Underground Naples: centuries of history under the footsteps of the people
Continue our journey through the dungeons of the city of Naples, a city that hides secrets, stories and centuries of culture, everywhere, even underground, perfectly under your feet. Light your candle and discover with us underground Naples
Although the history of this subsoil begins in prehistoric times, it was the Greeks who opened the first underground quarries. These quarries were used to make tuff blocks that they used for all kinds of construction in the coveted city of Neapolis.
However, the complex network of underground began with the Romans who, in the Augustan era, built tunnels and above all a network of aqueducts, fed by the waters of the Serino springs, 70 km away from Naples.
You will cross this dense network of tunnels and narrow tunnels illuminated by the light of a candle alone, thus traveling in time and space.
Other branches of the aqueduct extended as far as Miseno, to feed the famous Mirabilis pool. The narrow tunnels of the aqueduct also fed fountains, houses and other buildings. It should be noted that, even at the time the Roman ingeners had covered the aqueduct with a special waterproof plaster
The tunnels of underground Naples were used during World War II as air raid shelters to protect themselves from the disastrous bombings that hit the city. The tunnels were even lit up to allow people to get off and take refuge.
Today the Museum of the War of Naples Sotterranea collects and preserves documents related to the conflict.
Naples, as we know, is a city of contradictions, a city divided between sacred and profane, religion and superstition is therefore one of the most famous popular beliefs that originates precisely in the underground of the city.
The monacielli of underground Naples
Every house in Naples could draw water from one of the cisterns thanks to a well to which the “pozzari”,men who roamed these very narrow tunnels and climbed up the wells. These are the protagonists of underground Naples.
For this profession they had access to all the houses thanks to the wells and their figure is linked to the legend of the “monacielli“, good or bad spirits who used the underground streets to disappear or appear. The name monaciello derives from the working cloak that, in the dim light, made them similar to monks precisely.
Hypogean vegetable gardens
In underground Naples, 35 meters underground there are, incredibly, crops. It is a real vegetable garden underground, away from acid rain, fine dust and pollution. Sunlight, is replaced by that of special lamps and the humidity of the subsoil, allows plants to grow without having to use even a drop of water.
There are many associations that manage these wonderful visits in the Neapolitan subsoil. Our visit also included the Roman amphitheater, known as the Teatro di Nero, from which you can access from a typical Neapolitan house, the so-called “low”; Just move a bed and a trapdoor that leads to the cellars, allows you to jump into the glorious past of the city.
For all the other information and to plan your visit this is the official website:
In addition, we remind you that there are two accesses to the routes:
- Vico S. Anna di Palazzo, 52, 80132 Napoli NA
- Piazza San Gaetano, 68, 80138 Napoli NA