Visit one of the most mysterious places in the heart of Naples: the monumental complex of Santa Maria la Nova, founded in the Angevin period and today one of the finest examples of Neapolitan Baroque. Listen to interesting stories about the church and the life of the saint to whom it is dedicated, but also discover its dark side as it is said to house the remains of Count Dracula.
The monastery is dedicated to Saint Giacomo della Marca, who arrived in Naples at the end of the 15th century at the request of King Ferdinand of Aragon who wanted a healing miracle from him. Admire the huge richly decorated chapel where St. James was originally buried, as well as the two cloisters that characterize the church, the smaller of which is completely frescoed with episodes from his life and the miracles attributed to him.
In addition to the sacred, your guide will also reveal the profane secret that the church keeps. Along the walls of the minor cloister, there are also sepulchral monuments from the 1400s / 1500s which were originally housed in the church itself. The largest of the tombs is dedicated to Matteo Ferrillo, built by his son Alfonso, Duke of Acerenza, a Neapolitan noble family very close to the ruler Ferrante of Aragon.
At the behest of the King, Alfonso married Maria Balsa, presumed daughter of Count Vlad III the Impaler, prince of Wallachia, who went down in history as Count Dracula according to the novel by Bram Stoker. The young woman probably had her father's remains secretly transferred to her father-in-law's tomb to avoid their desecration and this curious theory is supported by a series of iconographic symbols present on the tombstone.