
, whose family was organized within an Albergo (family).
The Palazzo is behind the Piazza del Plebiscito
on via Monte di Dio, the road leading up to the height of the Pizzofalcone peak. It was built in 1730 by the architect, Ferdinando Sanfelice, also responsible for the construction of the nearby Nunziatella, the Bourbon Military Academy founded in the days of the Kingdom of Naples, and still in operation.
The dual portals of the palace entrance, on the via Monte di Dio, open onto twin curved stairways leading up over an octagonal courtyard. The building originally had entrances on two different streets; the entrance that formerly opened onto via Egiziaca, facing the Royal Palace, was closed many years ago in 1799. The owner, Luigi Francesco Serra, The Duke of Cassano, closed it to protest the execution (beheading) of his son, Gennaro Serra. Gennaro, the Prince of Cassano, was said to be involved in the revolutionary activities of the Neapolitan Republic, and was handed over to Bourbon authorities by Admiral Horatio Nelson, who betrayed an agreement he had made with the revolutionaries.
The building today houses the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici (Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies).