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Underground ruins of Naples

Treasures under the ground

Italy is full of history. Many centuries of architecture, events and traditions piled up under the ground, waiting to be rediscovered. It’s in the underground that the true heart of the city lays and thanks to archeologists and speleologists that made these foundations accessible, now it’s possible to have a walk in the past!

Excavation sites like Pompeii are already known and famed all over the world, but the underground ruins of Naples have a charming soul that is not less breathtaking. Let’s then find out which are the hidden treasures that hide under the lively city of the siren Parthenope!

At the discovery of the underground ruins of Naples

Galleria Borbonica (Bourbon Tunnel)

galleria borbonica
The fascinating path of the Galleria Borbonica (or Tunnel Borbonico) brought back to life in 2005, was originally aimed to connect the Royal Palace and Piazza Plebiscio to Piazza Vittoria. Constructed by Ferdinando IV will, was aimed to be an escape road for the army. Inaugurated in 1855, has been open only for three days and its hidden paths served as air-raid shelters during Second World War.

Museo del Sottosuolo (Underground Museum)

Located in the downtown of the city, in Piazza Cavour is another air-raid shelter in where were found many objects of daily life and work tools. Sometimes the hidden Museum is used as location for cultural events: incredibly suggestive and charming experiences to attend to!

cimitero delle fontanelle

Cimitero delle Fontanelle (Fontanelle cemetery)

One of the most impressive thing to see in Naples: a cave in the tuff hillside in Materdei that explains the deep connection between Neapolitans and the death. Here stands the skulls of thousands of people, dead from plague and cholera. Located in Rione Sanità, it gave birth to the cult of “anime pezzentelle”, a kind of veneration that consisted in the adoption of a capuzzella (skull) in change of divine goodwill.

Napoli Sotterranea (Naples Underground)

It’s probably the most famed of the underground ruins of Naples and was one of the firsts to be open to public. It already is 30 years that visitors from all over have the chance to dive in the past, walking in its narrow and ancient paths. More than 40 meters under the level of the ground there’s a world that is hard believing could exist! The entrance is in Piazza San Gaetano in Via Tribunali. There is a whole world down there: rests of the ancient Greek-Roman aqueduct and the remains of the Roman Theater was the Emperor Nerone himself used to perform.

Nowadays there is even more, a touch of modernity and growth: the first underground vegetable patch! Incredible to imagine, but under meters and meters under the ground… there is life in Naples!

underground ruins of naples