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Fontanelle Cemetery (Cimitero delle Fontanelle)
Fontanelle Cemetery (Cimitero delle Fontanelle)

Fontanelle Cemetery (Cimitero delle Fontanelle)

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40 Reviews
Free admission

Despite the name, Fontanelle Cemetery (Cimitero delle Fontanelle) in Naples isn’t a traditional cemetery. It’s a place of many thousands of burials, but it’s actually an ossuary built into a natural cave in the soft rock underneath the Capodimonte Hill in the early 16th century. It served as a burial ground until the late 1960s.

The bones interred at Fontanelle were painstakingly catalogued and re-organized in the early 1870s, after flooding and mass burials had made the cemetery more of a jumbled mess. A cult devoted to the skulls in the cemetery sprang up, and a church was built at the entrance. Today, visitors can still see the church - Maria Santissima del Carmine - as well as the cataloging work done in the 19th century.

Prior to 2010, Fontanelle was only open to the public on a few days every year. Now, it’s open year-round. Visitors are free to walk through the site without a guide, though joining a tour that includes Fontanelle Cemetery as one of its stops is beneficial to help make sense of the history of the place. Tours that include off-the-beaten-path parts of Naples sometimes include Fontanelle Cemetery.

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10am-5pm daily
Via Fontanelle 80, Naples, 80136

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Private Tour of the Cimitero delle Fontanelle a Mater Dei and the Sanita

Private Tour of the Cimitero delle Fontanelle a Mater Dei and the Sanita

Go off the beaten track and visit one of the most peculiar neighbourhoods of Naples with a local guide. You will be introduced to one of the most famous districts of the city – eternalized in The Gold of Naples, the movie that made Sofia Loren a star. Your guide will bring you through the streets of Mater Dei, to show you one of the monuments to the religious and superstitious character of the eternal city – the Cimitero delle Fontanelle – to continue the tour into the narrow streets of one of the most controversial neighbourhoods of Naples, the Rione Sanita’, into the Stella district. You will surely love this tour!
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$202.97
Price varies by group size
From
$202.97
Price varies by group size

Naples Cimitro delle Fontanelle and Sanita' district small group tour

Naples Cimitro delle Fontanelle and Sanita' district small group tour

Nestled between Vomero Hill and lower Naples, the Fontanelle Cemetery is home to catacombs dating back centuries—but visiting independently means missing out on the site’s hidden secrets. On this small-group tour, limited to 14 people, delve into the ancient tunnels as your guide shares insight on their sinister past. Discover the ancient skulls and bones of Neapolitans from lost generations, and hear sides of Naples’ history many people miss.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$78.53
From
$78.53

Private Guided Tour of Naples Catacombs Fontanelle Cemetery & Sanità Quarter

Private Guided Tour of Naples Catacombs Fontanelle Cemetery & Sanità Quarter

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The Mater Dei district houses one of the city's jewels of the city, the Fontanelle Cemetery, which was carved out of a natural tufa cave just outside the walls of the Greco-Roman city. The cave was used as a cemetery when in 1656 a severe plague raged in the city making numerous victims, and the bodies continued to be stored during other epidemics during the following centuries. During the last century the bones preserved here have been the subject of a widespread rite among the Neapolitan people, that of the "pezzentelle souls" (poor souls). People adopted a skull of which they did not know the story and took care of it, hoping that this could help him with graces and intercessions and that, in a dream, reveal his story to him. The guide will tell you in detail this tradition and why the Neapolitan people is so fond of this place, as well as the legends that hide behind some of the skulls preserved here. The Sanità district offers much more with its baroque churches and buildings.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$181.22
Price varies by group size
From
$181.22
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Tour of Naples Fontanelle Cemetery Catacombs & Sanità Quarter with Local Guide

