Santa Maria della Sanità, Naples

The Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità is a basilica church located over the Catacombs of San Gaudioso, on a Piazza near where Via Sanità meets Via Teresa degli Scalzi, in the Rione of the Sanità, in Naples, Italy. The church is also called San Vincenzo or San Vincenzo della Sanità, due to the cult of an icon of San Vincenzo Ferrer, also called locally O' Monacone (the big monk).

Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità
Basilica di Santa Maria della Sanità (in Italian)
Santa Maria della Sanità 2012.jpg
Façade of Santa Maria della Sanità.
AffiliationRoman Catholic
DistrictArchdiocese of Naples
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusMinor basilica
LocationNaples, Campania, Italy
Geographic coordinates40°51′35″N 14°14′56″E / 40.8597°N 14.2490°E / 40.8597; 14.2490Coordinates: 40°51′35″N 14°14′56″E / 40.8597°N 14.2490°E / 40.8597; 14.2490


Nave looking towards altar and crypt

The church was originally attached to a Dominican monastery founded in 1577. The church was built in a centralized Greek-cross plan from 1602 to 1613 using the architectural designs of Giuseppe Nuvolo.

Main altar, staircase, and pulpit

The main altar is elevated and accessed via flanking Baroque-style spiraling staircases, all sheathed in polychrome marble. The entrance to the crypt or catacombs is beneath the altar, which was elevated above the site of the original chapel at the site.[1] On the left of the nave is an elevated polychrome marble pulpit, designed by Dionisi Lazzari.[2]

The crypt, once site of a paleochristian chapel, was supposedly the burial site for San Gaudioso, a bishop of North Africa. The crypt has ten shallow altars surmounted by frescoes by Bernardino Fera.[3]

The interior of the upper church and chapels are decorated by painters such as:

The original church was connected to the veneration of San Gaudioso, a bishop of Abitina in the Roman province of Africa, who died in Naples in c.451 after being set adrift from the north African coast by the Vandal King Genseric. In the 1500s, a 6th-century image of the Madonna and Child was uncovered here, and led to the establishment of this church.

The marble pulpit dates from 1677 to 1705. The organ, now in disuse, dates from the early 1700s.[5]


  1. ^ Website of the Church of Santa Maria della Sanità
  2. ^ Notizie del bello dell'antico e del curioso della città di Napoli, Volume 5; by Carlo Cerano; Curated by Giovanni Battista Chiarini; Stamperia di Agostino di Pascale, Naples (1860); page 361.
  3. ^ Article on the restoration of the crypt, in Avenire, article by Rosanna Borzillo, 30 May 2017.
  4. ^ Comune of Naples entry on church.
  5. ^ Entry in Churches of Naples

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