This article examines the relationship between immigration and urban renewal in Naples during the 1990s through the conflicting representations and uses of Piazza Garibaldi, a large piazza located in front of the city’s central railway station. As well as the hub of the city’s public transport network, since the mid-1980s this piazza has been the multifunctional space for a number of immigrant groups. Re-envisioned as the ‘gateway’ to the city’s regenerated centro storico (historic centre) during the 1990s, the piazza became a focus of public debates on security, tourism and, in particular, immigration. I examine how these issues intersected with political discourses about a renewed sense of citizenship in redefining the piazza as a strategic but problematic public space. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and analysis of local newspaper reports, the article looks at the ways in which the piazza has been appropriated by different immigrant groups for social and economic purposes, and how, at the same time, they have been excluded from discourses about a ‘new’ Naples.