San Lorenzo Maggiore basilica is one of the oldest in Naples. It dates back to the twelfth century and keeps its gothic inside. The facade shows a gothic portal with the original fourteenth wooden doors, each divided into 48 squares in a good state of preservation. It is a crossed-layout basilica with side chapels with pointed arches that open on an only nave with a truss-ceiling (like the transept).
Among the side chapels: Sant'Antonio's large grandly baroque chapel with two paintings by Mattia Preti: Santa Chiara e Crocifisso di San Francesco. In the chapel there was also the famous painting by Simone Martini San Ludovico d'Angiò che incorona il fratello Roberto King of Naples, now kept in Capdimonte Museum.
The magnificent apse is a clear example of the French gothic influence on the basilica. The ambulatory with radial chapels and a high presbitery with multistyled pillars, ribs and cross vaults is remarkable; in the first arcade there is Caterina d'Austria's sepulchre, probably Tino da Camaino's first Neapolitan work. Two female statues symbolizing Hope and Charity prop the sarcophagus.
Giovanni Boccaccio and Fiammetta met here. In the basement, you can see the remains of the public buildings of the Greek-roman town, and the present Piazza S. Gaetano stands over the centre of it. Besides the sixth century A.D. Paleochristian Church there are traces of the pre-existant structures dated to the fouth century b.C. with the "macellum", the old food market, among them.
San Lorenzo Maggiore Maggiore Basilica
Piazza San Gaetano, 316
Open: Mon to Sat - Hours: 9.30 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. Sundays: 9.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.
Tickets fares: Museum included € 9,00 under 18 € 6,00 - over 65 and Artecard holders € 7,00
Free entrance to the Basilica