Underground History
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Underground History

The traffic in Napoli was very messy. Honking cars and motor cycles everywhere, not much caring about traffic rules. We left the car on a monitored parking lot (with an orange tree) because we were told that especially vans are broken in to, even during the day.

Carefully watching our belongings, we went to the Catacombs of San Gennaro. We had read that underground the temperature would only be 15 degrees. That’s why we had long pants on and brought many jackets. However, we didn’t spent long in the coolest areas so we didn’t need all the clothes in the end.

The tour was supposed to be feasible for strollers. That‘s why we brought our trolley. However, to get to the catacombs, we had to take many steps. So Alan and I were warm from carrying the trolley and Wilma anyway.

It was difficult for us to understand the guide because of his accent and his mask. The most interesting fact that we were able to gather was the different graves for people of different wealth. The poorest were laid in a rectangular sort of mold on the floor, the middle class got a rectangular niche in the wall and the richest an arch-like place with colourful paintings.

We found out that our ticket permitted us free access to some other catacombs, not far away – the Catacombs of San Gaudioso. We followed three ladies who had been on our first tour. Since we had some waiting time, Alan went back to the car to bring our jackets back and get our summer clothes. Unfortunately, that made him miss the next tour by a couple of minutes and here the girls would have needed some warmer clothes =o/

From the better understandable guide, we learned about a procedure that corpses were subjected to to safe space since at the time when these catacombes were used cholera, plaques and other epidemics killed so many people in a short time.

The bodies were places in small chambers in the wall with vessels underneath. People who received this work underground as punishment then pierced the bodies to drain all fluids. After 8-12 months, the bodies had dried up so much that 3 could be fit next to each other in a niche grave.

The richest paid an amount of money that is equal to 3 million Euros nowadays to have their skull being displayed in a wall with paintings of their bodies and their names on the aisle in front of an alter.

„The Guardian“ – a skeleton put together from different bodies

The overlying Basilica Santa Maria della Sanità:

We spent the rest of the day walking through Napoli with its many magnificent, simply impressive buildings. However, quite a few were not well maintained and the streets were just so incredibly dirty.

Via San Gregorio Armeno with its many artisan shops

Two instances along the way that made us grin: I may find a couple of cents get sand b there but Alan found a 10 Euro bill on the street! And what a coincidence: We met the family who gave us tips for Napoli the previous night – in this huge city.

ice-cream break (Panna Cotta)

Napoli may not maintain their historic buildings well but according to Alan, the city preserved the old China very well. With so chaotic and noisy traffic, black smoking cars and cable buses losing contact with their electric lines running above them.

Piazza del Plebiscito

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