The English Cemetery in Naples

January 16, 2013 / Places
Napoli, Campania
The English Cemetery in NaplesFor centuries expats have enthusiastically lived in Italy. When they died, however, they often needed a place of final rest in non-Catholic cemeteries. Thus, Cimiteri acattolici were erected in many cities, including Florence, Livorno and Rome (where, notably, poets John Keats and Percy Shelley are buried). Naples was no exception, but their expat cemetery purportedly included ghosts.

Near the downtown train station, Piazza Garibaldi, neighbors once complained of night time movements and lights coming from Il Cimitero Inglese. Who were these souls?

During the reign of King Charles of Bourbon, the adjacent church was a shelter for vagrant women. Then, for a period it became a hospital for prostitutes. Only in 1826 did Sir Henry Lushington buy the church garden as a place of rest for non-Catholics. But the cemetery closed for burials in 1893 and the statues were vandalized. The area became overgrown with weeds. By the mid-twentieth century, many maintained the decrepit cemetery was haunted.

Thanks to the work of the Fondazione Napoli Novantanove, the cemetery was turned into a park during the 1990’s. Although only a small number of headstones have been renovated, you can visit Mary Somerville’s tomb, the famous pioneer of modern astrophysics whose works prompted the search for the planet Neptune. Interestingly, after the park’s opening, locals maintained that the ghosts disappeared.

The English Cemetery in Naples

Napoli Non-Catholic Cemetery

The information for this post comes from a lovely Italian language guide Partenope E Le Altre: Guida illustrate ai misteri di Napoli e della Campania by Antonio Emanuele Piedimonte.

by Barbara Zaragoza

Barbara is author of several books, including “The Espresso Break: Tours and Nooks of Naples, Italy and Beyond” available on Amazon.com in print as well as Kindle versions.

Bonnie Alberts, Penny Ewles-Bergeron and Barbara have teamed up to create a new Naples travel guide, the Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples. See all their articles at napoliunplugged.com or order the book at partenopepress.com.

5 Responses to “The English Cemetery in Naples”

  1. Kirsten Høyer-Nielsen

    I an told ny grandfather, Andreas Haukland, norwigean author, was burried in Napels english cemetary in 1933. Ny mother saw hos gravestone in 1973. Can you confirm that? Sincirly Kirsten Høyer-Nielsen

    Reply

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