Catacombs in Syracuse and Mummies in Palermo
While the catacombs found in the Sicilian city of Syracuse are similar to those found in Rome, the catacombs in Palermo are very unusual - Palermo's catacombs contained a preservative that helped to mummify the bodies of the dead.
Catacombs in Syracuse
Catacombs of St. John, Catacombe di San Giovanni: Syracuse's catacombs are found below Chiesa di San Giovanni, the Church of St. John, in Piazza San Giovanni, just east of the archaeological zone. The Church of St. John was established in the third century and the Crypt of St. Marcianus lies under what is believed to be the first cathedral erected in Sicily. The catacombs are closed in February and open Tuesday-Sunday, 9:00-12:30 and 2:30-4:30, be sure to allow plenty of time to exit before closing.
Catacombs of the Capuchins, Catacombe dei Cappuccini: Palermo's catacombs are found in the Capuchino Monastery in Piazza Cappuccini, on the outskirts of Palermo. The catacombs contain mummified bodies, many in good shape that still look lifelike. Some even have hair and clothes remaining. Sicilians of all classes were buried here in the nineteenth century. The last burial here, that of a young girl, took place in 1920. These catacombs are not recommended for the squeamish or for children. The catacombs are open 9:00-12:00 and 3:00-5:00 (later in summer) and closed on holidays.