Hotel Europeo e Flowers: Touristic areas
Gesù Nuovo, designed by the Jesuit L. Valeriani, was constructed in the 16th century with a diamond-point bossed façade in the area of the renaissance Palazzo Serseverini. In 1767, the Jesuits were banished by the king, and the church was passed to the reformed Franciscans. But finally in 1821, the church was returned to its original founders. The inside presents magnificent multicolored marble on the walls. The high altar contains inlaid work of black agate stone, “porfido”, “diaspro”, amethyst, malachite and lapis lazuli. On the other wall is a fresco by F. Solemena with the “Cacciata di Eliodoro” (The Expulsion of Eliodoro) from the temple in 1725. The ceiling has frescoes on the center nave by B. Corenzio and P. De Matteis.
The large chapel of S. Ignazio di Loyola, founder of the company of Jesus, was erected by the Prince Gesualdo from Venosa, the celebrated madrigal singer who had his own wife killed along with her lover. The cappella of visitation guards the remains of San Giuseppe of Moscati, the doctor from the hospital of the incurable and university professor, the same saint that dedicated his entire life to helping the sick and the poor. He was declared a saint in 1987.
Santa Chiara e chiostro maiolicato
This provincial gothic work by Gagliardo Primario was erected in 1310 by Roberto Angiò and Queen Sancia.
The church exhibits three “epoche stilistiche” (stylistic eras): the first “gothic” with the mournful monument by Roberto d’Angiò; the real tombs by Tino Camaino and the great frescoed room by the students of Giotto and Cavallini; the second era “baroque” for the rehashing that distorts the whole fourteenth-century style. And the third era, set up by the bombardment of 1943 that destroyed the church but for a few meters with incalculable damages.
The reconstruction brought back the constructive lines to the original Franciscan idea, the little evidence that survived the deadly flames is still there with notable artistic interests.
The ninth chapel conserved the baroque structure and the official sepulcher of the Borbone family. The beautiful 18th century sepulcher is of Filippo the first son of Carlo of Borbone; in front is the tomb of the revered Maria Cristina of Savoia, mother of Francesco II of Borbone the last king of Naples who after few years now rests in the chapel after a long exile from his city. Behind the high altar lies the great sepulcher of Roberto that lost the steeple in the bombardment of 1943. The written words “cernite Robertum regem virtute refertum” was dictated from Petrarch. In the eighth chapel there is a Greek sarcophagus from the fourth century BC bas relief decorated.
The cloister of gothic origin was transformed in 1742by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro under the order of Queen Maria Amalia, wife of Carlo of Borbone. Donato and Giuseppe Massa, of the renowned “riggiolari” Neapolitan family, worked to redesign the structures of the cloister with stupendous multicolored tiles on the same drawings of Vaccaro.
Duomo e Cappella del Tesoro di San Gennaro
The cathedral of Naples was built under the order of Carlo I of Angiò and was completed by Roberto d’Angiò. Often restored, it presents notable layers of different styles. The neogothic style, remade by Enrico Alvino at the end of the 1800’s, is represented by its current façade. The gothic entrance from 1407 by Tino di Camiano preserves the gothic entrance. The two lateral entrances are both done in the late gothic style.
Also of great interest is the baptismal font made of precious Egyptian marble.
The long walls of the central nave show the paintings of Luca Giordano; the lateral chapels contain works by Vaccaro, Perugino, Falcone, and Solimena. In the other parts of the gallery, there is the Cappella Minutolo with frescoes from the 1200s, and the Cappella Tocco with a fresco by Pietro Cavallini. A real jewel of the Renaissance is the so-called bones of San Gennaro wanted by the Cardinal Oliviero Carafa.
The Cappella del Tesoro (The Chapel of Treasure), voted by the Neapolitans as the patron saint because of the plague in 1526, is a baroque work by the architect Grimaldi. The entrance gate was made by Cosimo Fanzago. The chapel is covered by a dome with a fresco by Lanfranco. The inside of the chapel is the result of the best 17th century Neapolitan. The 51 silver statues of the compatroni of Naples are taken out in procession on the first Saturday of May as a “sacra scorta” (sacred glimpse) at San Gennaro’s beautiful things. The treasure consists of the very precious gifts of reigning Neapolitans and Europeans and the silver “mitra” of 1713 studded with diamonds, emeralds and rubies.
Also the flasks of San Gennaro’s blood and his skull are conserved in the Chapel. The blood liquefies twice a year, in May and then in September, renewing a wonder that has stumped scientists all over the world.
From the left nave, one can descend into the paleochristian Basilica of the Santa Restituta erected in the fourth century. Connected to the Basilica is the paleochristian baptistery of San Giovanni in Fonte (363-409 A.D.), the oldest of the west because the Laterano is behind by around 30 years.
This impressive structure is situated directly behind the Castel Capuano. Many years ago it was the official entrance into the city. From this historic relic entered personalities such as Carlo V of Asburgo and Carlo of Borbone. The Porta Capuana, so dominated by its orientation in the direction of the city of Capua, was constructed under the order of King Ferrante of Aragona. In 1484, he wanted to expand the city’s walls in an age in which these new important areas (and the same Castel Capuano) were gathered within the town’s territory in the present position of the nearby Porta Nolana.
This Renaissance entrance is constructed with an elegant arch of white marble with decorations and (altorilievi), contained between two Aragonian towers (Honor and Virtue), and it certainly represents one of the most beautiful entrances from the Renaissance period of Italy.