Palermo, Sicily – when people think of this metropolis of 1.2 million residents on the Island of Sicily, they will probably think of the city known as the bedrock foundation of the Italian Mafia. That comes with good reason from the 1970 film “The Godfather” to the actual legacy of corruption that began in the late 1940s with the rise of organized crime in this city.
However, there lies here a most peculiar tourist attraction of mummies known as the Capuchin Catacombs. Legend has it that monks at the Capuchin Monastery found that a monk interred in the catacombs beneath the monastery has naturally mummified back in 1599.
Oddly enough, over the centuries, people sought the catacombs beneath the monastery as their final resting place where they would be well-dressed and posed in what would become their mummified position.
To date, it is estimated that there are over 8,000 mummies spread throughout the catacombs. Visitors are welcome to come travel the catacombs and see the array of bodies on display. However, well placed bars prevent tourists from posing next to much less touching the bodies.
The most recent body added was Rosalia Lombardo who was interred at age 2 in 1920. Looking at the child, a visitor might think she is merely sleeping as her hair and face remain vibrantly intact.
Europe’s 10 Strangest Tourist Attractions