Visiting the Fontanelle Cemetery in Naples, how to do it? Before write schedules, directions and all the information on this original cultural attraction, let me give you some background on this cemetery. Visiting the Fontanelle Cemetery in Naples means immersing yourself in esoteric Naples, a macabre encounter between Catholicism, luck, cabal and popular beliefs. Honestly, I think that pagan rites have not been made in any westernized country lately.
Why visiting the Fontanelle cemetery in Naples? Simply because it is a unique example in the world and tells the story of Neapolitan folk beliefs.
Visiting the Fontanelle cemetery in Naples, let’s begin with a little bit of history
The origin of the Fontanelle cemetery dates back to the sixteenth century and is linked to the history and the misfortunes of the Neapolitan people. In fact, most of the bones found belong to the deceased by famine and plague. The cemetery is located in some abandoned pit, a similar history to Underground Naples.
The date on which the Fontanelle Pit becomes the Fontanelle Cemetery is 1654 when the plague was on Neapolitans decimating them. For which it was given orders to reopen the Fontanelle Pit to host 250,000 corpses.
From that moment, along various misfortunes, famines, plagues, the Fontanelle Cemetery alternately have continued to host corpses.
Visiting the Fontanelle Cemetery in Naples, between sacred and profane
The Fontanelle Cemetery is very popular for what has been called the “cult of pezzentelle souls”, translated “cult of the unfortunate souls”.
From act of love for the dead, soon the cult of pezzentelle souls became a profan ritual in which everyone chose a skull, a skeleton to flatter and to ask favors in exchange for adoration. To the skull was often associated a name, a history, a role.
Visiting the Fontanelle cemetery in Naples means discovering that there were corpses which helped to win the lottery,to be pregnant, skulls to find husband, skulls for luck and wealth. Usualy Neapolitans prayed the soul to relieve his suffering in purgatory, creating a real reciprocity relationship, in exchange for a pardon or numbers to play the lottery.
And that’s why visiting the Fontanelle Cemetery Naples is a way to know and understand the Neapolitan life, it’s more than a visit to a cemetery 400 years aged.
When to visit Fontanelle Cemetery in Naples?
The Fontanelle Cemetery is open daily from 10 to 17, the visit is free. However, if you wanta a guided tour with an explanation of the history and all legends you can book a guided tour online or there.
I recommend, however, to visit the official page for more information on times and guided tours. If you want I can help you with Italian language.
How toget to the Fontanelle Cemery in Naples?
The easiest way to reach and to visit the Fontanelle Cemetery Naples is to use the Metro Line 1 and get off at Materdei stop. Then in a few steps you can reach the cemetery. There are also some buses but I strongly do not recommend it because there is a lot of traffic.
The address to visit the Fontanelle Cemetery in Naples is via Fontanelle 80.