The Catacombs were extended following the burial of the North African bishop, deposited here between 451 and 453 AD. The Catacombs of San Gaudioso arethe second largestin Naples, and includes both early Christian and 17th century elements.
On one side there is the intensity of the early Christian elements, such as thetomb of St. Gaudiosusand frescoes and mosaics of the 5th and 6th centuries, and on the other, the special graves reserved for nobles, dating back to the 17th century, when the catacombs resumed the function of a burial site.
he Catacombs of San Gaudioso conserve valuable frescoes and mosaics from the 5th and 6th centuries that feature many symbols that were widely used in the early Christian era, such as the fish, the lamb, and grapes with branches.
However, it is difficult to determine with certainty the extent and the number of the chambers, due to thenumerous transformationsundergone by the Catacombs: once they were abandoned, the 'Lave dei Vergini' invaded and obstructed the access, while other parts were modified or filled in for the construction of the Basilica.
During the 17th century, the site mainly contained graves for aristocrats and the clergy.
The tombs of the nobles and clergy were created following a special procedure. Theskullswere placed on display in the walls of the ambulatory, while the rest of the body wasfrescoed, usually with the clothes and professional instruments that represented the social status of the deceased.
The frescoes were painted byGiovanni Balducci, an artist who refused payment in order to be buried among the aristocrats in the Catacombs of San Gaudioso.
The main entrance and ticket office of the Catacombs of San Gaudiosoare inthe Santa Maria della SanitBasilica, Piazza Sanit, n5. With the same ticket you can also visit the Catacombs of San gennaro for free.
Visits of the catacombs last one hour, and there 4 departures time: Monday toSunday 10am,11am,12am, 1pm. There is no need to pre-book your departure time, but please allow sufficient time to arrive for timely start of each visit.
Your visit to the Catacombs is best enjoyed with comfortable shoes and a sweater (even in warmer periods): the temperature in the site varies from between 16 and 22 C.