The Pio Monte della Misericordia is an institution of charity with more than four hundred years of history. Today it still carries out the same mission of when it was founded, helping the people in need. At the same time, however, it's also one of the most interesting museums in Naples.
It's a place full of charm, where the link with the past can still be felt strongly, and where simultaneously they look at the future, also investing in young people. In the various rooms of which the monumental complex is composed, it's possible to admire various expressions of Neapolitan art, particularly of the seventeenth century. In addition to an important archive and a library containing more than 17,000 volumes, the Pio Monte della Misericordia has a rich gallery on the first floor, at the end of a beautiful monumental staircase. Here is a collection of works by the greatest masters of the seventeenth-century Neapolitan school, including Ribera, Luca Giordano, Mattia Preti and Fracanzano. Walking through the rooms, which today as in '600, periodically host the meetings of the "Governors" of the institution, you can also admire beautiful original wooden furniture of the seventeenth century, plus fabrics and silver artefacts from the same era.
There is also a section of contemporary art inaugurated in recent times, where several artists, Neapolitan and not, gave their own interpretation on the theme of mercy.
Today this section contains forty works, among which there are the ones of many important artists of the contemporary scene including, for example, Kounellis, Jodice, Kosuth and Paladino. This section also hosts many emerging young people.
The reason why Pio Monte della Misericordia is so well known and loved by tourists who visit Naples, is undoubtedly its awesome chapel. Inside this little baroque jewel there are works by artists such as Luca Giordano and Battistello Caracciolo. Anyway, more than anything else, it's the world famous Caravaggio's painting to attract people's attention, the Seven Works of Mercy.
The large 1606 canvas, which the artist created during his first Neapolitan stay, is located in a privileged position above the main altar and is one of the three Caravaggio paintings in Naples. It's a grandiose work both for its dimensions, it measures in fact 390 × 260 cm, and for the impact it has had over the centuries, on the Neapolitan artistic scene. It's also one of the most important testimonies of the audacity of Caravaggio's genius, who here more than anywhere else, totally subverts the classic iconography.
Truly a must see.
Where it's located
The monumental complex is in Via dei Tribunali 253, near the Duomo. It is very easy to reach as it's just 200 meters from the Piazza Cavour metro station.
Have fun exploring the quaint lanes of this neighborhood which is one of the oldest and most authentic in Naples. Here, not even five minutes away from the Pio Monte della Misericordia, there is also Napulitano Assaje, a welcoming, modern holiday home equipped with every comfort. The location is perfect to enjoy completely and in total comfort a full immersion in this area. This is one of the districts tourists and Neapolitans love the most thanx to its incomparable historical beauties, the ancient and modern artisan shops and the countless typical restaurants.