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Napoli, December 1st - 3rd 2021
Università di Napoli Federico II

Complesso dei SS. Marcellino e Festo
Largo San Marcellino, 10 - Napoli 

The convent building is the result of the union of two neighboring female monasteries dating back to the early Middle Ages, one from the 7th century dedicated to Saints Marcellino and Pietro, the other dedicated to the cult of Festus and Desiderius and founded in the 8th century by Stephen II, bishop and duke of Naples.

In the 9th century the monastery of Saints Marcellino and Pietro was renovated by the widow of the duke Antimo of Naples. In 1565 the monastery of Saints Festo and Desiderio was suppressed because it did not make it economically and therefore the nuns of the monastery were merged with those of San Marcellino and Pietro, whose complex took on the new and definitive dedication to Saints Marcellino and Festo. The structure was again remodeled on a project by Giovanni Vincenzo della Monica, whose modernization works lasted about thirty years (from 1567 to 1595).

The reconstruction of the baroque church dates back to the beginning of the following century, based on a design by the architects Pietro D'Apuzzo and Giovan Giacomo Di Conforto; the temple was then embellished with sculptural and pictorial works of relief carried out by the most famous artists of the city in that period. Di Conforto also designed the majolica dome, built between 1626 and 1645.

In the mid-eighteenth century the whole complex was restored to a design by Mario Gioffredo and Luigi Vanvitelli; Vanvitelli completed the work of consolidating the dome and the rebuilding of the monastery with the closure of the east side of the cloister and the consequent construction of the oratory of the Scala Santa. The works ended definitively in 1772.

In 1809, under the reign of Gioacchino Murat, the monastery was suppressed, thus losing its religious function. In 1829 it became a female boarding school, while in 1907 a wing of the complex was assigned to the Federico II University of Naples. In 1932, other areas of the monastery were intended as the site of the Museum of Paleontology of Naples.

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