Complesso Museale Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco

Complesso Museale Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco

Complesso Museale Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco
4.5
History MuseumsChurches & Cathedrals
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
About
"Pezzentele" Souls Church In the heart of the ancient center of Naples, along via dei Tribunali, there is the Church of Santa Maria delle Anime in Purgatory in Arco, known to the Neapolitan people as the church "de '' e cape 'e morte" (the head of dead). Crossing the threshold begins a real journey in the Neapolitan culture between art, faith, life, death. From the small and beautiful church of the '600, which preserves the precious marble and winged skull of Dionisio Lazzari, together with masterpieces by Massimo Stanzione, Luca Giordano and Andrea Vaccaro, we descend into the ancient and grandiose hypogeum (the underground church) that still hosts the fascinating worship aimed at anonymous human remains that become special intermediaries for invocations, prayers, requests for intercessions. A small museum set up in the elegant sacristy completes the itinerary.
Duration: < 1 hour
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Neighbourhood: Pendino
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles421 reviews
Excellent
265
Very good
115
Average
30
Poor
7
Terrible
4

Andrew C
West Hollywood, CA26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
This was a highlight on our visit to Naples. I had never before heard of such a practice of helping the dear departed leave purgatory for heaven. Very intense and solemn experience of death. Probably not for the weak of heart, but those of us traveling together felt it was a very moving, very unique experience.
Written 31 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tom J
London, UK1,698 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
So this church is unique...it is infact 2 churches. The one you can see from the outside is free to enter and stroll around but the oddity is the paintings all seem death related and there are skulls everywhere?

The 2nd church is underneath and where this takes an interesting turn. Built to be a dedication to the prayer for those in purgatory this appears to still be a practise to this day. The most common appears to be Lucia the patron saint of virgin brides wearing a tiara and a veil.

Whilst the pope attempted to suppress this practise in 1969 declaring it as superstition and based to much around myth and folklore it is certainly interesting and worth paying the small admission to visit the 2nd church.
Written 31 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

M M
Paris, France60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Couples
A fascinating visit, both to the museum section behind the altar, and to the crypt and even lower areas beneath the church. If you go on the visit, hidden behind the altar is your first skull - which has wings, aspiring to Santa Maria where she flies in the painting above it. Then, below the church are niches with carefully posed displays of skulls and bones, an unknown person's grave to commemorate plague victims, and hundreds of messages, wishes and prayers to the dead. On a yet lower level you will find 10 or 12 graves of loose earth; and you can look down through a floor grating to another lower level. The idea behind all this emphasis on bones, is to maintain a relationship with the dead. Your prayers for them will help them to purify themselves and so rise through Purgatory; then, in gratitude, the dead person you have helped, will help you when your miserable sin-stained existence comes to an end.

Our guide spoke English and was knowledgeable. Wouldn't have missed this visit.

The church itself is a baroque wonder with inlaid marble, gilding, frescoes, and patterns everywhere. It is a beautiful example.
Written 19 October 2014
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Eleanor P
Southampton, UK11 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2012 • Friends
They've removed a large number of the bones for 'cleaning', but have chosen to keep the tour of the lower church and museum open and charge you for it. You don't even get to keep the English tour sheet (tours are in Italian) for your 7 euros. Disappointing.
Written 19 November 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear, during the restoration works the bones were moved,cleaned and classified by anthropologists,because each restoration work needs scientific researches. After this researches each bone was put in the place where it belonged.Thanks to these restoration works the lower church was opened and the touristis can visit one of the most spectacular tour of Naples. The regular ticket costs 4€,whereas a reduced ticket costs 3€, so you pay 7€ for 2 tickets and not just for one. English tour is available if you book it just one day before..Anyway recorded guides will be available very soon.
Written 29 August 2013
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

