Historical Heritage of Naples: Napoli Sotterranea

Napoli Sotterranea
Underground passage

The Naples Underground (Italian: Napoli Sotterranea) is a labyrinth of ancient aqueducts, passages and cisterns hidden 40 m (131 ft) below the Historic Center of Naples, southern Italy.

The 280-km (450 mi) subterranean network was formed by the Greeks in the 4th century BC to extract tufa stone used in construction and to channel water from Mount Vesuvius.

In the Augustan period (1st century BC – 1st century AD), the Romans used the chambers and pathways to build aqueducts that provided water for many centuries of Neapolitans.

Napoli sotteranea
Ancient Greek–Roman aqueduct

The first Hypogeum Gardens in the world (an experiment to grow various species of plants far from pollution and light) can be found in the dark chambers underneath the city.

Naples Underground
Hypogeum Gardens, with plants growing underground

Naples Underground
Old photo of Naples

The network of passages and cisterns was used as an air raid shelter during World War II.

Napoli sotteranea
Toy cars left behind after WWII

Toy car

Naples Underground
Air raid shelter during WWII

Napoli sotteranea
Discovering an ancient water cystern by candlelight

The Naples Underground won't be possible to carry out the visit autonomously, there will always be a guide to accompany you during your visit; the path is authorized and the tour obtained State concession.

Naples Underground
Tourists light candles 

Napoli sotteranea
Lighting candles

Naples Underground
Underground tunnel

Have you ever visited the Naples Underground? Feel free to post a comment below.

3 comments

  1. Seems like an interesting site and also a bit of a different type of visit! I'll keep this in mind when I visit Naples

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  2. I've been here! Your photos are much, much better than mine. Italy is one of my favorite places to visit. SO much history and so much good food.

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  3. Wow, Naples looks amazing. My parents have been but I never have. It's definitely on my bucket list!

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