Piazza San Gaetano, 68, Napoli, 80138 NA, Italia
Getting into a stranger house, more specifically an old lady folks’ home on the ground floor (which we call “basso”), lifting her bed and walking down the stairs until you get into the changing rooms of last Roman amphitheatre, where King Nerone used to perform (rumour has it he was so bad!). This is just one of the things you should expect when you plan to buy a ticket to visit Naples Underground.
Oh, maybe you didn’t know there is another Naples, which is invisible and arcane. Just don’t get in if you are claustrophobic.
You will descend 40 metres underneath the ground, right in the core of the earth, for a journey through 2500 years of history. Everything is in tuff as these basements were used as air-raid shelters during the war. Very narrow culvers, some of which are accessible by candlelight, and huge Roman water tanks, which provided water to Neapolitans since few centuries ago.
And it doesn’t end here! You could have the chance to meet some sprites, like the very famous “munaciello”: this is a legendary ghost – who belongs to Neapolitans tradition which says he lives in ancient places – dressed up like a monk (munaciello literally means little monk indeed) of which you can’t see his face; for someone he’s a scary character, for others he was used to bring luck. He was also used to sneak into people house to nick something or act like a ladies’ man with rich women. A naughty boy!
The ruins from aerial bombs are impressive, they have quite an effect on people just looking at them. Not to mention all the everyday objects such as plates, cutleries, toys (old toy cars or a rusty hobbyhorse). The graffiti made by scattered people are just unique: they used to spend their time engraving caricatures on the walls (you could easily recognise Hitler and Mussolini’s faces) or even their memories (LONGOBARDI ANTONIO: RELEASED FROM THIS BASEMENT ON THE 1st of OCTOBER 1943).
Scary, isn’t it?
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