Raising Naples: how the catacombs of saints transformed Sanità

Nov 12, 2021 265

If you walked around Sanità 15 years ago with your camera on your shoulder like that it would’ve been stolen,” says local shopkeeper Antonio Vitozzi, pointing at my battered Nikon. More than likely I would’ve been nowhere near this neighbourhood back then. Riven by urban decay and high unemployment, Naples’ poorest district used to be a dangerous place where the Camorra held sway. It wasn’t just Italians afraid to come here but Neapolitans too.

Not these days, though. Sanità has undergone a quite miraculous transformation thanks to La Paranza, a cooperative of idealistic young friends who began running guided tours to Italy’s finest catacombs in the early 2000s. At the time, the only access to the catacombs was granted by the Catholic church for academic study.

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SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com/

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