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Church of Santa Luciella ai Librai

The church of Santa Luciella ai Librai is one of the many small historical religious sites in Naples. It’s hidden among the numerous narrow alleys of the city center, near the famous Via dei Presepi.

Its underground crypt was used as a burial site. Adherents to the Neapolitan Cult of the Dead often came here to pray. They often offered prayers especially to the “skull with ears,” hoping this anatomical curiosity would act as a messenger between the worlds of the living and dead. The skull lives up to its name—it has two pieces of mummified cartilage, one on either side, which resemble ears.

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