Naples / Attractions / Cimitero delle Fontanelle

Cimitero delle Fontanelle Naples

An extraordinary underground cemetery in Naples

Cimitero delle Fontanelle naples

The Cimitero delle Fontanelle Napoli is an underground cemetery in Naples which is characterized by the many bones and skulls in the caves.

Info & Entrance Cimitero delle Fontanelle

Location Via Fontanelle, 80 Naples. 400 meters walking distance from the metro (line 1, metro stop 'Materdei')
Entry Entrance to the Naples cemetery is free
Hours - Temporary closed for renovation, probably till end 2023 (check website) - Open daily from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (last entry 4:30 pm)
Website Official website

Cimitero delle Fontanelle

The Cimitero delle Fontanelle is an ancient burial site of Naples which nowadays is no longer in use as a cemetery. The site covers about 3000 square meters and contains the remains of an unknown number of people. You will find the Fontanelle cemetery in one of the most expensive areas of Naples, Rione Sanità. This cemetery is very popular due to a certain ritual of the 'souls'. By this they mean that every Neapolitan adopts and cares for a skull of an abandoned soul. What someone gets in return is protection.

The opening of Cimitero delle Fontanelle dates back to the 16th century, but it only became especially functional during the outbreak of the plague in 1685. Centuries later in 1836, a cholera epidemic swept the center of Naples, resulting in many deaths. Priest Gaetano Barbati was given the task of categorizing and cleaning all bones and skeletons in 1872. Monk's work, but it was highly appreciated by the Neapolitans. In this way the cemetery became more and more extensive. The doors of the Fontanelle closed in 1969, because the archbishop thought it was all pagan superstition. The residents of Rione Sanità did not agree and managed to renovate the place in 2002. Four years later the special cemetery was ready to open the doors to the general public.

Cimitero delle Fontanelle
Cimitero delle Fontanelle Naples

What to see in Cimitero delle Fontanelle?

Every corner and corridor of Cimitero delle Fontanelle is rich in history, legends and anecdotes. These are stories waiting to be heard. This cemetery is a unique place in the world and therefore deserves to be visited. The cemetery is not very special in itself, but the special thing is all about the stories the cemetery has. You will not find those stories on the internet, but you will have to visit it yourself or even better, to visit the Fontanelle cemetery with a guide.

Where is the Fontanelle cemetery in Naples?

naples cemetery
Our readers say
4.8 (95.73%) 8 reviews
May 19, 2024 : "We had a fantastic holiday in Naples (Napoli) and Pompeii because of the interesting tips for sightseeing, tourism and places to visit in Naples Italy."