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Certosa e Museo di San Martino

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Largo S. Martino, 5, 80129 Napoli NA, Italy

Opening Hours

8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Visit Certosa e Museo di San Martino during the late afternoon to catch the most stunning views of Naples as the sun sets; this timing often means fewer visitors and a more serene experience. Don't miss the hidden gem inside – the old pharmacy – which many tourists overlook but offers a fascinating glimpse into the medicinal history of the monastery."

What is Certosa e Museo di San Martino?

Certosa e Museo di San Martino is not just a historical site, it's a treasure trove perched high above Naples, inside the walls of a former monastery. It stands in one of the most scenic points atop Vomero Hill, offering unparalleled views over the sprawling city and the azure bay of Naples. A complex that once housed Carthusian monks, it now serves as a museum and is one of the finest examples of Baroque art and architecture in Italy.

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The museum houses an extensive collection of works, including frescoes, paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts that tell a rich story of Neapolitan culture and religious history. But it's the experience of wandering through the peaceful cloisters, the lush gardens, and the grand halls that is truly unforgettable.


History of Certosa e Museo di San Martino

The story of Certosa e Museo di San Martino is as intricate as the frescoes that adorn its walls. The monastery was initially founded in 1325 by Charles, Duke of Calabria, the eldest son of King Robert of Naples. It has seen multiple renovations and expansions over the centuries, most notably in the 17th century under the influence of Cosimo Fanzago, a prominent Baroque architect. The monastery served as a spiritual retreat for the Carthusian monks until the unification of Italy in the 19th century, when it was secularized and subsequently transformed into the museum we know today.

The property reverberates with deep historical contexts that include not just the evolution of Christian monasticism in the region but also the shifting political and cultural tides that have shaped Naples itself. Over the centuries, San Martino has withstood earthquakes, sieges, and changes in rulership, each leaving its mark on the fabric of the complex.


Why is Certosa e Museo di San Martino Important?

Certosa e Museo di San Martino is a cultural linchpin that encapsulates the spirit of Naples. It serves as an essential repository of Neapolitan artistic achievements from the 13th century onwards, documenting the vibrancy and evolution of local artistry.

Moreover, the Certosa offers insight into monastic life, with its perfectly preserved spaces where monks lived, prayed, and worked. The museum's location also plays a significant role – it’s not just a place to admire the past but to literally view the history of Naples from above, witnessing how the past converges with the present.

Ask anyone who's explored its halls, and they’ll tell you that Certosa e Museo di San Martino is indispensable for understanding the heart and soul of Naples.


Things to Do & See at Certosa e Museo di San Martino

Venturing through Certosa e Museo di San Martino is akin to stepping into a living painting. The complex itself is vast, and visitors can spend hours immersed in its splendor. In particular, the church is renowned for its opulent decoration and stunning frescoes by notable artists like Jusepe de Ribera and Battistello Caracciolo.

One cannot forget the terraced gardens, which are a breath of fresh air and serve as natural balconies offering some of the best vistas over Naples. And then there's the Naval Section, displaying model ships, galleons, and nautical instruments, beckoning those interested in maritime history. The museum also features a renowned Neapolitan nativity scene collection, which includes the celebrated Presepe Cuciniello, a detailed and awe-inspiring representation of 18th-century Neapolitan life.

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There are many hidden corners within the complex to discover, such as the Prior's Cell and the monastery’s old pharmacy, each echoing stories from a bygone era. For those enamored with craftsmanship, the museum's collection of inlaid wood furniture and musical instruments are standout exhibits. While there, don't rush; pause to indulge in the tranquility of the place, and you might just feel the centuries of prayers and contemplation lingering in the air.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Certosa e Museo di San Martino?

The Certosa e Museo di San Martino is a former monastery complex, now a museum, in Naples, Italy. It is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and impressive collection of artwork and artifacts related to Neapolitan culture and history.

What can I see at the Certosa e Museo di San Martino?

Visitors to the Certosa e Museo di San Martino can explore beautiful frescoes, intricate sculptures, and various artworks. The museum also offers panoramic views of Naples and houses historical exhibits, including those related to the history of the monastery and Neapolitan life.

What is the history of the Certosa e Museo di San Martino?

Established in the 14th century, the Certosa di San Martino served as a Carthusian monastery. Over the centuries, it underwent renovations and expansions, resulting in a complex mixture of architectural styles. It was deconsecrated in the 19th century and later turned into a museum.

Are there guided tours available at Certosa e Museo di San Martino?

Yes, guided tours are often available at the Certosa e Museo di San Martino. These tours can provide deeper insights into the history and art of the complex. It's recommended to check the museum's official website or contact them directly for the latest information on tour availability.

How much time should I allocate for a visit to Certosa e Museo di San Martino?

Visitors should allocate at least 2 to 3 hours to fully appreciate the Certosa e Museo di San Martino. This allows enough time to explore the museum's collections, enjoy the architecture, and take in the views of Naples from its vantage point.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Largo S. Martino, 5, 80129 Napoli NA, Italy

Opening Hours

8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps