From North to South Italy travel underground with Swide to find out about hidden locations in Italy. Milano, Bologna, Orvieto, Matera all showcase unexpected places to visit underground.
Stunning underground cities
you must visit in Italy
We all know Italy is beautiful, but did you know that part of that beauty is hidden underground? The cities in Italy expanded in layers with history and the evolution and changes of many cities are now visible only from underground. From Milan to Matera passing through Palermo let’s discover the hidden beauty of Italy.
One of the most stunning places in the world this city presents many cellars, churches and houses underground. These once hidden locations have been in people’s life for Century (and still are): the main water source of the city was the Palombaro Lungo. Today it is possible to walk through it.
This city is not only about fashion and design (and food, and art). Underground you’ll find its Celtic, Roman and Medieval origins. Head to Piazza Missori to see the Romanic Crypt of San Giovanni in Conca, now in the open because of the damages it underwent after WWII.
The Regie Ice Houses in Porta Palazzo, the 1700 Galleries, the Crypts in the historical center and the “inferno”, caves built under Baroque Palaces (they usually are adjacent to cellars, and are very common in Piedmont, too) are all underground locations you should visit.
Trieste, Friuli Venezia Giulia
The beautiful city feature the “Kleine Berlin” located in the historic center and is made by underground galleries that were built to escape bombs during WWII. Also visit The subterranean caves of the Jesuits right under the Baroque Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Petazzi Cript and the Soul well.
The city was born thousands of years ago: forty meters below the characteristic and lively streets of the Historic Center of Naples, you find a different world, unexplored, isolated by time, but deeply connected with the world above. It’s the heart of Naples, and the place from which the city was born.
Ravenna, Emilia Romagna
Known for its outstanding early Byzantine mosaics, unrivaled in Italy, Ravenna has more to offer: visit the beautiful Crypt of San Francesco in the historical center. Built in the 10th Century – while the Church was built in the 9th – it is below sea level and that’s why the Crypt is invaded by water. There also gold fish swimming in it!
The underground cemetery of Porta d’Ossuna deserves a visit and also the one of San Michele: we don’t know much about these locations but visiting them you can feel the history of a grand city. It is believed that the Catacomb of San Michele was meant for only one family as the space is quite small.
This city presents many underground locations, like Santa Maria Maggiore Dominican Monastery, that was unearthed in 1979 – made of may rooms including a rocky Church from the 13th Century with frescos, a Roman Aqueduct and cells of Inquisition.
Bologna, Emilia Romagna
Did you know that Bologna was dotted with canals in the past? Today’s testimonies are the streets, which are named after the little rivers (Vie del Porto (Pourt Street), Riva Reno) and some nice glimpse like the little window in via Piella that overlooks Canale delle Moline (in photo). Today these canals lay underground, but they have been restored to be visited by tourists. Visit the Canale Navile: for over 700 years it was the main mean of communication between all the ports on the Adriatic Sea.
Siena has many underground paths carved in the sand that were used to collect rain waters coming from the surrounding hills so to gather it to medieval wells. You can visit the medieval underground aqueduct (more than 25 kilometers) in spring and autumn.
Most of the underground space in Orvieto is perfectly practicable today. The city has many paths and organized guided tours. Discover the Etruscan Velzna – so Orvieto was called back then – though dark alleys that lead to stairs and rooms that echo medieval and renaissance times, a journey that dates back to 2500 year ago.
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