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Galleria Borbonica

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Via Domenico Morelli, 61 c, 80121 Napoli NA, Italy

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Make sure to wear comfortable shoes when visiting the Bourbon Tunnel in Naples, as the terrain can be uneven and there is a bit of walking involved. Additionally, try to book the tour in advance and aim for the evening tours on weekends, when they often include a special aperitivo event that's not available during regular hours."

What is Bourbon Tunnel?

The Bourbon Tunnel, or Galleria Borbonica, is one of Naples' most intriguing underground pathways. It's a subterranean tunnel that meanders beneath the bustling streets of the city, offering an extraordinary journey through time. I've traversed its length many times, marvelling at the layers of history embedded in its walls. Connecting the Royal Palace to military barracks, it was intended to serve as an escape route for the royalty. Today, it stands as an open secret, a treasure trove of history far below the modern city's surface.

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History of Bourbon Tunnel

Imagine stepping back into the mid-19th century when King Ferdinand II of Bourbon commissioned this tunnel in 1853 to ensure a swift and safe evacuation route from the Palazzo Reale to the nearby military barracks. It’s a brilliant plan that intertwines with the political uncertainties of the age. Yet, the intended escape route, full of promise and strategic potential, was never completed in the king’s lifetime. The Bourbon Tunnel, waiting silently, evolved into a storage space during World War II, shielding precious artworks and acting as a makeshift bomb shelter for Neapolitans. It's a rich narrative of multiple uses that unveils the depths of human adaptation during periods of strife and conflict.

Why is Bourbon Tunnel Important?

The importance of the Bourbon Tunnel extends beyond its original purpose. It has become a symbol of the resilience and ingenuity of the Neapolitan people. When I guide friends through its echoing chambers, I often tell them about the imprint of various historical periods visible within the tunnel. It has been a silent witness to upheavals, celebrations, and everyday lives, serving as an extraordinary record of urban development and historical events. Through its importance, the tunnel offers not just a subterranean journey but a passage through Naples' multi-layered past. Its significance has been recognized too, as it's protected as a part of the Associazione Culturale Borbonica Sotteranea, dedicated to preserving Neapolitan heritage.

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Things to Do & See at Bourbon Tunnel

Visiting the Bourbon Tunnel isn’t just about observing, it’s about experiencing. You'll tread through spaces filled with vintage cars and motorcycles, remnants of a forgotten era. You’ll see wartime relics like discarded helmets, cisterns, and even statues hidden from potential wartime looting. For the adventurous, there are the speleological paths, navigating through sections that show the geology of Naples with its tuff and ancient aqueducts. This layered history isn't something you just see; it's something you feel as you walk in near-darkness, guided only by the stories and the dim light leading the path ahead.

It's also quite extraordinary how everyday objects from different eras have found their way here, creating a veritable time capsule for you to explore. Look for the children’s toys from the 1950s or abandoned cars that have gathered dust for decades. Every item tells a story, every shadow a memory. And for those who value a good tale, make sure to catch the legend of the ghost of Donna Lucrezia, said to still roam these depths. As she wanders this realm between past and present, you might just feel the weight of history pressing in on you, a testament to the lasting enchantment of the Bourbon Tunnel.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Bourbon Tunnel in Naples?

The Bourbon Tunnel, also known as the Borbonic Tunnel, is a historic underground passage in Naples, Italy, that dates back to the 19th century. It was originally conceived as an escape route for the Bourbon royal family but later used for various purposes including a military hospital and a shelter during World War II.

How do I get to the Bourbon Tunnel?

The entrance to the Bourbon Tunnel is located in the Vico del Grottone, near Piazza Plebiscito in Naples. It is accessible through guided tours that typically start from the Morelli car park's standard elevator.

What can I see during a visit to the Bourbon Tunnel?

Visitors to the Bourbon Tunnel can explore the fascinating network of underground passages and cavities. Features include remnants from the Second World War, vintage cars and motorcycles, sculptures, and water cisterns that give a glimpse into Naples' subterranean history.

Are there any tours available for the Bourbon Tunnel?

Yes, the Bourbon Tunnel can be visited through guided tours, which are available in different languages. These tours provide insights into the history and features of the tunnel, and sometimes include theatrical performances or special events.

What are the opening hours and ticket prices for the Bourbon Tunnel?

The Bourbon Tunnel is usually open on weekends, with additional openings on certain weekdays depending on the season. Visitors are advised to check the official website for the most up-to-date opening hours and ticket prices, as they may vary.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Via Domenico Morelli, 61 c, 80121 Napoli NA, Italy

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps