Capuchins’ catacombs, Sicily


Do you dare to go down into the Capuchins’ catacombs? If so, you’ll find a maze of dark underground corridors with thousands of decayed corpses hanging grotesquely on hooks along the walls.

When, in 1599, the monks here discovered a new technique for preserving bodies, Sicilians from all walks of life sent their loved ones for mummification and display so they could visit them.

All dressed in their Sunday best, some are little more than skeletons now with caved in skulls and missing body parts. Others still have hair, flesh and staring eyes. Some seem to be grinning, while others have horribly contorted ‘screaming’ faces.

The most recent, a two-year old who died in 1920, is so intact she looks as if she might open her eyes at any moment.

Written by

Readers who enjoyed
this article also liked:

  • BigAirBAG, worldwide

    Ever fancied yourself as a ski or snowboarding pro but haven’t yet worked up the courage to launch themselves off a jump, for fear of a nasty landing?

  • Glenfinnan Station, Scotland

    Stay in a 1950s train carriage amid glorious scenery in Glenfinnan.

  • Bokbyen, Norway

    This little fjord-side village is a bookish destination par excellence.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.