Tour of Naples Fontanelle Cemetery Catacombs & Sanità Quarter with Local Guide

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Not far from the historic center of Naples is one of the most fascinating places in the city, it is the Fontanelle Cemetery. The cemetery was built inside an ancient tuff quarry when in 1656, because of the Plague, the bones of a large part of the Neapolitan population were thrown away, which could not resist the serious epidemic. Over the years many others were added, leading to the birth of the cult of "pezzentelle souls", to whom the people turned to obtain graces and interecessions. To accompany you there will be a guide who will tell you the legends that hover around the characters guarded in the cave. After this mystical experience you can take a walk to the Sanità district, whose name derives from the ancient belief that the area was rich in natural and supernatural "salubritas". You will walk through the crowded alleys of the neighborhood and staying in contact with the Neapolitan people, going to the discovery of one of the most beautiful and hidden corners of the city.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$78.53
From
$78.53
Taking safety measures

The Rione Sanità and the Fontanelle Cemetery Walking Tour

The Rione Sanità and the Fontanelle Cemetery Walking Tour

The tour will begin from the Fontanelle Cemetery, built in an ancient tuff quarry and in which, still today it is possible to learn more about the relationship between Neapolitan people and death. In this place sacred and profane coexsist, creating the cult of the” pezzentelle” souls of Purgatory. It contains over 40,000 remains of people, mostly skulls, victims of the plague and cholera epidemics of the mid-seventeenth century. At the end of 19th century it became a cult place; some believers decided to rearrange the thousands of anonymous bones, adopting a skull of an abandoned soul in return for protection. The guided visit will continue in the Rione Sanità where you will have the opportunity to admire two masterpieces of the Neapolitan Baroque: Palazzo San Felice and Palazzo dello Spagnolo. Before ending our tour at Porta San Gennaro, we will taste the famous sweet “fiocco di neve” in one of the most important pastry shops in Naples.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$36.24
From
$36.24
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Naples Walking Tour with Typical Lunch

Private Tour: Naples Walking Tour with Typical Lunch

star-4.5
Discover the hidden mysteries of Naples on a private full-day walking tour of the city’s most intriguing churches, cemeteries and crypts. Listen to age-old legends from your art historian guide as you tour mystical sites such as the Church of Gesù Nuovo, Sansevero Chapel and Cemetery delle Fontanelle — an underground burial chamber piled high with bones. Savor a lunch of authentic Neapolitan pizza midday, and enjoy the personalized attention of a private tour.
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  • 7 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$297.55
Price varies by group size
From
$297.55
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

The human archive of Naples and the Rione Sanità

The human archive of Naples and the Rione Sanità

Because of these characteristics, the centuries-old relationship between man and death is still strong and tangible, as evidenced by places of unique charm such as the Fontanelle Cemetery. Walking through the Rione Sanità, one cannot help but be overwhelmed by its sounds and the voices of the market, the scents of ancient patisseries like Poppella and its artistic and architectural beauties such as the Spagnuolo palace, also chosen by the director Jhon Turturro for a scene from his film "Passione", as well as a place dedicated to a museum dedicated to the prince of laughter, Totò.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$55.10
From
$55.10

The Rione Sanità

The Rione Sanità

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A walk inside one of the most colorful and folkloristic districts of the city: the Rione Sanità, where the famous actor loved all over the world was born, Antonio De Curtis in art Totò. Starting from the Fontanelle Cemetery, where the cult of "pezzentelle souls" is still practiced by the Neapolitans, we will reach the Basilica of Santa Maria alla Sanità, known to the Neapolitans as the church of San Vincenzo or Munacone, which represents the entrance to the ancient catacombs of San Gaudioso. Crossing the Borgo dei Vergini you will admire the splendid noble palaces located along the road and then conclude at Porta San Gennaro where the fresco made as an ex-voto for the end of the plague of 1656 stands out
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$144.98
per group
From
$144.98
per group
Taking safety measures

The Real Naples: Street Art, Culture & Legends Private Tour

The Real Naples: Street Art, Culture & Legends Private Tour

star-5
Many Naples tours concentrate on magnificent historic and architectural landmarks, but this city’s unique culture is what sets it apart. Get to know the authentic side of Naples with this guided tour that dives deep into the lively residential and student quarters of the historic center, touching on its vibrant street art scene, coffee culture, designers and artisans, legends and lore, and even its most atmospheric cemetery.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$44.70
Price varies by group size
From
$44.70
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Dark Legends, Myths, Gothic Art - Dare YOU to take this Tour of Naples, Italy

