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NaplesCatacombs of San Gaudioso

Catacombs of San Gaudioso | Naples’ Underground Burial Chambers

The Catacombs of San Gaudioso are an extensive underground Christian burial site located in Naples. Established between the 4th-5th century AD, these catacombs were named after St. Gaudiosus, a Tunisian bishop who sought refuge in Naples. The catacombs served as a resting place for the city's bishops and martyrs for centuries.

Inside the catacombs, visitors can find a rich collection of splendid frescoes that illustrate both biblical scenes and images of early Christian life, epitaphs, and crypts. The main characteristic of this place is a fresco representing the Madonna della Sanità and is the oldest picture of Maria in the Campania region. The Catacombs of San Gaudioso, like the larger Catacombs of San Gennaro, are an important part of Naples' extensive network of underground structures. Both of these catacombs reveal a great deal about the city's religious, social, and cultural history from the early Christian period. 

All Your Catacombs of San Gaudioso Tickets Explained

Catacombs of San Gaudioso

Guided Tour

Duration: 1 hour 

  • Discover thousands of years of buried history in this guided tour just below Naples's busy Sanita district.
  • Witness the final resting place of bishop Saint Gaudiosus, as well as many noble figures like Donna Sveva Gesualda, Marco Antonio d'Aponte, and Giovanni Balducci. 
  • Led by an expert bilingual guide (English & Italian), discover the perfectly eerie crypt and get goosebumps exploring the early days of Naples.
  • Experience one of the world's creepiest collections of art, with frescoes that use real skulls and bones to honor the dead.

Cancellation Policy 

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience starts 
  • Any rescheduling attempts made in less than 24 hours before the experience starts will not be accepted

Recommended Tour

Guided Tour of San Gaudioso Catacombs

San Gaudioso

Combo Tour

  • Embark on a guided tour through the Catacombs of San Gaudioso and the revered Basilica of S. Maria della Sanità.
  • With the same ticket, you can also visit the Catacombs of  San Gennaro and the Basilica of  San Gennaro for free.
  • Discount for entry to the Santa Chiara cloister. 
  • Led by an English & Italian speaking guide, you can learn the history behind the frescoes and mosaics, and more. 

Cancellation Policy 

You can cancel your tickets for free until 24 hours before your visit and get a full refund.

Recommended Tours 

Naples Catacombs Tour of San Gaudioso & San Gennaro

City Pass

City Pass

  • Enjoy the convenience of visiting popular attractions with one easy-to-download pass.
  • A 3-day pass offers access to over 40 attractions such as the Catacombs of San Gaudioso & San Gennaro, the Museum of Capodimonte, and many more. 
  • Enjoy free entry to the first 3 sights and save up to 50% from the 4th attraction.  
  • Get free rides on public transportation, making the itinerary light on your pocket.

Cancellation Policy  

You can cancel the tickets 24 hours before the experience starts and get a full refund. 

Recommended Tour 

City Pass by Artecard Napoli 

What is the Best Way to Buy Catacombs of San Gaudioso Tickets?

Planning a visit to the historic Catacombs of San Gaudioso? The most convenient and hassle-free way to book your Catacombs of San Gaudioso tickets online. This will not only saves you from potentially long lines at the site but also, allows you to plan your visit according to your schedule. 

Here's why online purchasing is recommended:

  • Ease of Access: Buying online saves you time, eliminating the need to queue for tickets on-site.
  • Advance Planning: Online ticketing lets you plan your visit in advance, selecting your preferred date and time slot.
  • Security: Pre-purchasing ensures that your entry is guaranteed, particularly during high-traffic periods.

Catacombs of San Gaudioso Highlights

The Fresco of Pascentius

The Fresco of Pascentius

One of the most ancient frescos in the Catacombs of San Gaudioso, this dates back to the 5th or 6th century and represents a welcome scene. Its center depicts the figure of the Apostle Peter, introducing the deceased Pascentius to an unknown figure, either Christ or probably St. Paul. Another striking element is the presence of two candlesticks with burning candles placed on either side of the figure, resembling African representations.

The Fresco of Madonna

The Fresco of Madonna

The San Gaudioso Catacombs were confirmed as a burial site in the 16th century, after the discovery of the Madonna fresco that had been previously concealed by mud. The Madonna della Sanita dates back to the 5th-6th century and is the oldest depiction of the Virgin Mary in the Campania region. After the revelation of this fresco, the catacombs were entrusted to the Dominicans, who later built the Basilica so as to house them in the building. 

Tombs of the 17th Century Noblemen

Tombs of the 17th Century Noblemen

During the 17th century, the catacombs housed graves of the nobility, mostly the aristocrats and the clergy. The tombs of these noblemen were created in a unique procedure where the skulls were placed on display in the ambulatory walls, while the rest of the corpse was frescoed. This mostly included clothes and occupational instruments that symbolized the social status of the deceased. Interesting fact; these frescoes were created by an artist, Giovanni Balducci, who refused payment in exchange for securing a place among the aristocrats after his demise. 

