Legend has it that the origins of this church lie in the coming of St Peter to Naples, where he took his first mass at the altar in the atrium. This is commemorated in the painting which hangs above the altar, attributed to Girolamo di Salerno in 1516. Although there is no actual proof that St Peter even came to Naples, the legend has, since the Middle Ages, prompted the constant enlargement of the church building. This continued right up to 1485 when Ferdinand of Aragon ordered the church to be restructured. The church reached monumental porportions during its reconstruction in the seventeeth century as well as during the restoration work which took place at the beginning of the twentieth century. The gardens and the cloisters annexed to the church were destroyed during the Reformation. At this time, the side entrance onto Corso Umberto I acquired a sixteenth century portal in grey stone, decorated with coats of arms and suits of armour previously part of the demolished 'Arte della Lana' conservatory in vico Miroballo. The church - which is run by Franciscans - is full of sculptures which have been taken from other churches. The tomb of Baldassarre Ricca, sculpted in 1519 by Jacopo da Brescia is particularly interesting. In the crypt, similar to that in the ancient Santa Candida church next to Ara Petri, the ancient cult of the veneration of deceased souls is practised.