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Published: June 21st 2017
Relocated from the catacombs to Fontanelle Cemetery
Naples - some above ground and some under
Visiting Pompeii was the main purpose of this trip but I did also see some pretty interesting things in Naples also. Here I will give you a quick resume of what I saw and did there.
As hinted in the heading above several of the sites I visited in Naples were under ground. I'll start with them.
• Catacombs - the Catacombs in Naples
date back well over 1,500 years. The underground chambers were used for burials and hundreds of people once had their final resting place. As it turned out it wasn't to be their final resting place because when they opened the catacombs for visitors they also transferred the skeletal remains of the bodies to a new cemetery.
Several of the graves are decorated with frescos. Most of those frescos are well over a 1,000 years old. The value they represent as a cultural heritage must be enormous. Still they weren't protected at all until just a few decades ago. I find that a bit strange.
• Fontanelle Cemetery
- The skeletons that were dug up in the catacombs were relocated to this cemetery. If
The Catacombs in Naples date back well over 1,500 years
you have a dark streak in you this is a place you might like to visit. The skeletons are all laid out in open air.
I remember a sign I once saw in a totally different place. It was a crypt where the remains of several thousand former capuchin monks were laid out in much the same way as the skeletons in Fontanelle Cemetery are. The sign said "What you are we once were. What we are you will become".
• Aqueducts - In Ancient Rome Naples fresh water was supplied via a vast system of subterranean aqueducts. I am fascinated by ancient water supply networks in general, I love Roman aqueducts, and underground systems in particular. I have visited impressive irrigation systems in Peru
and I wanted to visit the one in Naples now that I had the chance. It was a good tour and it was interesting. I learned on that tour that the aqueducts also have been used as bomb shelter, during WWII, trash dump and as mines.
Of the things I saw over ground I can mention the following
- The cathedral in Naples is
The underground chambers were used for burials and hundreds of people once had their final resting place.
an impressive structure in the Old Town.
• The old town - Narrow streets lined with old houses, churches and shops and restaurants catering for tourists. Naples' historical city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Castel dell'Ovo
- That castle has a funny name, the Castle of the Egg. The main reason to see it is the views because the castle itself is bulky and a bit ugly.
• Galleria Umberto I
- Shopping gallery built in classical late 19th century style with marble, granite and cast iron. An architectural and artistic gem. Sadly it was being renovated so I only saw bits and pieces of it. I will make sure to see it next time I come to Naples.
• Naples National Archaeological Museum
- The large archaeological museum has many finds from Pompeii and Herculaneum and other sites on display.
One thing I liked about Naples was the variety of things to see. I am interested in many things and in Naples I was served a buffet of those. There were also several typical Ake-sites in the vicinity, one active stratovolcano and a field with fumaroles, I didn't have time to visit so I could
Several of the graves are decorated with frescos.
have stayed at least a week without getting bored. So here in the end I feel like quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger: "I'll be back"
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