Undead Italy (Urbania)

Posted: July 3, 2013 by linktay in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

First, may I start off by apologizing for my long absence! I spent all of June in Urbania, Italy studying and singing the Italian language. Upon returning home, my laptop broke! I am literally writing this post on my phone so bear with me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Urbania is a beautiful old city in the mountainous “La Marche” region of Italy. The city is very small and personal but with everything from delicious gelato to creepy mummies…. Did I really just say mummies? Yup.
Now, I know this technically is a ghost blog but I could resist talking about this fantastic experience I had while in Urbania. The mummies reside at a small church near the town center called La Chiesa di Morti (Church of the dead). The church is very old and very tiny, with only a couple pews and a very tiny altar. I am unsure if any actual masses are held at the church, from what I can tell it seemed more like a museum or a final resting place for 18 mummies. The tour guide then takes you into a small circular room surrounded by human sculls, with a macabre chandelier in the middle made with the tops of what appeared to be human femurs. So if you’re squeamish don’t look up….. Or right…. Or left….. Or behind you….. Ok just don’t look anywhere. you will puke.

You find yourself wondering, while surrounded by all these human remains “how the heck did this get here?!”.
The mummies were put there in 1833 by the Brotherhood of Good Death (what?). The intentions of these brothers were to provide assistance to the poor and dying, and to provide free burial to those who couldn’t afford it. The mummies were all poor people (except for 2, one of whom was a philanthropist who wanted to be buried with the poor) who were buried without coffins and mummified naturally by mushrooms in the ground that absorbed the moisture from their bodies leaving the skin and internal organs in tact. While on the tour you will hear a synopsis on how each of them died, how old they were, and even their name. One of the mummies was stabbed to death, with his stab wound and autopsy cut still visible! Though, im not sure why he needed the autopsy if he had a knife between his ribs…
Another of the mummies is even wearing clothing, the rest are naked which is how they were buried. He was the only mummy who was artificially mummified, and dressed in the clothes of his profession (a priest). He stands in the middle of the room carrying his staff.


Am I saying this church is haunted? No, not really. But I would say the mummies legacies are alive and well, literally! One of the mummies who was a pharmacist has direct descendants who run the pharmacy in town! Talk about family operated! Go to Urbania and experience the mummies for yourself! And while you’re there pick up a cannoli at the Cafe Teatro….mmmmmm…. It’s worth the trip.

  1. Never apologize for being “in Urbania, Italy studying and singing the Italian language.” ๐Ÿ˜€

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