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Palermo - The Catacombe Cappuccini

(not for the fainthearted)


Other Paradoxplace Palermo pages


Link to Books about Sicily and Southern Italy


The Dom and his Aussie mate Architetto McNamara chose to drive to the famous Catacombe Cappuccini from their seafront (Jolly) Palermo hotel on a Sunday in November 2003.    The Catacombe is under a large surface cemetery with a parking challenge which becomes terminal on Sundays.  No problem in Sicily - just toss the car keys to a willing bandito lookalike local and head off. 


Architetto Mackers was worried about the possibility that the car would shortly be rebirthed elsewhere in Europe, especially as the custodian had no official badge of office (in common with all other car custodians in southern Italy).  But the normally security cautious Dom was in cavalier mood and marched off confidently to knock on the creaking door to the Catacombe, which was opened by a toothless old male caretaker who extracted an entry fee and pointed to the "no photos for privacy reasons" notice, which logic was contradicted by the large number of corpse postcards which he later tried to persuade us to buy!   So we did a few non flash dom-snaps and also bought what must be the most unusual high quality coffee table book around (which is the source of a few of the images below).


If you want to know more about the history of the Catacombe

there is a good description in Sacred Destinations


"The Living Dead" by Marco Lanza and Laura Facchi


There is also a very high quality creepy (undertakers) coffee table book (with English text) by Marco Lanza and Laura Facchi (read the reviews on Amazon!).








The Spanish artist Diego Valazquez (1599 - 1660 (61)) is reputedly buried somewhere here, but as no-one knows where, this is not a very useful story unless you are trying to attract visitors.  We did not see anyone resembling his self portrait (left) in the Vasari Corridor in Florence.  It is just possible, of course, that one guidebook invented the story and other guidebooks copied it without verification, thus making it a fact ......




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