he origin of the Fontanelle cemetery dates back to the 4th century BC, when it was a quarry from which the tuff, a building material used by the Greeks, was extracted. Back then, in this area, located between the deep valley of the Girolamini and the Virgins, were spread many tufa quarries, which were used until 1600.
The history of the Fontanelle cemetery also has another important date: 1656, the year of the plague in Naples. In that year the plague made many victims and the dead bodies were often left on the street. So it was decided to use this quarry to lay the bodies.
The space of the cemetery is divided into three large galleries for a total of about 3,000 m2. The first one of the galleries is the one of the priests, which is dedicated to noble priests buried in “holy land” or in churches, and the others are the Gallery of plague victims, and the one of the anime pezzentelle.
It is located in the Rione Sanità, a district of Naples that has very rich history and traditions, just outside the ancient greek-roman walls of the city, in the area chosen for the pagan necropolis and later for Christian cemeteries.
For at least 400 years were buried inside it those who could not afford a burial and, above all, the victims of major plagues that have repeatedly hit the city.
In ‘800 were brought the bones from the graves of the churches, called “terresante“, reclaimed after the arrival of the French Joachim Murat, and other excavations.
Free entry. Every days 10-13.
Address: Via Fontanelle 80136 Naples, Italy, 77
Phone number: +39 081 795 6160