The Church of San Lorenzo Maggiore is a historical complex and one of the oldest churches in Naples. It is located in the historic center of the city, in Piazza San Gaetano square, close to many points of interest.
What gives the church its uniqueness and importance is a fascinating archaeological site from the Roman period. The site is located right under the building, it invites visitors to wander inside and feel as if they are walking through the streets of the city in ancient times.
The church began to be built in the 6th century AD, but received its current form hundreds of years later, in the 12th century. So it was rebuilt in a typical Gothic-Baroque style. After several earthquakes, the place has known, and renovations and additions were made, the most prominent of which was made in the 18th century.
The many changes that the place went through over the centuries gave it a design that combines different styles and works by well-known Italian artists who lived in different periods.
The highlight of a visit to the place is of course a visit to the underground structure. Under the church building lies a unique archaeological site – the ruins of an ancient two-story Roman market. The amazingly preserved place was once the beating heart of the old city.
It served as an important cultural and political center and the seat of the Roman Forum. Among other things, remains of ancient tombs, well-known works of art, and elements from the daily life of the period such as bakeries, wine shops, laundries, and many other souvenirs were discovered there.
In the on-site museum, you can watch various historical exhibits and get detailed explanations about the place. In addition, there are several guided tours a day, most of them in English.
The opening times of the place are every day, between 9:30 and 17:30.
Entrance to the church is free; Entrance to the archaeological site and the museum costs 9 euros for an adult and 6 euros for a child (up to 18 years old). The purchase is made on the spot.