A tour designed for tourists who want to explore the most authentic side of Naples and discover ancient traces of its underground world. The tour is organized by a group of associations of Borgo Vergini Sanità, whose mission is to promote the art, archaeology, craftsmanship and gastronomy of one of the city’s most fascinating, historical neighbourhoods.
The tour starts just outside the walls of the ancient centre, near Porta San Gennaro and includes a stopover at the Church of the Misericordia, housed within the ancient monumental complex of Santa Maria della Misericordia ai Vergini, characterized by beautiful decorated interiors and underground burial chambers. Recently reopened to the public, it houses the headquarters of Smmave, the Experimental Centre for Contemporary Arts, founded by artist Christian Leperino. The Centre is open to the public and its spaces are used by local and international artists alike to express their creativity.
While walking through the Borgo dei Vergini, on the ground floor of Palazzo Peschici Maresca, at No. 5 Via Arena alla Sanità, make sure to visit the Aqua Augusta or Serino Aqueduct, the largest and most complex in ancient civilization, discovered by chance in 2011 and restored to its former splendour one year ago thanks to the tireless work of a group of archaeologists, geologists and architects who were among the founders of the Vergini Sanità and Celanapoli Associations.
Participating in a guided tour led by Pippo Pirozzi and Carlo Leggieri will provide you with insightful information about the means used by Emperor Augustus, twenty centuries ago, to build the majestic aqueduct in the Valle dei Vergini. The source of this aqueduct starts from the Serino springs, in the city of Avellino, and stretches for 100km as far as the Piscina Mirabilis of Bacoli, where the powerful imperial fleet of Caesar Augustus was stationed.
This archaeological tour ends with a visit to the underground burial chambers of the Necropolis dating back to the Hellenistic era, several of which were unearthed in a perfect state of preservation, unlike any others excavated in Italy to-date.
However, in addition to its archaeological treasures, Borgo Vergini Sanità is a neighbourhood that also boasts a unique street market which acts as a backdrop to the spectacular 18th century architecture of the Spagnuolo Palace and the Sanfelice Palace, featuring a monumental double ramp stairwell. Amidst B&Bs, pizzerias, trattorias and pastry shops, you can also find the best of local gastronomic tradition and artisanship, including jewelry and traditional ceramics, as well as old glove factories, the driving force behind an economy whose passion is tourism.
Events at Borgo Vergini Sanità
16 October – Fifth FAIMarathon of Naples, with light-night openings and visits to the cultural sites of the Borgo Vergini and the Sanità district.
21 October – The ‘Borgo dei Vergini in festa’: guided tours, performances, photographic exhibitions, projects and cultural and gastronomic events.
For info: Associazione Vergini Sanità. T: 3292423298 / Associazione Celanapoli. T: 3475597231 / Smmave - Chiesa della Misericordiella. T: 3663270911
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