Naples is a city rich in history and culture, and among its many attractions is a treasure hidden beneath the surface: the Galleria Borbonica. This underground tunnel complex, built in the 19th century, is a fascinating journey into the past that reveals the secrets and curiosities of daily life in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
The Galleria Borbonica in Naples is a fascinating place that takes visitors on an exciting journey through the city’s underground history. Its history, curiosities, and myths surrounding it make it a must-see destination for history and adventure enthusiasts.
Please choose from our best tours in Naples for a private transfer service or a customized tour that will immerse you in this unprecedented experience.
Bourbon Gallery: history and curiosities
King Ferdinand II of Bourbon commissioned the Galleria Borbonica in 1853 during the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. They initially intended this tangle of underground tunnels to connect the Royal Palace with Piazza Vittoria, providing the royal family with a safe, out-of-sight escape route.
However, as the years went by, they used the tunnel for other purposes: more than 10,000 Neapolitans used it as a shelter during the bombings of World War II.
The refugees conducted much of their daily life here, and people have found toys, baby carriages, stretchers, beds, medicines, and personal belongings as evidence.
People confined here by the bombing began to cover the walls of the Gallery with graffiti. These tell stories of hope, fear, and resilience of those who sought refuge in the Bourbon Tunnel during the most challenging times of the war. Today, these signs of the past are poignant reminders of a lived history and are considered a form of art and historical memory.
In the postwar period, these rooms became a municipal court storage facility for everything pulled out of the rubble from the city’s bombing. Until the 1970s, they piled up cars, wasps, and anything recovered from evictions and seizures here.
Bourbon Gallery: the adventure trail
The Bourbon Tunnel offers several ways for tourists eager to explore this intricate underground labyrinth. Participating in guided tours that provide a historical and cultural overview of the Gallery is possible. Local experts will take visitors through the tunnels, telling stories and trivia about this unique place.
The Bourbon Gallery offers adventure lovers an exciting tour called the “Adventure Route.” During this unique tour, visitors can wear protective helmets and headlights to immerse themselves in the underground tunnels’ atmosphere fully. Along the way, they will discover the secrets and mysteries hidden under the city, passing through narrow passages and fascinating spaces.
During the tour, experts will guide participants through the rooms and structures in the tunnel, including warehouses, cellars, stables, an ancient gymnasium, and even an underground church. This “adventure trail” allows visitors to experience history engagingly, creating a direct link to the past and leaving an indelible impression.
The adventure trail also includes a raft experience: it will be possible to continue the journey inside a cistern dating back to the 1400s aboard a raft, where you can admire the exceptional hydraulic workings.
As you walk, you will reach the second cistern, where an aquifer emerges, and as you continue the route, you will get to the end of the archaeological site.
Bourbon Gallery: times and prices
With the “adventure route,” visitors can fully immerse themselves in the past, exploring underground tunnels and discovering the hidden secrets of Naples. The times and days when this experience is possible are as follows: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays; tours start at 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. with a duration of about 1 hour and 25 minutes.
The ticket price is 15.00 Euro for adults, reduced by 10.00 Euro for 10 to 15 years old, with access allowed for 10 years old and up. This tour is possible only from the entrance at 61 Via Morelli, with reservations required.
The Bourbon Gallery represents a unique treasure that enchants and inspires, transporting visitors to a bygone era and making them feel part of a history buried beneath their feet. Visit our Local Tours page and choose the private transfer service or customized tour.