Dark Legends, Myths, Gothic Art - Dare YOU to take this Tour of Naples, Italy

In the historical district of Napoli, this 2 day experience is the perfect blend of local flavor, unique sightseeing, and historical phenomenons. DiVita Tours takes you on a deep and dark spiritual adventure of the underground of Naples that leads to some of your own soul searching. From the ancient cemeteries, to the Gothic Churches, and authentic flavors; you experience the real and raw Napoli and come to understand why it is referred to the HEART.
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  • 2 days
From
$967.57
From
$967.57

Esoteric Naples Walking Tour

Esoteric Naples Walking Tour

See a different side of Naples, off the typical tourist path, on this walking tour with a knowledgeable guide. Discover the city’s mythological side as you hear about legends of ghosts, the occult and secrets behind cathedrals and other historical landmarks. The itinerary can be customized to suit any specific interests you have.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$243.67
per group
From
$243.67
per group

Exciting e-bike ride in the heart of Naples

Exciting e-bike ride in the heart of Naples

star-5
Follow us on an easy ride on our e-bikes through the narrow alleyways into the heart of Naples. Explore its roots, cultural beliefs, dark stories and local atmosphere on an off the beaten track and uncensored tour. Discover the intriguing district of Sanità and Spanish Quarter, and taste the delicious street food of the city of the sun!
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$78.37
From
$78.37
Taking safety measures

Private Walking Tour to Sanità District in Naples

Private Walking Tour to Sanità District in Naples

Our journey will start from the Metro Materdei stop,one of the so-called "MetroArte" stations. We will start from the Cemetery of the Fontanelle. The large amount of human remains and skulls will leave you surprised: this place was born as mass grave and was then one of the places where the worship of the souls of Purgatory . We will continue towards the Basilica of Santa Maria alla Sanità: the pulpit with its double ramp on one side surrounds the crypt and on the other leads to the upper presbytery: it is truly a unicum in European architecture. We'll move to its most famous mansions: Sanfelice Palace and Spagnuolo Palace, jewels of late Baroque architecture, and I will show you the birthing house of an illustrious Neapolitan citizen, namely Prince Antonio de Curtis... Aka Toto! Crossing the Borgo Vergini, where you can meet a typical Neapolitan market, we will conclude our tour in Porta San Gennaro: it is one of the oldest accesses of the city, dedicated to its most famous Patron.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$157.06
Price varies by group size
From
$157.06
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Naples Cimitero delle Fontanelle and Sanità District Small Group Tour

Naples Cimitero delle Fontanelle and Sanità District Small Group Tour

If you are in Naples you can not avoid visiting one of the only sites in the world, the Fontanelle Cemetery, in the Mater Dei district. You will have a local guide who will accompany you on this visit telling you stories, anecdotes and curiosities that hide behind the bones of the dead. The tour will continue through the narrow streets of one of Naples' most discussed neighborhoods, the Rione Sanità.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$78.53
From
$78.53
Taking safety measures

Svelaria Tour at the Fontanelle and Sanità Cemetery

Svelaria Tour at the Fontanelle and Sanità Cemetery

star-5
A tour to discover the Vergini-Sanità district and its cultural heritage that ranges between art, history and beliefs rooted in the territory. We will visit the evocative Fontanelle Cemetery, which houses around 40,000 remains of people, victims of the plague epidemic of 1656 and cholera of 1836. We will enter the heart of Health to visit the baroque Basilica of San Vincenzo Ferrer, to whose inside there are paintings by Luca Giordano, Azzolino and other Neapolitan painters of the 1600s. We will see the exterior of Totò's house, to conclude the visit between Palazzo Sanfelice and Palazzo dello Spagnolo.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$362.44
per group
From
$362.44
per group

FAQ’s

Fontanelle Cemetery (Cimitero delle Fontanelle) hours of operation: 10am-5pm daily . Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.