Church, Catacomb sights in Naples
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While we love the baroque paintings by Andrea Vaccaro and Luca Giordano – not to mention the two contemporary sculptures by Riccardo Dalisi – it's the atmospheric catacomb beneath this 17th-century basilica that makes it unforgettable. Entered through the 5th-century Cappella di San Gaudioso, which lurks below the high altar, its damp walls reveal a rather macabre method of medieval burial.
Firstly, bodies would be stored in the arched wall niches, where the sciacciamorti (literally 'corpse squashers') would poke them to release all blood and bodily fluids. Once dried out, the body would be buried, while the skull would be cemented to the wall and set over a fresco of…