Once a monastery and now a remarkable museum, the Certosa di San Martino looks over the city of Naples from high above the hill on which it is perched. The impressive structure dates back to the 14th century, when it was first built as a Carthusian monastery. It was expanded in the 16th century, abandoned in the 19th century, and evolved into the museum it is today. The Certosa di San Martino has one of the most celebrated Nativity scenes in the world on display, as well as Bourbon era and Spanish artifacts.
The interior is adorned with frescoes and some of the best Neapolitan art in the world. You’ll find works of Massimo Stanzione, Giuseppe de Ribera, and Battista Caracciolo, among others. Have a look at the intricate mosaic floors, marble inlays, and wood carvings as well.
Tours typically will include viewings of the monastery, monk’s cemetery, cloisters, and church alongside the art. The Be sure to look around at the panoramic views you’ll have of the city and the bay from the top of the hill.
The church and museum is open every day except Wednesday, from 8:30 act o 7:30 pm. To get there, take metro line 1 to Piazza Vanvitelli then bus V1 (or a 15 minute walk.) Another landmark of the city, the Sant'Elmo Castle, is nearby and is also worth a visit.