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Two-faced Janus


Two-faced Janus is a god of the Latin mythology who had two faces, one for the good things and the other for the bad ones. Naples, like Janus, has two faces: one sacred and the other profane. It’s a city full of magic, occult rituals, and churches.

Now we are going to visit the most important esoteric places, walking along narrow streets.

Naples, the city of the two-faced Janus

Let’s start our tour from “via Tribunali ” and the church of ” le anime del purgatorio”. The church is named for the ancient cult of the souls in purgatory, and its construction was commissioned by Neapolitan nobles, in the seventeenth century. In fact they wanted to atone for their sins and secure themselves a place in purgatory by the building of a church that venerated the souls.

The architects in charge of the construction decided to have the theme of the souls throughout the church. In particular outside the church, before the entryway, there are three skulls, made of bronze, resting on bones made of the same material. Other skulls are in the subsoil of the church and one of these has a wedding veil that represents, according to the legend, a young bride who died before consuming her first night of the wedding.

Continuing our esoteric tour following the shadow of the Two-Faced Janus, we must stop at “Cappella Sansevero“. Very close to via Tribunali, it was built by the Prince of Sansevero, a very mysterious man of the eighteenth century. He was an alchemist, scientist, inventor, writer, and Freemason. In the chapel, there are two beautiful works of art, like the veiled Christ and two human bodies without the skin, organs, and bones, but only with the nerves, muscles and venous system. It is still unknown how they were obtained.


Now we have to move to another area, the “Sanità”, a place famous for being the birthplace of the famous Neapolitan comic artist Totò. Here there is an ancient cemetery called “Cimitero delle Fontanelle” because located in Via delle Fontanelle, where there were probably waterways in the past. In the cemetery all the dead caused by the plague in the seventeenth century are buried, as a mass grave. The cemetery is very well known because a special ritual was held there, known as the “anime pezzentelle,” which provided for the adoption and placement of a skull (called in the Neapolitan dialect “capuzzella ‘), which corresponded to a soul abandoned (“pezzentella” then) in exchange for protection.

Last but not least: the “Duomo”. It is the Cathedral of Napoli is located in “via Duomo” close to Via Tribunali and Corso Umberto. This church is the most important church in Naples, and also the largest one.

Naples Cathedral is where the most important religious functions of the town are celebrated, like the one dedicated to the patron saint of the city: S.Gennaro. His blood is kept in the Duomo and on the day dedicated to him, that is on the 19th of September, the miracle of San Gennaro takes place. People say that if the blood melts, it will be a lucky year for the city, if not disasters will hit Naples. If you like the legends and myths of the occult and magic you just have to come to Naples!


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