Translated Jeff Matthews
The odor of damp limestone clings to us and follows us as we descend. The ancient spaces of quarries and aqueducts have been deepened and modified. There are added masonry benches that run along the sides of the walls. Those are the seats for those going down into the airraid shelter. Glazed terracotta crockery, small glass bottles, children's toys, shoes worn out by time and mold--that is what remains of those moments. Silent voices have engraved dates, messages and caricature sketches on the walls. We are in the air-raid shelters of Naples, decidedly safer than their shored up counterparts in the cellars of Milan. But if they had used aggressive chemicals, so-called "war gas," not even these great limestone depths could have saved the defenceless civilians. You lived from one day to the next. One bombardment to the next.
It was a different life down there.
For guided tours:
Galleria Borbonica: 081.7645808 – 366.2484151
Gianluca Padovan (Ass.ne S.C.A.M. – F.N.C.A.)
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