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Naples Catacombs

Listed under Tombs & Memorials in Naples, Italy.

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Several Italian cities have catacombs beneath them. During a visit to Naples in 2011, I paid 8 Euros for a tour including the San Gennaro and San Gaudioso catacombs, carved in the tufa bedrock beneath the Capodimonte heights above the city.

Unlike the better known Roman catacombs, which date to Antiquity, some of those in Naples were reused at a much later time, and in what outsiders would consider a bizarre fashion. During the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, especially, secondary burial rites were practiced. Bodies were placed in niches in the tufa and allowed to decompose. The skull was thereafter retained, and sometimes plastered into the walls above a painting of the deceased person, while the rest of the skeleton was deposited in an ossuary. A fascinating tour!

Where

Via Tondo di Capodimonte, 13
80136 Napoli, Italy

Written by  Greg Brick.

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