The esoteric side of Naples
Given that superstition and faith have always characterize the city, Naples is the perfect place where to take an alternative itinerary. The historic city center is especially rich in streets and churches that have given birth to local myths and legends. For this reason, you cannot miss the church of Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco, which is located in Via dei Tribunali. Just beneath the church, that dates back to the 17th century, there is a cemetery which has become famous for the cult of the purgatory souls, that the Neapolitans call ‘anime pezzentelle’ (poor souls). Some of the skulls are daily adopted by the citizens who usually take care of them in exchange for a grace. A similar practice takes place at the ‘Cimitero delle Fontanelle‘ in Rione Sanità, a nearby district. In this tuff cave the bodies of the people who died during the epidemy in 1656 are buried and their little skulls, called ‘capuzzelle’, are also adopted by the Neapolitan devoted. The most important two skulls are: the Captain, which is thought to be kind of mysterious, and Donna Concetta, that seems to sweat every time one asks for a grace.