Founded in 1310 by Robert the Wise, the basilica is part of a large Franciscan complex that also includes beautiful cloisters and a museum. Santa Chiara was founded in 1310 by Robert the Wise (a.k.a. Robert of Anjou and Robert of Naples) for his second wife, Queen Sancha, who became a nun here. The basilica and convent were designed in an austere Provencal-Gothic style and completed in 1328.
The ill-fated Joan I of Anjou, granddaughter of Robert the Wise, was crowned queen in Santa Chiara in 1343 and buried here after her murder in 1382. The church interior was given a Baroque makeover in 1742-57, which was sadly destroyed by an Allied bomb in August 1943. Santa Chiara was rebuilt in 1953 in its original style