Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro - The Treasures of San Gennaro at Duomo di Napoli

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Brief Overview

The self-guided tour begins in Naples Cathedral - tickets are purchased from the ticket office to the right of the cathedral entrance


Navigate to: Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro, Via Duomo 149, Napoli, Italy
Latitude/Longitude: 40.852281670696485, 14.25929812189379
what3words: lions.chuckle.snored



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Toilets Toilets
In the museum
Paid admission Paid admission
Limited opening times Limited opening times

Our exploration of Naples was chock full of museums and galleries, so naturally, we tried to pick things that looked especially interesting to us - today, Rox found a museum that looked right up her alley, as it had some amazing-looking jewellery to check out! The Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro had multiple pictures showing off its various shiny trinkets, but what we found was a much more varied collection of fascinating features, including an incredible story relating to Naple's patron saint. Not only that, but you will find yourself checking out Duomo di Napoli, Naple's impressive cathedral. So let us get you to the Treasures of San Gennaro...

As mentioned previously, the Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro is next to Duomo di Napoli, which is hard to miss with its glorious facade looming over its mini-square out front. Walking there is pretty straightforward, most of our journeys use Spaccanapoli (the long straight street, quite literally the "Naples Spitter" full of food, drinks and shops) as a point of navigation around the city and it worked well for us, in this instance, follow the road straight until you reach Via Duomo which, as the name suggests, is the street Duomo di Napoli is on - follow that road up until you spot the cathedral on the right side of the road. The most convenient metro stop is likely Duomo on Metro Line 1 and following Via Duomo all the way up until you reach the Cathedral - Line 2's Cavour stop is probably the most convenient on that line, it deposits you on a main road which links to the top end of Via Duomo. As always, I recommend walking Naples over driving, and having an offline copy of Google Maps to make navigation easier, especially if your signal drops out while navigating the alleys and gulleys! That said, if you are driving parking may be limited, although there are a couple of options probably no further than the metro stops away.

Once you are standing at the foot of Duomo di Napoli, the entrance to the ticket office is tucked away to the right of the main entrance, keep an eye out for the Tesoro di San Gennaro signs and head through the door and inside the glass office. Buy your tickets, be sure to hang onto them as you will need them later, and get your audio tours - you will need to leave an ID as a deposit, this is reclaimed on exit. The tour starts by heading into Duomo di Napoli, then passing through an entrance within the cathedral to join the museum for the last part of the tour. Make sure to hang onto your tickets, the cathedral is free to enter, but you will need the ticket to enter the museum portion of the tour.

The alter at the Royal Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro

The alter at the Royal Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro close up

The ceiling of the Royal Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro

Passing through the doors into Duomo di Napoli, you are free to take a look around the cathedral's beautiful interior, but the focus of the tour is the chapel off to the side - this is the Royal Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro, dedicated to Naples patron saint San Gennaro, or Saint Januarius. Januarius I of Benevento is a martyr and saint of both the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches whose faithful gather in the Cathedral of Naples to witness the liquefaction of his blood. Januarius lived during Roman times, under the rule of Emperor Diocletian, who was responsible for the empire's last, largest, and bloodiest official persecution of Christianity. Januarius worked to protect his fellow Christians which would eventually lead to his arrest and execution at the Solfatara crater near Pozzuoli. San Gennaro is commemorated in multiple ways, not only is he the main Patron Saint out of a list of 50 the city has, but also the Feast of San Gennaro is held annually on the 19th of September.

The Royal Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro is an absolutely stunning building, beautifully appointed and amazing in all regards. Take up a pew or wander your way around the space, enjoying all there is on offer here - the audio tour will give you a good overview of everything worth seeing here, as well as a bit about the history and traditions to boot. The most fascinating part for me was learning about the blood vial and its tradition of liquefaction for holidays and celebrations. A sample of San Gennaro's blood in a vial sits behind the silver door behind the altar, donated by Charles II of Spain, whose keys are protected by a commission of local notables including the mayor of Naples - on feast days, the archbishop shows the solid state of the blood, which after prayers from the faithful is said to liquify. Beyond that, the chapel contains so many silver reliquary busts and frescos to admire that you could easily spend so much time in here marvelling at all of it; I'm sure you will figure this out on your own, but seriously, don't forget to look up! Every inch of the walls and ceiling has something to appreciate...

La Deputazione - Naples important families

Clockwise from top left: ceiling of cappella di Luca Giordano, Voto della citta di Napoli, reliquary keys, Decollazione di San Gennaro e dei Compagni alla Solfatara

San Rocco, Sant' Emidio, Santa Irene

Standing at the door to the chapel and looking at the altar, the entrance to the Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro is up a step on the right - there will likely be someone waiting here and you will need to hand over your ticket to in order to gain entry. From here, you will enter into the peace and quiet of the museum areas, a nice escape from the hustle-and-bustle of Naples city life and into a sequence of rooms with various displays and things to see. Starting near the Cappella di Luca Giordano and winding your way up you will start out in some unquestionably awe-inspiring rooms, still full of awe-inspiring decorations and frescos, before winding downstairs into a more traditional dark museum setting, with lights really emphasising the wonderful paintings and relics on display. The tail end of the tour was almost entirely focused on the incredible jewellery, chalices and monstrances - they each have such incredible fine details and the accompanying audio tour tells you all about their history and notable features. Once you've wound your way through the museum you will emerge adjacent to the ticket office you started out at, just hand in the audio-tour devices to get your deposited ID back.

Mitra, Immacolata, Miracolo della liquefazione del sangue di San Gennaro

Silver & Coral cross, Ostensorio Gemmato, Pisside Gemmata

Tempietto reliquiario del sangue di San Gennaro

That just about summarises the Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro, to me, this is a location that is really sold by its pictures rather than anything I could say - plus, rather than spoil the audio tour by simply transplanting all of the information here, I think its better to go and experience it all in real-time! The collection is spectacular and well worth your time, especially if you already plan to see Duomo di Napoli in all of its splendour. It is a great option for all types, there is something to love if you are into architecture, history, art, Christianity or, like Rox, the awesome collection of shiny and gem-filled objects! Being in the heart of Naples, you are never too far from something else to see or do, so check out the related places below for something nearby, or head over to Spaccanapoli and its connecting roads and alleys for a whole host of food, drink and shopping options.

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