Charterhouse and Museum of San Martino (Certosa e Museo di San Martino)
The Certosa di San Martino (Charterhouse of Saint Martin) was built as a Carthusian monastery in the 14th century, expanded in the 16th century, and abandoned in the 19th century. Today it is the foremost repository of art and historical artifacts illustrating the evolution of the city of Naples from the Angevin Monarchy to the Unification, and the interiors are home to some of the finest Neapolitan art in the world, as well as intricate mosaic floors, marble inlays, and wood carvings.
Because of the wealth of art and history to parse inside the museum, the best way to visit is with a guided tour that includes skip-the-line tickets. Tours typically include a visit to the museum’s collection along with the historic monastery, cemetery, cloisters, and church; many tours also take a turn through the nearby Castle of St. Elmo or the historic center of Naples, located directly below.
Things to know before you go
- A tour of the Certosa di San Martino is ideal for those who are interested in delving into the history and culture of Naples.
- Shutterbugs will enjoy capturing the sweeping panorama over the rooftops and Mediterranean from the charterhouse.
- There is quite a bit to take in at the Certosa, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
- Sections of the Charterhouse are not wheelchair accessible.
How to get there
Take metro line 1 to Piazza Vanvitelli, or the Funicolare Centrale to Piazza Fuga. The charterhouse is a short walk from either of these squares.
When to get there
The views from Vomero are particularly spectacular at sunset, so time your museum visit for the afternoon. The museum is closed on Wednesdays.
Highlights of the Certosa di San Martino
Admire works by Neapolitan masters including Massimo Stanzione, Giuseppe de Ribera, and Battista Caracciolo. In addition, the Certosa di San Martino has one of the most celebrated Nativity scenes in the world, the Cuciniello Presepe, donated in the late 19th century and includes over 800 pieces and a lighting system that simulates dawn, midday, dusk, and night.
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