The church of Santa Maria Maggiore alla Pietrasanta is one of the historic basilicas in the historic centre of Naples; it can be considered one of the most interesting from the historical-artistic point of view and was also the first Neapolitan church to be dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is located along Via dei Tribunali (the ancient Decumano Maggiore), and in its immediate vicinity we can see the fifteenth-century Pontano Chapel, the old Romanesque bell tower, (dating from the eleventh century) and a thousand other wonders of the Old Town of Naples.
From the outside the church is easily recognizable, given the large dome overlooking the city and the unfinished facade dating from the seventeenth century, when the Neapolitan Baroque ruled. In fact, the church was designed by one of the absolute protagonists of that period: the Bergamasque Cosimo Fanzago.
The front elevation of the church is perfectly divided into two orders connected by stone volutes. The lower part is in Ionic style while the upper one was in Corinthian style now no longer visible following the collapse of the upper tympanum, visible in pre-war images.
The lower part has an access ramp that leads to the majestic portal in white marble, set in a blind arch, made by the escapel Pietro Sanbarberio.
The interior, on the other hand, has mixed shapes and splendid stucco decorations with Corinthian pilasters. The majolica floor dates back to the eighteenth century and was made by Giuseppe Massa. The spaces are rich in sculptural decorations that make the pink and yellow walls stand out through their materials.
The church is also very rich in history, in fact in the ancient crypt there are the remains of the ancient early Christian construction and even preserved fragments of a mosaic of Roman times.
In recent years, the basilica has been the result of major restoration work completed in November 2017, which have covered the entire complex, including the exterior and the surrounding open space.
Today, the place is the scene of exhibitions and cultural events, including the latest
The Museum of Madness: from Goya to Maradona, curated by Vittorio Sgarbi and Chagall. Dream of love, open until June 30, 2019, take advantage!
ADDRESS: piazzetta Pietrasanta 17
TIMES: daily 10-20 (ticket office closes one hour before)
CURATORS: Dolores Durán Úcare
TICKET COST: Full € 14 + 1 € audio guide, Reduced € 12 + 1 € audio guide, children € 6 + 1 € audio guide
TELEPHONE FOR INFORMATION: +39 081 1865941