Convento dei Cappuccini

Lonely Planet review

This church and convent complex has recently gained an interesting multi-media museum telling the story of the Capuchin order of monks, including a work attributed to Caravaggio: St Francis in Meditation . The main attraction, however, is the extraordinary Capuchin cemetery that lies below, where everything from the picture frames to the light fittings is made of human bones.

Between 1528 and 1870 the resident Capuchin monks used the bones of 4000 of their departed brothers to create this mesmerising, macabre memento mori (reminder of death). There’s an arch crafted from hundreds of skulls, vertebrae used as fleurs-de-lys and light fixtures made of femurs. Happy holidays!