This guided tour will lead you to discover the astonishing Church of Gesù Nuovo, San Severo Chapel and Duomo of Naples, all located at the heart of Naples’ old town. The tour will end on a sweet note, with the typical Neapolitan pastries “Sfogliatella” or “Babà”.
The guide will be waiting for your in Gesù Nuovo square, right in front of the Church of Gesù Nuovo (New Jesus): one of the most important churches in Naples. As you may guess form the unique façade in bugnato style, the church was originally a Palace built in 1470 for Roberto Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno. A century later, it was sold to the Jesuits, who turned it into a church. Once inside, you will find an explosion of Renaissance and baroque style, with works of artists such as Francesco Solimena, Luca Giordano and Cosimo Fanzago.
Walking along “Spaccanapoli” street to reach the next stop in our guided tour – the Sansevero Chapel Museum – will be quite an interesting experience. Spaccanapoli (whose real name is Via Benedetto Croce) is the ancient hearth of Naples, the decumanus inferior splitting the city in two. This narrow, colourful, noisy street is an incredible overview of what this amazing city has to offer.
The Sansevero Chapel Museum is a jewel of the world’s artistic heritage, where baroque creativity, beauty and mystery blend to create a unique and timeless atmosphere. It admirably reflects the multi-faceted personality of its ingenious architect, Raimondo di Sangro, seventh Prince of Sansevero. The chapel cherishes, among other masterpieces, the famous Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino, renowned worldwide for the incredible tissue-like quality of the marble, and enigmatic creations such as the Anatomical Machines.
Your walk along Spaccanapoli will continue until you reach Via Duomo, the street housing the main church of Napoli. The Duomo is a wonderful Gothic cathedral built in the 13th century, dedicated to Naples' patron saint, San Gennaro, whose blood is brought out in a vial three times a year. If it liquefies, all is well. If it does not...fears are held for the safety of Naples! The cathedral contains some excellent artworks including frescoes in the Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro and some 4th-century mosaics. To one side of the Duomo is the 4th century Basilica Santa Restituta, the oldest chapel in Naples, containing columns believed to be from the Temple of Apollo. Under here is an interesting archaeological site tracing the Greek, Roman and early Christian city.
The tour cannot be concluded without tasting Napoli’s favorite pastries: “Sfogliatella”, a shell-shaped filled with orange-flavored ricotta, almond paste and candied peel of citron, and “Babà”, small yeast cake saturated in hard liquor, usually rum, and sometimes filled with whipped cream or pastry cream.