Beyond Gesú Nuovo Church’s facade of pyramid-shaped stones lies a brilliant baroque interior. The building’s imposing shell was part of the fortified Palazzo Sanseverino before it was converted into a church in the 16th century. Inside are three elaborate naves, 11 chapels, and religious art by Cosimo Fanzago and Luca Giordano.
Gesú Nuovo Church is often the first stop on food and art tours that begin at Piazza del Gesú Nuovo and make their way east down narrow Spaccanapoli—officially known as Via Benedetto Croce—to find traditional pastries and more churches and chapels. Vespa, bike, and Segway tours usually stop to admire the church’s mysterious exterior and the obelisk in the middle of the piazza before heading elsewhere.
Travelers who want to engage more deeply with the church’s history can book private baroque-art tours, which also stop at the Gothic Church of Santa Chiara, San Lorenzo Maggiore, and lavish Naples Cathedral (Duomo di San Gennaro).
Things to Know Before You Go
- Gesú Nuovo Church is a must-visit for travelers interested in Naples’ baroque art.
- Entrance is free, but the church is closed to the public in the afternoon.
- Don’t forget the strict(ish) conventions for attire: no shorts or bare shoulders.
- The Church of Santa Chiara—plus the adjacent monastery and archaeological museum—is just across the piazza.
How to Get There
Gesú Nuovo Church stands on the northern side of the piazza of the same name. To reach the church by public transit, take metro line 1 to Dante, walk south on Via Toledo, veer left at Via Sant’Anna dei Lombardi, and turn left at Via Domenico Capitelli. Toledo and Università metro stations are also close by.
When to Get There
Gesú Nuovo Church is open from 7am to 8pm daily but closes between 1pm and 4pm. Morning visits are recommended, as later in the day tourists and high schoolers crowd the piazza. Also, the church is at the western end of Spaccanapoli, and visiting in the morning leaves time for exploring the shops, chapels, and eateries of the city’s old historical center.
Sale di San Giuseppe Moscati (Rooms of St. Joseph Moscati)
One of the chapels in Gesú Nuovo Church is adorned with votives to San Giuseppe Moscati, a local doctor beloved for treating the poor and one of the first modern doctors to be canonized. The walls are lined with framed silver figures offering thanks for ailments cured. Visitors will also find a re-creation of the doctor’s study and the shell of a bomb that was dropped on the church during World War II but miraculously failed to explode.