San Martino Monastery and Museum

Monastery and Museum in Naples

San Martino Monastery And Museum
CC BY-SA 3.0 / pietro scerrato

The Certosa di San Martino is a former monastery that now serves as a museum, located atop the Vomero hill in Naples, Italy. This historic site, along with the adjacent Castel Sant’Elmo, forms one of the most prominent landmarks overlooking the Gulf of Naples. Originally a Carthusian monastery, it was established in 1368 under the reign of Queen Joan I and dedicated to St. Martin of Tours.

Throughout its history, the Certosa saw significant expansions and renovations. The first major enhancements were made in the early 16th century. Later, in 1623, under the architectural guidance of Cosimo Fanzago, it underwent further transformations to become the structure that is visible today.

During the French occupation in 1799, the monastery was suppressed, leading to the monks’ displacement. Although they made several attempts to reestablish their presence, their final effort in 1866 was thwarted when the Italian state definitively confiscated the property.

National Museum of San Martino

Today, the Certosa di San Martino houses the National Museum of San Martino, which showcases a wide array of artifacts from the Spanish and Bourbon periods. The museum is also famed for its exquisite collection of presepe—Nativity scenes—regarded as some of the finest globally. This institution not only offers a glimpse into the rich historical tapestry of Naples but also serves as a custodian of local and religious art and culture.

The San Martino Monastery and Museum appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Naples!

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Visiting San Martino Monastery and Museum


Thursday to Tuesday: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Closed on Wednesdays



Address: Largo S. Martino, 5, 80129 Napoli NA, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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