Il Tunnel Borbonico

Naples Tunnel Borbonico

Tunnel Borbonico: a secret king’s passage, a shelter during the Second World War and a deposit in the postwar period.

Let’s discover a part of the history of the city through its hidden venues, recently reopened for public. The history of Naples is buried in Tunnel Borbonico, renamed Galleria Borbonica. The tunnel is today a site of cultural events and guided tours.

Naples seems to be a city with the immense underground empty space, but this emptiness, spread in the network of alleys, embodies the essence of our citizenship and makes us become an integral part of the streets that we live, cross and often ignore. The everyday life loses its importance in front of one of the beating hearts of the “city of the sun”: the Tunnel Borbonico (“the bourbon tunnel”). In spite of an obvious association with a certain historic period that the name of the site evokes, it represents either the past, the present and the future. This is because of objects which one comes across in these galleries: American and Italian cars consisting in a legal deposit, as well as the remnants of life and hopes of the people hiding here from bombardments during the Second World War.

While visiting the tunnels, one may decry toys of children constrained to spend whole days underground, as well as inscriptions of names and dates engraved on the walls by the hands deprived of hope. While reading them, one may almost hear the alarming sirens that announced arrival of the angel of death brought inexorably by the war. Several years have passed since when the frightened, trembling hands have engraved the dates on the walls to encourage themselves and prove themselves to be still alive. Though, as in the water clock, the sand of time continues to flow in those rooms, where the modern sculptures seem to stand like guardians of the cisterns that once accumulated potable water for the citizens.

Who knows if the architect of the tunnel Errico Alvino has imagined what destination would have assumed his construction during the incoming centuries, while receiving the orders from the king Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies. When the tunnels became a shelter, the spiral stairs were the first safety point in its intern. Many people died, other have survived. However, in spite of the passed years, screams of pain resound in the silence of the underground. And the life above flows with its normal rhythm, among business meetings and everyday problems.

Il Tunnel Borbonico
Vico del Grottone, 4, 80132 Napoli
phone: 0039 081 764 5808

Tags: Archeology, Architecture, Itineraries