Here are the top museums to visit on your vacation in Naples, Italy. Naples has several excellent museums including the highly acclaimed National Archeological Museum, one of the best in Italy and a must-see museum in Naples. Click on the link with the name of the museum to find out more about it and get visiting information.
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 at Pompeii and Herculaneum, well-preserved sites that were buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. There's an impressive display of mosaics and frescoes including an exhibit of erotic art from Pompeii. There's also an interesting section on prehistory and a huge display of coins.
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 displays you can see the gardens, cloisters, frescoes, woodworking, and mosaics of the monastery. Museum highlights include a top display of the famous Nepolitan presepi or nativity scenes, paintings and sculptures from the 13th to 19th centuries, and great views of Naples from the gardens.
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 one of Italy's richest museums with a large picture gallery with medieval through contemporary artworks. Be sure to visit the royal apartments decorated with furniture, tapestries, and porcelan from the Bourbon and Savoy dynasties. You can wander around the surrounding park, too.
Santa Chiara Monastery is known for the beautiful Majolica tiled columns and benchs in its cloister. You'll also see 17th century frescoes under the porticoes and inside is an interesting musuem with archeological finds from the 1st through 4th centuries, an excavation of a Roman thermal spa, and religous artifacts.
San Severo Chapel Museum, Museo Cappella San Severo, holds major 18th century sculptures and paintings, including the famous Veiled Christ by Sanmartino, a floor labyrinth, and the interesting anatomical machines in the underground chamber. The chapel is richly decorated in Baroque style.
The excavations under the Church of San Lorenzo Maggiore are one of the best places to take a look at underground Naples. Part of the original Roman city under the historic center of Naples has been excavated, including the area believed to be the Roman forum. Also in the Museum of San Lorenzo Maggiore you'll see works from the Greek and Roman period through the 19th century and you can visit the Capitolare and Sisto V rooms with beautifully frescoed ceilings.
The Naples Duomo or Cathedral is another place to see an underground archeological area with remains from the Greeks to the Middle Ages. You'll also visit 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.