San Lorenzo Maggiore | Attraction Guides | History Hit

San Lorenzo Maggiore

Naples, Campania, Italy

History Hit

24 Nov 2020

About San Lorenzo Maggiore

What seems to be the attractive thirteenth century church of San Lorenzo Maggiore in Naples in fact contains a startling secret – the amazing underground remains of the Greco-Roman city of Neapolis. For lovers of ancient Rome it’s simply unmissable.

Established in approximately 470 BC by the Cumans, Neapolis would later become the Roman city of Naples and the remains reflect this change as well as development into medieval times.

The main find at the San Lorenzo Maggiore Ruins are the remains of the Greek meeting place and marketplace, known as the Agora. A Roman food market or “Macellum” has also been found, partially incorporated into the cloisters of a church, the cloisters themselves dating back to the fourteenth century.

Visitors to the San Lorenzo Maggiore Ruins can also see public buildings such as what would have been the public treasury or “Aerarium” and a series of roads and “tabernae” or shops including a laundrette and a bakery.

Beneath the thirteenth century church of San Lorenzo Maggiore, there are also the remnants of a sixth century AD Christian basilica. This truly remarkable place is also an informative museum, with exhibits and historical information covering the archaeological excavations at the site. This impressive site features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Italy.

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