Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore Tours
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Step back into Naples’ layered history at the Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore, a gem of a basilica and monastery with a museum sitting above extraordinary Roman ruins. The basilica has one of Naples’ finest Gothic interiors and lies above the remains of a macellum—an ancient market that feels very much like an underground Pompeii.
San Lorenzo Maggiore’s central location makes it a convenient stopping point for baroque church and art tours, though these tend to visit only the church. If you visit independently, your best bet is to begin at the Museo dell’Opera di San Lorenzo Maggiore—three floors of the monastery dedicated to archeological treasures, art, and scaled models of the ruins. You can book a guided tour of the underground from the Complesso San Lorenzo Maggiore website.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The ruins beneath the church are a must-visit archeological site within Naples.
- Visiting the complex—church, halls, museum, and market—takes roughly half a day.
- Church admission is free, but entering the museum and ruins requires a paid ticket.
- Sista V and Chamber halls—part of the complex— are home to intriguing art including frescoes.
How to Get There
San Lorenzo Maggiore is in the center of Naples’ historic center, on the south side of Piazza San Gaetano just off Via dei Tribunali. Driving there is not recommended. To reach the complex by public transit, take Metro Line 1 to Museo or Dante station. From Museo, head south on Via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli and turn left at Via San Pietro a Maiella, which eventually turns into Via dei Tribunali. From Dante, head east on Via Port’Alba, pass underneath the Port’Alba Gate, and continue on Via San Pietro a Maiella.
When to Get There
San Lorenzo is open from 9:30am to 5:30pm daily. It is rarely crowded and offers respite from raucous Via dei Tribunali at all times of day. Although the complex holds regular opening hours, the church and museum, which are part of a monastery, may close unexpectedly during the city’s long lunch hours. Hour-long, official tours are given every day, but more often—sometimes as many as six per day—on weekends.
The Ruins of a Roman Market
Travelers often come to Naples to visit Pompeii or Paestum—both at least an hour outside the city—without considering smaller archeological sites that are much closer. The ruins beneath San Lorenzo Maggiore are a true archeological dig, having been carefully excavated over 25 years, and are located within walking distance of most Naples attractions. You can walk through arched underground passages and rooms that were working wineries, bakeries, and shops thousands of years ago, without having to get out of town at all.
Address: Via del Tribunali, 316, Naples 80138, Italy
4 Tours and Activities to Experience Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore
Experience Naples from below and above on this guided excursion. After meeting up with an informative local guide at Piazza San Gaetano, embark on a tour of sites like Complesso Museale Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco and Stazione della Metropolitana dell'Arte. Explore the city’s historic center and head underground to visit La Neapolis Sotterrata - Complesso Monumentale San Lorenzo Maggiore.
Our tour is unique because you will be accompanied by specialized guides and graduates in art history. You will have the opportunity to make an exciting walking tour to discover the ancient Greek roads, the Roman underground excavations and the many squares present. The tour lasts about 5/6 hours and includes 2 different moments of free time, each of 45 minutes, one for shopping and one for lunch. You will have the opportunity to take numerous pictures during the breaks! You will have the opportunity to ask questions to the guide who will give you detailed information to satisfy your curiosity. You will enjoy an hour of free time to dedicate yourself to shopping and personal refreshment.
An unusual tour to discover the belly of Naples and the history of the ancient city. We will start from Piazza Bellini, where a section of the Greek wall of V a.C. We will cross the main decuman - via dei Tribunali - to climb along the Via Sacra a S. Aniello to Caponapoli, where the Greek acropolis was located. We will continue the tour at the monumental complex of Pietrasanta, where we will visit a section of the Greek-Roman aqueduct, built inside a tuff quarry and then reused as a bomb shelter during the bombings of the Second World War. Finally, we will reach Piazza San Gaetano, the ancient forum of Neapolis, to visit the Roman market under the San Lorenzo Maggiore complex. Particularly suitable for lovers of archeology.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore?
The best ways to experience Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore are:
- Guided Tour Of The Naples Underground - Walking Tour - Small Group
- Tour Naples Historical Center and Underground Naples
- Svelaria Tour in the Greek-Roman Neapolis
- Naples tour - walking tour in the historical center
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