San Lorenzo Maggiore

Church in Naples

Macellum Of Naples
CC BY-SA 3.0 / everyfoto

San Lorenzo Maggiore is a significant historical and cultural site in Naples, Italy, situated at the geographic center of the city’s ancient Greek-Roman core. This church, with origins tied to the Franciscan Order during St. Francis of Assisi’s lifetime, stands at the intersection of via San Gregorio Armeno and via dei Tribunali.

The church’s construction in the late 13th century was to compensate the Franciscans for their loss of a previous site, where Charles I of Anjou built the Maschio Angioino. Today, San Lorenzo encompasses a church, a monastery, and a museum that spans three floors above the courtyard. The museum showcases the rich history of the area, from classical archaeology to the historical maritime routes of Naples, offering insights into the local governance and developments through the Angevin period and beyond.


Two notable chapels within the Gothic structure of San Lorenzo are designed in the Baroque style by Cosimo Fanzago. The Cacace Chapel, dedicated to Mary of the Rosary, was commissioned in the 1640s by Giovan Camillo Cacace. It features sculptures by Andrea di Bolgi from Bernini’s studio, including figures of the De Caro family members and a frescoed cupola by Niccolò De Simone, depicting various religious scenes, though much of it is now severely damaged.

Adjacent is the Chapel of Sant’Antonio, created for the Carthusian Order. These chapels exemplify a rich interplay of Baroque artistry and Gothic architecture, highlighting the diverse artistic and cultural influences that have shaped this historical edifice.

Macellum of Naples

Beneath the church lies half of the original Roman market, the Macellum of Naples, which has been excavated since 1992 following 25 years of diligent work. This market is the only large-scale Greek-Roman archaeological site excavated in downtown Naples and adds a profound historical layer to the location.

San Lorenzo Maggiore is also noted in literary history; it was here in 1338 that Boccaccio met his beloved Fiammetta. The church and monastery are now part of the Conventual Franciscans.

The San Lorenzo Maggiore appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Naples!

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Visiting San Lorenzo Maggiore


Daily from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm


Archaeological site and museum: Adults: € 9 (£ 7.70).

Address: San Lorenzo Maggiore, Piazza San Gaetano, Naples, NA, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes
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