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Tourist excursions and visits to the Naples underground

1 ) - Napoli Sotterranea

- piazza San Gaetano
This is a fascinating guided tour, in Italian, down and through a Greco-Roman aqueduct into an example of the huge cisterns used to supply fresh water to the palaces and villas above.

2 ) - La Napoli Sotterranea - vico Santa Anna di Palazzo (which runs up from Via Roma into the ancient Spanish Quarter, just across from the Galleria Umberto)
This tour by LAES, or roughly translated “Free Association of Underground Excursions” takes you down a square flight of steps put in place by Mussolini in WW II leading down 40 Mt. into an actual air raid shelter. Telephone +39081 400256 for reservations.

3 ) - Museum of the Naples Underground - Piazza Cavour
This is an actual underground museum . . . of the Naples Underground! It has only recently opened and is still undergoing outfitting and development.

Historic Sites connected to the Naples underground

1 ) - The Fontanelle Underground Cemetery - via Fontanelle alla Sanità - operated under auspices of the City of Naples.
The Fontanelle Underground Cemetery - via Fontanelle alla Sanità - operated under auspices of the City of Naples. This is considered the most fascinating and macabre part of the Naples underground. Religions cults began to care for the skulls and bones of victims of terrible epidimics through the centuries buried in the tunnels and galleries of the Fontanelle Cemetery. The long interconnected burial tunnels with vaulting ceilings occupy an area equal to more than half a soccer, or football field. They adopted these lost, unknown souls and performed religious rites in the underground grottoes and tunnels seeking solace for the thousands of lost souls. The practice continued until the 1950's and was so active that a city tram line ran to the Fontanelle to accommodate the faithful who visited regularly to pray for their long lost adopted friends.

Visits to this mysterious place may be made from 10AM to 5PM, except on Wednesdays. The cemetery undergoes intermittent cleaning and restoration and may possibly be closed from time to time, but is now generally open to visitors at the times mentioned above.

If you speak Italian or have a friend who does you may call  081-5490368 for updated information.


Photographs before restoration of the cemetery.

also a VIDEO tour of the restored Fontanelle Cemetery on Napoli Underground Channel (ON-DEMAND category English voice over movies).

Location of the cemetary of the Fontanelle

Google Earth map

Other sources

2 ) - Archeological Excavation of Greco-Roman Street and Shops below San Lorenzo Maggiore.
Entrance for tours is near the San Lorenzo Maggiore Cloister at Piazza San Gaetano in the historic sector of Naples

3 ) - The Seiano Grotto - Pausylipon Archeological Park on Cape Posillipo reached by taking the winding street marked “Discesa Coroglio-Grotto di Seiano” Visits by special reservation only.

Photographs-01 or Photographs-02

4 ) - The Neapolitan Crypt - Ancient tunnel connecting one part of Naples with another, large enough for military wagons and carriages to pass through. Located in the Mergellina section above Virgil’s and Leopardi’s Tomb - Salita della Grotta #1


5 ) - Naples Underground - another perspective - if you take the original Naples Metropolitana Line 1, get off at the Piazza Cavour station. Leaving the station there is a long corridor that connects the station to the National Museum. A display has been set up along the way showing fascinating archeological treasures that were discovered as the subway line’s tunnels were being excavated. It is very interesting and informative as it is set up in a temporary covered walkway making it possible to travel through the various periods in Naples from prehistory to the present.
And it is a free exhibition!

6 ) - Catacombs of San Gennaro - via Tondo di Capodimonte # 13 Telephone 39081 5441305.
These paleochristian catacombs are extensive and a remarkable example of how the yellow sandstone or tufo, beneath the city can be worked “in negativo” forming huge pillars, hallways, arches and burial niches. Fascinating tour . . . call for information.

7 ) - Catacombs of San Gaudioso - piazza della Sanità # 14 - Telephone 39081 5441305.

8 ) - Catacombs of San Severo - piazzetta S. Severo a Capodimonte - Telephone 39081 5441305

Historic and naturalistic Sites outside Naples

1 ) - The Archeological Park at Cuma and Sibyl’s Cave - Cuma, Naples suburb

GPS N 40°50'54.44" - E 14° 3'17.97"

The file .kmz


The "foro" of Cuma city

2 ) - The Piscina Mirabilis - Bacoli, Naples suburb.
This was the huge reservoir supplying water to the Roman fleet from the Claudius aqueduct. Incredible stonework.

3 ) - The Solfatara Volcano - Pozzuoli, nearby suburb of Naples.
This is a sunken active volcano crater with fumeroles, bubbling boiling mud pools, sulfurous gasses believed to be good for the lungs can even be inhaled in two caves. This is a real trip into a living, steamy, smoking inferno.

4 ) - The Cocceio Grotto - Cuma, Naples suburb
The visit is limited to the exterior of the ancient cave, which is closed.

5 ) - The Cento Camerelle - Bacoli, Naples suburb
A Roman cistern - it may still be closed for restoration work.

6 ) - Grotto of the Dog Agnano, suburb of Naples
A small excavated grotto near the Ancient Roman Baths built 2,700 years ago.
The small grotto has a geothermal emission of lethal carbonic acid gas inside which gathers in a layer a couple of feet high the floor of the grotto. Until the middle of the last century it was used as a cruel display of the effects of the gas. A human could walk in with no ill effects, however a dog led into the grotto would quickly succumb to the effects of the carbonic acid and if led back out quickly enough would slowly recover from the suffocating effects of the gas.
Thus the name of this unusual historic attraction.

The Grotto of the Dog - The news of Napoli Underground

7 ) - The Dragonara Grotto Miseno, suburb of Naples
On the beach of Miseno is the opening to this huge historic cistern dating back to Roman times. It is dug completely into the underlying tufo sandstone.
Recent explorations and excavations have uncovered ruins, in rather poor condition, of a Nymphaeum or shrine to various nymphs, popular in the mythology of the period.
Presently closed to the public, special guided tours can be arranged by E-mail to Questo indirizzo e-mail è protetto dallo spam bot. Abilita Javascript per vederlo.

8 ) - The Blue Grotto Capri
The most famous speleological attraction of the world.

9 ) - The Sibilla Grotto Averno lake - Lucrino
Reservation 3336320642 - 390815267256 Sig. Santillo


10 ) - The Flavian Ampitheatre - Pozzuoli


Translation - Larry Ray


English (United Kingdom)Italian (Italy)

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