When Madonna and Child overload hits, reboot at Naples' museum of modern and contemporary art. In the lobby, French conceptual artist Daniel Buren sets the mood with his playful, mirror-panelled installation Work in Situ, with other specially commissioned installations from heavyweights like Anish Kapoor, Rebecca Horn and Sol LeWitt on level one. Level two houses the bulk of MADRE's permanent collection of painting, sculpture, photography and installations from other prolific 20th- and 21st-century artists, designers and architects.

Among these are Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Cindy Sherman and Darren Bader, as well as Italian heavyweights like Mario Merz, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Ettore Sottsass. There's a particular focus on avant-garde figures and movements and their relationship with Naples and the region. Madre's 3rd level is normally dedicated to temporary exhibitions. Peer through the courtyard windows and you'll catch a glimpse of Campanian sculptor Mimmo Paladino's Trojan-like horse, standing proudly atop the building.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Naples attractions

1. Museo Diocesano di Napoli

0.08 MILES

Once a baroque place of prayer, this is now a repository for religious paintings, triptychs and sculptures, many from defunct churches. Notable works…

2. Chiesa San Giovanni a Carbonara

0.09 MILES

Sumptuous sculpture and Technicolor frescoes makes this Gothic church worth a detour. Andrea de Firenze, Tuscan sculptors and northern-Italian artists…

3. Porta San Gennaro

0.13 MILES

Just up from Cavour metro station, a clamorous alley juts off Via Foria through the grey ashlar keyhole of Naples’ oldest gate. Ethereal images by Mattia…

4. Duomo

0.18 MILES

Whether you go for Giovanni Lanfranco's fresco in the Cappella di San Gennaro (Chapel of St Janarius), the 4th-century mosaics in the baptistry, or the…

5. Complesso Monumentale dei Girolamini

0.19 MILES

The Chiesa dei Girolamini features two facades, the more imposing of which is the 18th-century one facing Piazza dei Girolamini on Via dei Tribunali. The…

7. Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro


If you're intrigued by Naples' cultish love affair with San Gennaro, eye up his glittering treasury at the Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro, adjacent to…

8. Guglia di San Gennaro

0.22 MILES

The oldest of the three obelisks in the centro storico, the Guglia di San Gennaro was dedicated to the city's patron saint in 1636. Like the Guglia di San…