The San Martino Charterhouse: wonder of the Gulf of Naples
The San Martino Charterhouse (Italian: Certosa di San Martino) is perched on a hill overlooking the Gulf of Naples – a strategic location picked by Charles, Duke of Calabria, who wanted the complex built in 1325 near the Castle of Belforte, now replaced by Castel Sant’Elmo.
Few traces remain today of the ancient gothic style of the structure created by Tino di Camaino and Attanasio Primario, including the Catalan-inspired Lombard band. Most of the building’s original look was indeed altered during the renovations carried out in the 17th century by Cosimo Fanzago, who gave the charterhouse a baroque touch by hiring Naples’s leading artists of the time.
Over the years, many travelers and authors have been inspired by the structure and the breathtaking view it offers over the Gulf of Naples. Its splendid gardens, on three levels, descend the Vomero hill with dozens of different tree and flower varieties. Highlights of the structure are the church with its sculptures, marbles and paintings, and the Major and Minor Cloisters. The former dates back to the 16th century and is considered a remarkable example of 17th-century Neapolitan art; the latter revolves around a central well and provides access to the San Martino National Museum, which showcases nativity scenes created by Neapolitan artists and is dedicated to the history of the city.
San Martino Charterhouse
Largo S. Martino, 5
+39 081 229 4503