Located on the vibrant street of Spaccanapoli, which cuts through the heart of Naples’ centro storico, the ethereal Cappella Sansevero had its origins in the tail end of the 16th century, when it was the mausoleum of the patrician Di Sangro dynasty. The name translates into English as the ‘alchemist’s chapel’ and it was extended by the eccentric Raimondo di Sangro, the seventh Prince of Sansevero, who lived between 1710 and 1771; he was an extraordinarily gifted man but as a Mason, he was considered by contemporary Neapolitans to have made a pact with the devil. Clad in ghostly white marble, with a multi-colored marble floor and ceiling frescoes of almost frenzied ornateness by Francesco Maria Russo, the chapel is stuffed with works by some of the greatest names on the 18th-century Naples art scene – among its treasures are Giuseppe Sanmartino’s amazingly realistic sculpture Cristo Velato (The Veiled Christ). The crypt below the chapel contains the macabre remains of Raimondo di Sangro’s experiments with anatomy – skeletons crawling with arteries and veins – and Masonic symbols cover the walls.
Via Francesco De Sanctis, 19/21. Open Mon–Sat 9.30am–6.30pm; Sun 9.30am–2pm. Admission adults €7; concessions €5. Take the Metropolitana line 1 to Università or line 2 to Piazza Cavour.