Fodor's Expert Review Napoli Sotterranea

Centro Storico Notable Building Fodor's Choice

Fascinating 90-minute tours of a portion of Naples' fabled underground city provide an initiation into the complex history of the city center. Efforts to dramatize the experience—amphoras lowered on ropes to draw water from cisterns, candles given to navigate narrow passages, objects shifted to reveal secret passages—combine with enthusiastic English-speaking guides to make this particularly exciting for older children.

A short descent delivers you to a section of a 400-km (249-mile) system of quarries and aqueducts used from Greek times until the 1845 cholera epidemic, including a highly claustrophobic 1-km (½-mile) walk with only a candle to light your way. At the end of the aqueduct, you come first to a Greek and then a much larger Roman cistern. Near the entrance is the War Museum, which displays uniforms, armed transportation vehicles, and weapons from World War II. Returning aboveground your guide leads you to a small apartment where you step down to a section of an... READ MORE

Fascinating 90-minute tours of a portion of Naples' fabled underground city provide an initiation into the complex history of the city center. Efforts to dramatize the experience—amphoras lowered on ropes to draw water from cisterns, candles given to navigate narrow passages, objects shifted to reveal secret passages—combine with enthusiastic English-speaking guides to make this particularly exciting for older children.

A short descent delivers you to a section of a 400-km (249-mile) system of quarries and aqueducts used from Greek times until the 1845 cholera epidemic, including a highly claustrophobic 1-km (½-mile) walk with only a candle to light your way. At the end of the aqueduct, you come first to a Greek and then a much larger Roman cistern. Near the entrance is the War Museum, which displays uniforms, armed transportation vehicles, and weapons from World War II. Returning aboveground your guide leads you to a small apartment where you step down to a section of an amphitheater where Nero famously performed three times. During one of his performances an earthquake struck and—so Suetonius relates—the emperor forbade the 6,000 spectators to leave. The rumbling, he insisted, was only the gods applauding his performance. A room at the end of the tour contains examples of that most Neapolitan of art forms, il presepe (the crib). Be prepared on the underground tour to go up and down many steps and crouch in very narrow corridors. Temperatures in summer will be much lower below than at street level, so bring a sweater.

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Notable Building Fodor's Choice Family Tour–Sight

Quick Facts

Piazza San Gaetano 68
Naples, Campania  80138, Italy

081-296944

www.napolisotterranea.org

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €10

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