Plan Your Visit to the Catacombs of San Gaudioso

Getting There
Visitor Tips
Catacombs of San Gaudioso
  • Opening Hours: 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM, Thursday to Tuesday 
  • Closed On: Wednesday, December 25  
  • Last Entry: 1:00 PM 
  • Best Time to Visit: Visit in the summer when the underground temperature hovers around 15-22 degrees Celsius.
Catacombs of San Gaudioso
  • Address: Via Sanità, 123, 80136 Napoli NA, Italy Find on Map 
  • By Metro: Line 1, Line 2
    Nearest Stop: Museo station, Cavour station
  • By Bus: Take bus lines 168, 178, C63, or R4 from the Museo Nazionale stop 
    Nearest Stop: Basilica Incoronata - Catacombe San Gennaro 
  • By Car: Take the Tangenziale (beltline) to the Capodimonte exit (number 5) and turn right onto Via Capodimonte. San Gaudioso Catacombs is 7 min away from Capodimonte Museum. 
    Parking Facility: There is free parking for visitors.
parking facilities
  • Relief plaques for easy navigation for visitors with visual impairments 
  • Free parking facilities
  • Audio guides available, need to be bought separately
  • The Catacombs of San Gaudioso are free from architectural barriers, however, due to hydrogeological instability, people with restricted mobility will find it not accessible
  • Embossed plaques along the itinerary offer a seamless visit for the visually impaired
  • The catacombs are not accessible by wheelchairs 
  • Accessible by strollers 
woodfire pizzeria
  • Starita: A classic Neapolitan pizzeria, famous for its Angioletti Fritti, 3 min away 
  • Cantina del Gallo: Oldest restaurant and pizzeria with more than 100 years of history, 2 min away
  • Poppella: A popular pastry shop ideal for quick grab & bite, 1 min away 
  • Da Concettina a Tre Santi: Famous woodfire pizzeria with gourmet toppings, 2 min away 
  • Pizzeria La Campagnola: Local favorite joint for pizzas, pastas & spaghetti, 9 min away 
No Smoking
  • Carrying large backpacks and trolleys is prohibited 
  • Smoking or consumption of drugs (except prescribed medication) is strictly prohibited 
  • Make sure to reach the catacombs at your selected timeslot, don’t risk missing your tour! 
  • Using flashguns for photography is not allowed 
Museum of Capodimonte
  • Catacombs of San Gennaro: Underground burial chambers for Paleo-Christians and site of worship, 12 min away  
  • Museum of Capodimonte: A treasure trove of Neapolitan art & paintings, ancient Roman sculptures, 7 min away 
  • Naples National Archaeological Museum: Houses ancient Roman remains and artifacts from Roman, Greek, and Renaissance times, 10 min away 
  • Sansevero Chapel Museum: A hidden gem of international artistic heritage, 7 min away
  • Piazza del Plebiscito: Largest landmark square in Naples, home to the neo-classical Royal Palace, 12 min away
Visitor Tips
  • Wear comfortable shoes and a light sweater or jacket as temperatures below ground remain at a cool 15 degrees Celsius even in summer
  • Dress modestly as it is a holy place for Christians; wear knee-length dresses, and avoid putting on sleeveless outfits 
  • Visitors with cardiac conditions can avoid visiting San Gaudioso Catacombs as they might feel claustrophobic 
  • Visitors must have a moderate physical fitness level

Frequently Asked Questions About Catacombs of San Gaudioso

What are the Catacombs of San Gaudioso?

The Catacombs of San Gaudioso, in Naples, are underground Christian burial chambers, dating back to the 4th or 5th century. The site contains remains of St. Gaudiosus and other members of the nobility.

Why visit the Catacombs of San Gaudioso?

The Catacombs of San Gaudioso is the second largest in Naples after those of San Gennaro, home to beautiful frescoes and mosaics from the 5th and 6th centuries that depict early Christian symbols.  In the 1600s, the catacombs became an important burial site for Naples' noble and aristocratic families. During your visit, you can discover several Neapolitan traditions and folklore around the cult of the dead and the afterlife. 

How to book the Catacombs of San Gaudioso tour?

You can book the Catacombs of San Gaudioso tour online. This way you can book your preferred slot, plan in advance and eliminate the hassles of buying tickets from the venue in queues.

Can I explore the Catacombs of San Gaudioso on my own?

No, catacombs require an expert guide to help you navigate through the labyrinth of tunnels, ensure your safety and provide you with valuable information about the historical significance of the Catacombs of San Gaudioso.

Are guided tours available for the San Gaudioso Catacombs?

Yes, you can book guided tours of San Gaudioso Catacombs online and explore the ancient subterranean crypt, under the guidance of an English-Italian-speaking guide. 

What is covered in a combo tour?

Booking a combo tour allows you to explore the San Gaudioso Catacombs along with free access to the San Gennaro Catacombs and the Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanita. It also includes a discounted entrance to the Cloister of Santa Chiara.

What is the cost of the Catacombs of San Gaudioso tour?

A guided tour of the Catacombs of San Gaudioso will cost you €11.

Where are the Catacombs of San Gaudioso located?

The San Gaudioso Catacombs are located in Via Sanità, 123, 80136 Napoli NA, Italy.

Can I visit multiple catacombs in one day?

Yes, you can visit the Catacombs of San Gaudioso and San Gennaro on a combo tour. Book your tour in advance and ensure you have ample time to explore each catacomb fully.

Are the Catacombs of San Gaudioso accessible for individuals with mobility issues?

No, unfortunately, the catacombs have limited accessibility for people with disabilities due to their underground nature and uneven terrain.

Can I take photographs inside the San Gaudioso Catacombs?

Yes, photography is permitted inside the Catacombs of San Gaudioso. However, the use of flash guns is strictly prohibited.

Are there any dress code requirements for visiting the Catacombs of San Gaudioso?

Wear comfortable shoes as the surface is uneven and it’s a long walk inside the tunnels. Dress modestly to respect the sacred nature of San Gaudioso Catacombs, with knees and shoulders appropriately covered.