Italian Catacomb Mummies – Sleep Little Darling…

Italian Catacomb Mummies

I came across an argument based on the Italian catacomb mummies last week and it enthralled me really. I had heard about the Capuchin Catacombs on many an occasion before but I had not looked into the subject fully.

This particular argument centered on the mummy of a young girl that they nick named ‘Sleeping Beauty’…


Deep in Palermo lies the strange and atmospheric Capuchin Catacombs. Within this collection of ancient corpses lies the Sleeping Beauty I mentioned above.

The New Corridor at Capuchin Catacombs
The New Corridor at Capuchin Catacombs

If I’m honest with you I had not heard about this beauty being among the Italian catacomb mummies until last week. She is deemed to be the most beautiful mummy in the world but she has one advantage over the other mummies…

She blinks at you!

Yeah that’s pretty freaky ain’t it – I don’t exactly class that as a thing of ‘beauty’.

Rosalia Lombardo

I find the story behind this Sleeping Beauty a very sad and tragic one really that only adds to the despair of the catacombs.

The mummy is of a girl named Rosalia Lombardo and she died way back in 1920 at the very young age of two. From what I can gather she caught pneumonia and never recovered.

From all the articles I have gone through there is little to no information on this tragic young girl’s life.

All we know is that her body was embalmed by Alfredo Salafia

Alfredo Salafia

This Alfredo Salafia was considered a master craftsman back then. In fact his work is so good it rivals the more modern methods of embalming performed today.

But how could this Italian craftsman have reached this level of expertise over a century ago?

Alfredo Salafia

Well it turns out he took a lot of influence from the techniques the Egyptians used way back when. All the organs inside the corpses he worked on are still in tact and this is the case with little Rosalia.

The Eyes

Obviously the beauty of Rosalia is what draws most people to her corpse but there is small matter of her blinking freely.

She is preserved inside a glass coffin and many visitors have claimed that she has blinked at them.

Because of this a time lapse camera was set up to see exactly what was happening with the mummy and she did indeed blink at it.

Through the camera frames you can clearly see the young girl’s beautiful blue eyes as she blinks.

Rosalia Lombardo

Of course these incidents have set off the rumor mill big time online and there are thousands of theories out there. This was the argument I stumbled upon the other day!

One guy was set on the changing humidity in the Capuchin Catacombs being responsible for the eye movement whilst another was going down the more paranormal route ( which I happen to like! ).

He seemed to think that local folklore in Palermo points towards Rosalia’s spirit being restless within her body due to it being preserved so well over the years.

Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo

These wonderful catacombs contain approximately 8000 preserved bodies from over the years and are set out in full view for visitors to examine.

Personally I don’t think this would be my cup of tea and many guests tend to feel the same way. Many feel unnerved and sick at the sight of so many of the dead looking back at them.

As for the corpse of Rosalia Lombardo it’s hard to say – is it environmental factors or is her soul still at work deep within that perfectly preserved shell?

If you have any views or opinions on the Italian catacomb mummies please leave them in the comment section below…

2 comments on “Italian Catacomb Mummies – Sleep Little Darling…

  1. The theory I heard and kind of accepted was that it was a build up of gasses within her body pushing her eyelids open and shut. I sure hope it’s not her restless spirit. I’d like to think she’s at peace.

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