Attractions & guided tours
Catacombs Of San Gennaro
A millennial history that lives below the ground in Naples, a journey to discover the close bond of faith between the city and its patron saint, San Gennaro. The Catacombs of San Gennaro are arrange on two levels that are not superimposed, both characterised by much larger spaces than the more famous Roman catacombs. This is due to the workability and strength of the tuff. The artistic heritage of the Catacombs ranges from pre-existing pagan items from the 2nd century AD to Byzantine paintings of the 9th-10th century AD. The original nucleus of the Catacombs of San Gennaro dates back to the 2nd century AD. It was probably the tomb of a noble family, who then provided spaces for the Christian community. The expansion began in the 4th century AD following the deposition of the remains of St. Agrippinus, the first patron of Naples, to the underground basilica dedicated to him. The imposing lower vestibule, with ceilings measuring up to 6 metres high, houses a largebaptismal font commissioned by Bishop Paul II, who took refuge in the Catacombs of San Gennaro in the eighth century during iconoclastic struggles. One of the most striking areas is the vestibule of the upper catacomb, which was decorated at the beginning of the 3rd century in the so-called Pompeian style and conserves the earliest Christian paintings in southern Italy. Perhaps the most precious place is the Crypt of the Bishops, which preserves valuable 5th-century mosaics, including one portraying the bishop of Carthage, St. Quodvultdeus.