Capuchin Catacombs

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I had read about the catacombs of Palermo, so somewhat reluctantly (particularly on my husband's part) we decided to visit. We were charged 2 euros each as seniors, but unless you are particularly intrigued I would not say that this is at all inspiring – in fact quite the reverse. Both of us left with a feeling of sadness which after several days has not gone away.

The catacombs are a long way out of central Palermo – our return taxi fare to the centre cost us 35 euros. Once inside there are long corridors of skeletons in various states of decomposition – some being amazingly well preserved – which only serve as a reminder of the finality and inescapability of death.

Saddest of all are the babies and small children – one of whom (Rosalia) is exceptionally well preserved. She died aged nearly 2 in 1920 and was expertly embalmed so that she looks as if she is asleep.

This is not for the faint hearted or the depressed. It is somewhere I shall not easily forget.

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