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Bourbon Tunnel

The Bourbon Tunnel, is an underground cavity in Naples Italy that extends under the hill, near the Royal Palace. By decree of February 19, 1853, Ferdinand II of Bourbon commissioned the architect Errico Alvino to build a long underground tunnel that connected Plebiscito Square to Vittoria Square. The work was part of the public works that Ferdinand II had conceived, however its real purpose was military: it was to constitute a quick escape route to the sea for the royal family in case of riots and a quick connection with the palace for the soldiers quartered in the Chiaia barracks: the Victory barracks and the Cavallerizza barracks.

The works lasted three years and were carried out exclusively by hand with picks, hammers and wedges, and with lighting provided only by torches and candles. On May 25, 1855, the Bourbon Tunnel of Naples Italy was inaugurated with the passage of Ferdinand II of Bourbon, but then it remained open to the public for only 3 days. The gallery closed permanently for economic reasons and for the decline of the Bourbons with the arrival of the unification of Italy. The path was abandoned in the following century, until during the Second World War some underground rooms were used and set up as an air raid shelter by the Military Engineers, electrified and equipped with cots, kitchen tools and a series of latrines. In fact, it could happen that the Neapolitans remained in the anti-aircraft shelter for many days. In Naples Italy in the postwar period up to the seventies it was used as a municipal judicial deposit where various material was hospitalized, such as household goods, motorcycles and seized cars.

In the meantime, many buildings above had used the various quarries as an illegal landfill, throwing any type of waste through illegal wells and openings. The Bourbon Gallery was opened to the public by the “Bourbon Underground” Cultural Association on 29 October 2010. The place is equipped with a scenographic lighting and, among other interventions, there is above all that of the restoration and exhibition of cars and motorcycles period found on the site and other important findings, such as the monument dedicated to the fascist Aurelio Padovani, found in March 2010 under piles of rubble. The Bourbon Gallery has two entrances, one from Morelli Street and another from Grottone Street. If you are planning your holiday to visit Naples Italy, visit the Bourbon Tunnel is one of the things to do.

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