Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore
San Lorenzo Maggiore’s central location makes it a convenient stopping point for baroque church and art tours, though these tend to visit only the church. If you visit independently, your best bet is to begin at the Museo dell’Opera di San Lorenzo Maggiore—three floors of the monastery dedicated to archeological treasures, art, and scaled models of the ruins. You can book a guided tour of the underground from the Complesso San Lorenzo Maggiore website.
Things to Know Before You Go
The ruins beneath the church are a must-visit archeological site within Naples.
Visiting the complex—church, halls, museum, and market—takes roughly half a day.
Church admission is free, but entering the museum and ruins requires a paid ticket.
Sista V and Chamber halls—part of the complex— are home to intriguing art including frescoes.
How to Get There
San Lorenzo Maggiore is in the center of Naples’ historic center, on the south side of Piazza San Gaetano just off Via dei Tribunali. Driving there is not recommended. To reach the complex by public transit, take Metro Line 1 to Museo or Dante station. From Museo, head south on Via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli and turn left at Via San Pietro a Maiella, which eventually turns into Via dei Tribunali. From Dante, head east on Via Port’Alba, pass underneath the Port’Alba Gate, and continue on Via San Pietro a Maiella.
When to Get There
San Lorenzo is open from 9:30am to 5:30pm daily. It is rarely crowded and offers respite from raucous Via dei Tribunali at all times of day. Although the complex holds regular opening hours, the church and museum, which are part of a monastery, may close unexpectedly during the city’s long lunch hours. Hour-long, official tours are given every day, but more often—sometimes as many as six per day—on weekends.
The Ruins of a Roman Market
Travelers often come to Naples to visit Pompeii or Paestum—both at least an hour outside the city—without considering smaller archeological sites that are much closer. The ruins beneath San Lorenzo Maggiore are a true archeological dig, having been carefully excavated over 25 years, and are located within walking distance of most Naples attractions. You can walk through arched underground passages and rooms that were working wineries, bakeries, and shops thousands of years ago, without having to get out of town at all.
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- Naples Underground (Napoli Sotterranea)
- Via San Gregorio Armeno (Christmas Alley)
- Centro Storico
- Naples Cathedral (Duomo di San Gennaro)
- Pio Monte della Misericordia
- Sansevero Chapel (Museo Cappella Sansevero)
- Basilica of San Domenico Maggiore (Basilica di San Domenico Maggiore)
- Naples Historic Center (Napoli Centro Storico)
- Piazza del Gesù Nuovo
- Gesú Nuovo Church (Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo)
- Church and Monastery of Santa Chiara (Chiesa e Monastero di Santa Chiara)
- Naples National Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale)
- Naples Piazza del Mercato
- Church of Sant'Anna dei Lombardi (Chiesa di Sant'Anna dei Lombardi)
- Via Toledo