The Top Museums in Naples, Italy

Experience Archaeology, History, and Art in These Famed Museums

Piazza Del Plebiscito
Piazza Del Plebiscito in Naples. Ray Wise / Getty Images

Naples may be famous for its pizza, but there are several excellent museums in this southern Italian city, including the highly acclaimed National Archaeological Museum, which is considered to be one of the best museums in Italy.

  • 01 of 07
    Turisti al museo
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    One of the world's best collections of Greek and Roman antiquities can be found in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, or Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli.

    Many of the artifacts come from the nearby excavations in Pompeii and Herculaneum, which are well-preserved sites that were buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD.

    There's an impressive display of mosaics and frescoes on display including an exhibit of erotic art, as well as a fascinating section on prehistory.

  • 02 of 07
    Napoli - Pergolato dei Giardini di San Martino
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    The National Museum of San Martino is housed in the Certosa di San Martino, a large monastery complex dating from 1368. In addition to the many interesting museum exhibits, you can also tour the cloisters, and see the beautiful frescoes and mosaics in the monastery.

    Museum highlights include displays of famous Neapolitan presepi or nativity scenes, paintings and sculptures from the 13th to 19th centuries, and great views of the city from the gardens.

  • 03 of 07
    Museo di Capodimonte (Galleria delle porcellane).jpg
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    Capodimonte was built as King Charles III's hunting lodge. The Museum and National Galleries of Capodimonte (Museo e le Gallerie Nazionali di Capodimonte) houses a museum with a large painting gallery of medieval through contemporary artworks.

    Be sure to visit the royal apartments decorated with furniture, tapestries, and porcelain from the Bourbon and Savoy dynasties. You can wander around the surrounding park as well.

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    Santa Chiara Monastery is known for the beautiful Majolica tiled columns and benches in its cloister. You will also see 17th-century frescoes under the porticoes, and inside is a museum with archeological finds from the first through fourth centuries.

    An excavation of a Roman thermal spa, as well as important religious artifacts, are some of the highlights. 

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    San Severo Chapel Museum
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    San Severo Chapel Museum (Museo Cappella San Severo) holds major 18th-century sculptures and paintings, including the famous Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino, a floor labyrinth, and the bizarre anatomical machines within the underground chamber. The chapel is richly decorated in Baroque style.

  • 06 of 07
    Sisto V Hall of San Lorenzo Maggiore. Naples, Italy.
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    The San Lorenzo Maggiore Monumental Complex is a 13th-century French-Gothic convent that was built on top of the Forum of ancient Neapolis (Naples). Part of the ancient city was excavated and is on display in an underground section of the cloisters. 

    You will also get to see works from the Greek and Roman period all the way through to the 19th century as well as thee Capitolare and Sisto V rooms with beautiful frescoed ceilings.

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    Basilica di Santa Restituta in Duomo di Napoli. Naples, Italy.
    Basilica di Santa Restituta. photooiasson / Getty Images

    The Naples Duomo (Cathedral) is another place to see an underground archaeological area with ancient Greek remains and artifacts from the Middle Ages. 

    You will also see the 4th-century Basilica Santa Restituta, the oldest church in Naples. With stunning ceiling frescoes and columns believed to be from the Temple of Apollo and the Crypt and Treasure of San Gennaro, it is a must-see.