Centuries and centuries of devotion to the patron saint of the Neapolitan city, San Gennaro, have led to the creation of a veritable treasure trove, housed in the museum of the same name, which has been open to the public since 2003. To visit the Treasure of San Gennaro, tickets can be purchased conveniently online while planning your trip to Naples. Among the city’s various monuments, you cannot miss a visit to the Duomo, whose Royal Chapel is dedicated to San Gennaro and represents the Neapolitans’ strong bond with their patron saint. And to see an alternative version of the city, the underground Naples route gives a glimpse of what once existed on the streets of the historic centre.
Tickets for the Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro
Tickets for the Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro will make you skip the queue at the entrance and allow you to visit, in addition to the museum itself, the Royal Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro in the Duomo. Also included in the ticket is an audio guide (available in Italian, English, French, Spanish and German) for a little more information on the history and the senders of the precious objects on display.
It takes just over an hour to visit the museum and the last admission is one hour and fifty-five minutes before closing time: Monday to Friday it opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 4.30 p.m., while on Saturdays and Sundays it closes at 5.30 p.m. The Chapel, on the other hand, is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. In the event of a last-minute change of plans, the ticket can be cancelled or rescheduled by 11:59 p.m. the day before the visit.
If you prefer an expert guide instead of an independent visit, you can book a guided tour of the Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro and the Chapel. The guide will tell you all the stories and legends behind the figure of the patron saint and the gifts from the gratitude of both his worshippers and illustrious members of the clergy and nobility. The visit lasts one hour and can be cancelled with a refund up to 24 hours in advance, so it is a very easy option.
The museum route is barrier-free and the ticket office, where you can also show your tickets by smartphone, is located in the museum courtyard. To get there from the train station, the metro lines to take are 1 and 2.
Visit to the Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro: what to see?
The Museum of the Treasure of St. Gennaro has been open to the public since 2003 and houses various artefacts in precious materials donated by the faithful or prominent personalities (such as kings, popes, cardinals). In sacred art, in fact, the word ‘treasure’ indicates the chapel of relics and the collection of devotional objects.
The Treasure of San Gennaro is one of the oldest in the world and has come down to us untouched, bearing witness to centuries and centuries of devotion. To preserve it, it was moved to the Vatican during the Second World War and returned to Naples only in 1947.
Among the objects preserved here are the necklace of San Gennaro, in which is set one of the largest emeralds in the world; the insignia of the Order of San Gennaro and the mitre of San Gennaro, a type of bishop’s headdress.
But the story of the Treasure of St. Gennaro, now preserved in this museum, begins in the Catacombs and the Royal Chapel of St. Gennaro.
Chapel of San Gennaro
The Chapel of San Gennaro or Royal Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro is located in the Cathedral of Naples and is the concrete image of the bond between the Neapolitan people and their patron saint. It was in fact built at the request of the Neapolitans, following a real pact made with the Saint in a particularly difficult period for the city, in 1527. However, it was completed more than a century later and its status is still atypical today. In fact, it does not belong to the diocese, as the norm would have it, but to the Neapolitans themselves, and is managed by a lay organisation, the Deputation, confirming the intertwining of secularism and religious sentiment.
Today, the Chapel is a perfect example of Baroque art, with works by artists from all over Italy. The decision to call painters from outside was not taken too well by the Neapolitan artists, but the result is a perfect blend of Emilian (with works by Domenichino and Lanfranco) and Neapolitan nuances of the Baroque itself. The Spanish painter, active mainly in Naples, Jusepe de Ribera, also participated in the decoration of the dome. His is the oil on copper depicting San Gennaro emerging unharmed from the burning furnace.
Tickets for the Catacombs of San Gennaro
La storia della devozione della città di Napoli al suo santo patrono inizia dalle Catacombe di San Gennaro. I biglietti, combinati con l’ingresso al Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro, possono essere acquistati online a questo link e comprendono una visita guidata delle Catacombe e del Museo e l’ingresso alle Catacombe di San Gaudioso e alla Basilica di Santa Maria della Sanità valido per dodici mesi.
The story of the city of Naples’ devotion to its patron saint begins in the Catacombs of San Gennaro. Tickets, combined with admission to the Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro, can be purchased online at this link and include a guided tour of the Catacombs and Museum and admission to the Catacombs of San Gaudioso and the Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità valid for twelve months.
The guided tour is available in Italian and English and is conducted in groups of a maximum of thirty people, every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It lasts fifty minutes and reservations can be cancelled or rescheduled up to 24 hours in advance.
The site is the most important monument of Christianity in Naples, is on two levels and dates back to the 2nd-3rd century. The remains of St. Gennaro were moved here a century after his martyrdom, in 305.
Tickets for the Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro and Underground Naples
Tickets for the Museum of the Treasure of St. Gennaro and Underground Naples combine two different experiences to discover the Neapolitan city: on the one hand the precious objects donated to the patron saint over seven centuries, and on the other a journey through tunnels and underground cavities.
Below the level of the present town, in fact, more or less in the area of the old town, there is a real other town. From here the tuff used for the construction of the city itself was extracted and later these tunnels were used as aqueducts. During the Second World War, however, they served as shelters.
The guided tour, lasting an hour and a half, will cover two and a half millennia of history in the belly of Naples. You will see the remains of the summa cavea of an ancient Neapolis theatre, with Nero’s private dressing room, as well as the drains from the Bourbon period, covered in blue tiles, which, being protected from the elements, have retained their colour.
The ticket includes the skip-the-line option and cannot be rescheduled. However, it is possible to choose at the time of purchase to add a cancellation with refund by 23:59 on the day before the visit.
Finally, it is important to remember that the route of Underground Naples does not end at the starting point.