San Lorenzo Maggiore Basilica Naples

The San Lorenzo Maggiore Basilica in Naples is unique in that it contains a church, a museum and an ancient Roman marketplace. The basilica itself is considered one of the most beautiful medieval buildings in the city.

San Lorenzo Maggiore Basilica Naples

Opening Hours, Admission and Address

Top part facade San Lorenzo Maggiore Basilica Naples

The San Lorenzo Maggiore is located where the Via San Gregorio Armeno and Via dei Tribunali intersect, which was immediately the geographical center of the ancient city of Naples. The address is Via dei Tribunali, 316 – Naples (tel. +39 0812110860). Bus: C55 (Duomo-Tribunali stop). Opening hours excavations: 09.30 to 17.30 (Sunday: 09.30 to 13.30). Entrance fee: The church itself is free. Admission to the museum and the excavations costs 9 Euro (discount: 6 Euro).

History San Lorenzo Maggiore Church Naples

San Lorenzo Maggiore Basilica Naples
San Lorenzo Maggiore

The facade of the church is by Ferdinando Sanfelice. A restoration in the 20th century saw to it that the Baroque layer placed over the Gothic original was removed.

The first architects of the church were French, who began the construction of the apse in 1270. In the next century Neapolitan architects took over. For the construction of the nave Roman columns and other ancient architectural elements were used.

Catherine of Austria is buried in the church. Her tomb is lined with mosaics.

It was in this church that Boccaccio met Marie d’Anjou, the inspiration for his Fiammetta. Another famous poet, Petrarch, lived in the adjoining monastery for several months in 1345.

Sant'Antonio Cahpel, San Lorenzo Maggiore Naples
Sant’Antonio Chapel

Market (Macellum)

The old market below the church was called Macellum. It was located at the end of a street (cardo), along which there were bakeries, wine stores and also a communal washhouse. The market itself consists of seven large vaulted rooms. Today the word macello is used in Italian to describe a chaotic situation or place.


The Museo dell’Opera di San Lorenzo Maggiore features mostly archaeological finds from Naples, including of course many objects found under the church itself. Other exhibits include 9th century ceramics and 16th century bishop’s habit.

San Lorenzo Maggiore Basilica, Naples

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