The history of the church of San Giuseppe dei Ruffi

The church of San Giuseppe dei Ruffi is located at the entrance to Via dell'Anticaglia, the last offshoot of the Decumano Superiore. And, like a sort of small theater, it winks at passers-by and tourists who, walking along Via Duomo, or along the end of Via Donnaregina, raise their heads to admire its spectacular beauty.

His name is closely linked to that of his foundation. In fact they were two noblewomen of the Ruffo family, Ippolita and Caterina, with the help of other Neapolitan ladies, at the beginning of the XVIIth century they occupied the palace belonged to the Arcella family to found a small church dedicated to Saint Joseph. 

In 1669 Dionisio Lazzari took charge of the expansion work on the church, but these works were slow due to a dispute with the nuns of Donnaregina: a leitmotif of Neapolitan ecclesiastical history. When Lazzari died, Arcangelo Guglielmelli and his son completed the work on the church and the cloister.

The works of art of the church of San Giuseppe dei Ruffi

Climb the "little theater" stairs of the Anticaglia, before your eyes a rare show of beauty and variety will unfold. In fact, San Giuseppe dei Ruffi is an almost engineering example of the skill of the masters of the Neapolitan marble salesman. A sort of gigantic and highly articulated party apparatus, with the participation of artists such as the aforementioned Lazzari, Giandomenico Vinaccia, Matteo Bottigliero, to name just a few of the most famous names.

San Giuseppe dei Ruffi should be admired and experienced as a single work of art, with continuous and uninterrupted magnificence. A large abundance of luxuriant plant spirals and lush floral motifs travel the church far and wide, transforming it into a sort of "baroque jungle".

But there is no shortage of great soloists, who emerge with their own unmistakable voices, among the precious decorations of Saint Joseph! It is sufficient to cite, by way of example, the great Giuseppe Sanmartino, the author of the veiled Christ, to whom the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul of the left transept are attributed; or again, the equally famous Luca Giordano, author of a canvas depicting The Holy Trinity with various Saints. 

The exhilarating experience in San Giuseppe dei Ruffi can rightly be concluded with the head turned to the sky, in search of God. And in contemplation of the dome frescoed in 1741 by Francesco De Mura with The Glory of Saint Joseph...

How to reach the church of San Giuseppe dei Ruffi

The church of San Giuseppe dei Ruffi is located in Piazzetta San Giuseppe dei Ruffi, 6 and is easily accessible by line 1 (Museum stop) and line 2 (Piazza Cavour stop).

The church can be visited from Monday to Saturday from 7:30 am to 1:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Sunday from 7:30 am to 10:30am.