At the exit of the church of San Gregorio Armeno, along a short stretch of road leading up to a hill on your left hand side there is the entrance to the Cloister and the Convent designed by the architect Vincenzo della Monica (1572-74) both later expanded by Francesco Antonio Picchiatti (1644). The ramp of stairs is decorated with eighteenth-century frescoes by the painter James Po, reworked by Nicola Antonio Alfano at the time of a visit of Queen Maria Amalia. This room leads to a spacious and decorated place with the Annunciation scene with vast landscape on the background with The Baptism of Christ and St. John the Baptist where Christ appeares. The cloister, one of the most beautiful in the city, has a portico with pillars open to the view of the gulf; Between beds of citrus the center is dominated by a large marble fountain decorated with Baroque dolphins, sea horses and masks, and by two large sculptures depicting Christ and the Samaritan woman, by the painter Matthew Bottigliero in 1733. From here you can go to the room of the Abbess, decorated with eighteenth-century frescoes of floral patterns and architecture and the first chorus, where there are also the wooden stalls of the sixteenth century and fresco decorations by Belisario Corenzio. In the hall of the nuns, there are altars with works of art of different periods together with the chapel of the Madonna of the Idria, the only surviving part of the original church, which was renovated in 1712 and decorated with paintings and frescoes by Paolo De Matteis. The original building remains as a testimony thanks to the ogival altar above and in-drawing of the Madonna of the Idria altar. On this side of the cloister there is the Refectory and the old oven which remembers the extraordinary skill of the nuns of St. Gregory in the culinary arts, especially in the production of puffs.
Address: Via San Gregorio Armeno, 1
Cloister: open Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 12.00 pm, Saturdays from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, Sunday from 9.30 to 12.45