If you enjoy secrets and history, you’ll love this article. It tells how a secret 19th-century royal escape tunnel in Naples ended up full of vintage cars and motorbikes.
Naples is a fascinating city with a rich history. But most people are only aware of what lies above the ground. 100 feet below this ancient city lies a 1,740-foot set of tunnels that were carved into 16th-century aqueducts by King Ferdinand II of Bourbon. The king build the tunnels in 1853 as a secret escape route for himself. During the Second World War, the tunnels were used as a bomb shelter and a military hospital. The tunnels were used to store impounded vehicles from the 1940’s until the 1960’s. and then they were forgotten.
But in 2000, locals discovered the tunnels and turned them into a tourist attraction. Now adventurous visitors can tour the tunnels and see all the amazing vintage vehicles.
Accessed via an 18th century staircase not far from the Piazza del Plebiscite in central Naples is a mysterious warren of tunnels. Inside visitors can find the rusting relics of vintage cars, above
Impounded retro motorbikes languish 100 feet below ground in the 16th century aqueducts
The intriguing Bourbon tunnel was originally designed for King Ferdinand II of Bourbon as an escape route connecting the royal palace and the army barracks in 1853
The secretive passageways were designed in response to the spate of revolts the monarch faced during his volatile reign
The king died before the tunnels were completed but they served a number of purposes until the 1960s when they fell into disuse and were forgotten
The passageways and aqueducts offered refuge as a military hospital and bomb shelter during World War II
Snaking 1,740 feet along the city, the structure was built into the volcanic rocks of the Bolla and Carmignano aqueducts
The tunnels became a warehouse for impounded vehicles from the 1940s until the 1960s
Visitors crawling through the tunnels nowadays will be sure to encounter the dusty relics of vintage cars and retro motorcycles abandoned underground
Rows of discarded vespas line the passageways – a treasure trove of historic wonders
In the early 2000s locals re-discovered and transformed the passageways into a quirky tourist attraction – Galleria Borbonica
Galleria Borbonica devised three different types of tours to satiate the curiosity of locals and tourists alike
On a standard tour, you can walk inside the tunnel, see the bomb shelters and water tanks
This incredible image shows an exquisite picture on one of the rusting vehicles
The speleo tour allows visitors to enjoy a hands-on gritty experience crawling through the tunnels wearing helmets with torches
Layered with history, as mesmerising as Naples is above ground the ancient city is also home to a mysterious warren of tunnels. This image shows the grand scale of the underground city
Tourists can take a raft ride through one of the flooded tunnels, with guides lighting the way with lanterns
Read More: Inside the secret 19th-century tunnel under Naples that used to be an escape route for the king… but is now full of vintage cars and motorbikes