The Church of San Giovanni della Porta

San Giovanni della Porta takes its name from its position close to the old town gate of Porta Nuova, just below the grand castle in the Medieval centre of Gaeta. The small church is thought to date back to the 10th century, and was enlarged during the 11th and 12th centuries to its current size. It formed part of the Benedictine monastery of San Giovanni. Over the centuries it was also sometimes known as San Giovanni de’ Monti (1517) and San Giovanni in the Castle (1689).  The building ceased to function as a church from the late 1920’s and was used as a warehouse. Between the years of  2003 and 2005 the building underwent a radical restoration.  It is now privately owned.

The facade is on the left side of the building and is in a simple style with traces of former arches. There are two doorways, the main entrance dates from the 11th century. Inside there is a single nave with a medieval vaulted ceiling. The church is decorated with elements of Baroque stucco work including the altars. The walls and ceilings are brightly painted in a style of the late 19th century. The main altar is dedicated to San Giovanni Battista, meanwhile the two sides are dedicated to Sant’Antonio of Padua and the Madonna delle Grazie. The church has some 15th century frescoes depicting  San Giovanni Battista and Santo Benedettino by the artist Giovanni di Gaeta. Further decorative items such as paintings, sculptures, engravings and pottery were placed in the church after restorations of the early 21st century.