This is a very special article for readers of our English version of NUg inspired by a telephone call I recently received here where I live in the USA. A caller with a most pleasant voice "calling from Scotland" inquired if I was the person who knew about the "geology and such" of Naples, Italy. Her voice was full of excitement when I told her that I was, indeed, a a long time scholar of the fascinating underground beneath the ancient city of Naples and surrounding area and translator for NUg. She then began to tell me about a secret place that she and a group of her American childhood friends had "discovered" in the 1970's, on and below the cliffs at the point of Cape Posillipo, the verdant and peaceful peninsula along the Southern reaches of the city.
She and her school mates were children of American officers stationed at NATO headquarters in nearby Bagnoli. The group of friends had wondered to this day what the mysterious tunnel and grottos they explored actually were. Her curiosity about the special "secret" places her group had played in and around led her to finally do some web searching of her own. The kids thought perhaps that since the long tunnel had been closed off with a blocked up partial wall barrier that it had to do with WW II, perhaps. Then she found the article below, "Fulvio's 'First Time' . . . Huck Finn in Bella Napoli" and the long sought answers were right there on her computer screen, and she then located me for more information! The long, mysterious tunnel and the magic beach and vaulting grottos below it dated not from the 1940's but all the way back to Roman times. More amazing, at about the same time she and her American friends were exploring the mysterious Posillipo area, our own Fulvio Salvi, creator and webmaster of Napoliunderground.org and his school buddies were playing hooky from school and doing the same thing!
I had hoped she would email me so I could send her the links below, but I am sure her work is very demanding and overwhelming. The caller, I later learned, is today a noted cultural anthropologist living in Europe and a quick Google search of her name produces some 500 results about her many publications, lectures and other professional accomplishments.
So, it occurred to me that other readers might also enjoy the chance to go back to their own childhoods and join these once young Italian and American kids on a vicarious visit to the secret places they enjoyed and remember to this day. The links below begin with Fulvio's childhood story that parallels the American childrens' experiences and include photos taken by Fulvio's brother, Oscar, of the very places my caller so vividly remembers. Other links will take you to a collection of articles that will give you a quick overview of the cavities, tunnels, aqueducts, WWII underground air raid shelters, Greek hypogea and other marvels from Roman times. It is small world indeed!
Click on the links below for a trip back to younger days and the magic places 'discovered' on Posillipo!
Fulvio's "First Time" . . . Huck Finn in Bella Napoli
Photos of your secret special place!
A Photo Tour of the Marvels Beneath the City of Naples, Italy
Humorous Article on the Naples Underground as visited by an American Professor.
This article links you to Jeff Matthews' fascinating Encyclopedia of Naples which you will definitely want to bookmark . . . and his humorous article about being taken on his first visit to an ancient aqueduct and other underground mysteries by our NUg speologists.
All published content, unless otherwise indicated, is subject to the Creative Commons license
The site www.napoliunderground.org is updated irregularly and thus is not to be considered a newspaper or editorial product as defined by law n.62 of March 7, 2001
Napoli Underground (NUg) is an independent organization concerned solely with exploring, researching, educating and informing; it is not connected with any of the many associations that serve tourism and/or provide guided tours of our city.
View e-Privacy Directive Documents