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The most Italian of cities

Conjure up any image of Italy, and you can find it in Naples, arguably the most Italian of cities. Pizza, sunshine, scooters, football, and some of the world’s greatest art, all in the shadow of Vesuvius, mainland Europe’s only active volcano. Settled by the Greeks around 470 BC, the city has had an often troubled past, and the present is not without its troubles either – however, the infamous rubbish problems have been resolved, crime figures are down, and tourism is on the up.

catacombe di san gennaroRosino / CC BY-SA 2.0

Catacombe di San Gennaro (St. Januarius)

Catacombe di San Gennaro (St. Januarius)

Famous The most popular catacombs in Southern Italy

The most popular catacombs in Southern Italy Editors' Note

Catacombe di San Gennaro (St. Januarius) are the oldest and most important catacombs in Southern Italy, boasting well-preserved fresco cycles that adorn their chapels and corridors. Some of their decorations date back to the 2nd century when the catacombs were first in use.

A noble family originally owned the site until the patron saint of Naples, San Gennaro, was buried there in the 5th century.

Soon after, the Catacombe di San Gennaro (St. Januarius) were sought out as a popular point of interest during Christian pilgrimages. Organized on two levels, broad corridors and vestibules display 2nd-century Christian frescoes, as well as 5th-century mosaic art.

Make sure you get a chance to visit the bishop burial chamber Cripta dei Vescovi, elaborately decorated with 5th-century mosaics. In the lower level, look for the tomb of St. Agrippino, the 3rd-century bishop of Naples.

Catacombe di San Gennaro (St. Januarius)
Via di Capodimonte 13 Naples, 80100 Naples
By guided tour only: Tues-Sun 9am, 10am, 11am and 12pm