sinbruma
Portland, ME16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Couples
This church is a center for the unsanctioned Neapolitan cult of the dead. The interior has a number of great paintings and sculptures in the main church, but the real highlight is below. You pay 3 Euros, and, on the half-hour, you are given a guided tour of the crypt where the cult took place. The bones from paupers' burials were interred here, and it became customary for local parishioners to "adopt" some of their skulls: the parishioner prayed for the soul of the departed, and in return the dead were expected to provide aid and support to their adopter. All around the crypt are small boxes containing skulls, and in an antechamber toward the back are a number of graves and one particular skull, named Lucia, who is on full display surrounded by flowers and lights and crowned with a small veil. She is still popular by soon-to-be-brides, who adopt her in the hopes that their marriages will go off smoothly. The tour also gives you access behind the altar to see some interesting skull-themed sculptures on the back wall of the church. Tours only in Italian, but they have informational materials in English. Highly recommended.
Written 8 June 2012
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Steveage
Rexburg, ID3,151 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
This church is on the 'main tourist drag' in Naples. Why not stop in and see amazing artwork? Marble and stucco from the early 1600's and beautiful paintings... we walked in for free. We did not go into the small museum in the sacristy, or the underground chamber. It is possible to take a guided tour that lasts about 30 minutes in those areas.
Written 8 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mari M
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Family
What an incredible place. Having not done my Naples homework,and just enjoying taking in the atmosphere, we came across this incredible place . Buy a ticket to go downstairs. It is well worth it! A church dedicated to getting souls from purgatory..
Written 17 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Renate V
Hartbeesfontein, South Africa1,104 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Friends
Make sure you touch the skull on the outside... for good luck. You are allowed to take photos in the upper church but not in the lower section. Upper church is free but you have to pay to go downstairs. Still it is interesting to see the skulls and all the offerings brought to them. It seems that this practice is still ongoing. You get an English pamphlet to read but as always it is good to be prepared for what you want to see. Really an interesting place to see
Written 17 May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Regan A
Saint Clair Shores, MI84 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2017 • Couples
When you are in Italy, you will see and go inter many churches, they will start to blend in and you'll stop caring. No this one, I promise you will probably never step into a church like this anywhere in the world. The regular church that you step into isn't anything too amazing, but is the church underneath, the church meant to represent Purgatory and those stuck in purgatory that you need to see. unfortunately the tour in only in Italian, but you do get a pamphlet to read in English. before you go, read up on this church and its history, about Lucy, so you know what you are looking at. This was my favorite church of the my trip to Italy. Do not pass this up if you have the opportunity to go. Its a relatively quick tour maybe an hour. Real bones in what look like shadow boxes that people still worship. You wont be able to take pictures so soak it all in.
Written 13 October 2017
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Richy
38 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I read a lot of positive reviews about this place and it did seem quite interesting. It was a lovely testament to the practices and history of the local neopolitan people. I'm saddened to give such a low score but my experience with this place was completely ruined by the tour provided. Only a brief sheet of information was supplied in English, which I assume was only a small fraction of what the actual tour was offering (it was in Italian ONLY even though half of us spoke english). We were completely ignored throughout the tour, not even an opportunity for questions or a sliver of attention, except for the occasional outburst of "stay with the group" which I found rediculous as she did not even attempt to engage us in the tour. How can this be charged as a guided tour? Essentially we were treated as kids. Only when prompted, when we were about to leave did she ask if we had questions regarding what we had seen, which I found to be inadequate. Thoroughly impressed with exhibited but would NOT recommend paying for the tour because it is over priced, and you can read everything online anyways. There are other monuments or exhibits throughout Naples which will give an equally awe-inspiring experience (the cemetary for example) without having to go through a shoddy tour. If you insist on this exhibit, enquire about an English tour or incessantly ask questions about what you are seeing during the tour or you won't get much out of it
Written 21 February 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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COMPLESSO MUSEALE SANTA MARIA DELLE ANIME DEL PURGATORIO AD ARCO (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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