It is one of the greatest and oldest charitable institutions in the city of Naples, located in the building by Francesco Antonio Picchiatti in the XVI century. During the Viceroyalty (1503-1707) Naples was the administrative capital of the Spanish state of southern Italy and faced a serious political and economic crisis. Into this disgraced social context in the year 1601 was born the idea of seven young Neapolitan nobles (Astorgio Agnes, Giovan Battista d’Alessandro, Giovanni Andrea Gambacorta, Jerome complain, Giovan Battista Manso, Giovanni Vincenzo Piscicelli Sersale and Cesare Sersale) to create the Pio Monte della Misericordia in order to practice works of charity for the benefit of poor Neapolitans.
King Filippo III of Spain authorized the institution in 1604 and in the following year the Pope Paolo V did the same.
The first meetings were held at the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo at the Incurables, but in 1604 the associates bought two buildings where the started the construction of the structure. The architect Giovan Giacomo di Conforto built a church with the adjoining seat of the Monte, but the increasing activities of the institution required to build a larger church designed by Francesco Antonio Picchiatti.
The temple, surmounted by a tall octagonal cupola with seven altars, contains wonderful examples of decorative and sculptural works by artists such as Luca Giordano, and moreover the masterwork by Caravaggio titled The Seven Acts of Mercy, realized in between 1606 and 1607; set in a typical scenario of Naples at that time, represents the seven corporal works of mercy objectives of the institution.
The Pio Monte di Misericordia was dedicated at the beginning into supporting the poor people and the pilgrims, and freeing the prisoners enslaved by the Turks, guilty of many attacks in the kingdom.
Currently the members meet every week in these rooms, to decide on care activities to be performed for contemporary social problems.
tel: +39 3284134719