Few churches in Naples were spared the elaborate ornamentations of the Baroque and San Lorenzo Maggiore was among them. The church was so over embellished, in fact, that it nearly crumbled under the weight and was eventually stripped back (except for two Cosimo Fanzago chapels) to the quasi original French Gothic form commissioned by the Franciscans. Built on top of a 6th-century structure, a treasured piece of that basilica’s floor remains under glass in the transept.
Next door to the church, signs lead you to the ticket office and entry to the complex’s cloister. A short descent down an inconspicuous stairway will put you right in the middle of the Roman marketplace (macellum) of ancient Neapolis. Though it is well marked, it is often overlooked and on any given day, you may find yourself wandering this hidden gem alone. Roam through ancient shops where the Romans plied their trades – the butcher, baker, fishmonger and even the banker.
– Entrance to the church is free; entry to the underground is €9.00 and includes entry to the complex’s museum