Pio Monte della Misericordia
Pio Monte della Misericordia was founded in the early 1600s by seven Neapolitan nobles as a charitable institution. Caravaggio’s masterpiece hung above the church’s main altar is considered among the best examples of his chiaroscuro style and theatrical composition. After admiring this Baroque gem, take a stroll through the church and upper-floor picture gallery to take in works by Andrea Vaccaro, Francesco de Mura, Jusepe de Ribera, and Paul van Somer; you can also catch a glimpse of Caravaggio’s painting from above via the balcony in the Sala del Coretto.
Some in-depth walking tours of the historic center of Naples include a stop in the octagonal 17th-century church. Or, you can opt for a Caravaggio-themed tour to admire “The Seven Acts of Mercy” along with other works by the Baroque painter completed during the 18 months he lived in the city.
Things to know before you go
- A visit to Pio Monte della Misericordia to view Caravaggio’s glorious masterpiece is a must for art lovers.
- Audio guides in English are available at the ticket office or can be downloaded on your smart device.
- Modest attire that covers knees and shoulders is required to enter the chapel of Pio Monte della Misericordia.
- A ramp at the entrance and elevator to the upper-floor picture gallery make the church and Quadreria completely wheelchair accessible.
How to get there
Pio Monte della Misericordia is located in the historical center of Naples, opposite the Piazza Riario Sforza, where the magnificent 17th-century Guglia di San Gennaro obelisk stands. The church is an easy walk from the Duomo and other main sights in Naples’ old town.
When to get there
The church and picture gallery are open daily year round but close in the early afternoon on Sundays and holidays. Avoid visiting at 9:30am, when Mass is held and tourists are discouraged from lingering in the chapel.
One of the most precious documents in Pio Monte della Misericordia's archives is the Declaratoria del 14 Ottobre 1607, which records a payment of 400 ducats to Caravaggio for “The Seven Acts of Mercy”; a copy of the original is on display in the picture gallery.
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