The first weekend our region is in the yellow zone and we are allowed to explore- it rains… not exaaaactly what everyone was hoping for as most had planned adventures that consisted of hitting the Amalfi Coast, hiking, or enjoying other outdoor attractions & activities. Thankfully, in Italia there is always something to do no matter the weather! So instead of complaining about having to change our plans we switched gears and headed underground. We spent a rainy Saturday touring the Bourbon Tunnels and then resurfaced for the best la pizza napoletana that I have had so far- Gino Sorbillo!!!
We took the standard tour of the tunnel to go on a historical journey through another part of the Naples underground world where our guide showed us the history of The Bourbon Tunnel. “The Bourbon Tunnel dates back to 1853, when Ferdinand II of Bourbon ordered his architect Enrico Alvino to design an underground escape route, which would allow the monarchs to escape after the uprisings of 1848. It was also used as a military passage for all the troops… But the works were interrupted only two years later, in 1855, because of the political events that culminated in the end of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the consequent expulsion of the Bourbons. However, it was completed on 25 May of that same year, the day of its inauguration. The initial project consisted of an excavation of the tuff mountain, from which two galleries would be extended for about 84m and would culminate in two quarries called “Cave Carafa”. At that point, however, the passage was blocked by the ancient aqueduct of Bolla, where the tunnel was finally completed with masonry and brick works, without destroying all the wells and tanks that were later separated by masonry viaducts. During the Second World War, the Bourbon Tunnel was used as a refuge for all citizens who lost their homes in the period between 1939 and 1945; the tanks were, in fact, used as a refuge for more than 10,000 people who tried to save themselves running through the staircase of 90 steps, which is still located in Piazza Carolina. The UNPA (National Union for Anti-Aircraft Protection) provided the rooms with an electrical system and bathrooms; moreover, most of the walls and vaults were covered with hydraulic mortar to guarantee the brightness of the spaces. In 1970 it became a Judicial Depot, where all the old vehicles and “new” motorcycles (such as Vespas) were stored, and which are now visible to many tourists. But it was only in 2005 that, with the help of two geologists… the current Bourbon Gallery saw the light.” [https://www.visitnaples.eu/en/neapolitanity/walk-naples/one-of-the-dark-sides-of-naples-the-bourbon-tunnel]
Located right on the seafront in Napoli, Gino Sorbillo belongs to one of the oldest families of pizza makers in Naples. His grandparents, Luigi Sorbillo and Carolina Esposito, founded the first pizzeria in 1935 here, on via dei Tribunali, defined by many as the “Via della Pizza Napoletana” (Street of Naples Pizza) in the old city center. The Sorbillos gave birth to 21 children, who later became pizza chefs. Gino’s father, Salvatore, is the nineteenth of twenty-one children. Gino grew up in the family pizzeria and learned the secrets of the real Neapolitan pizza. There are numerous national and international journalistic and television services that have dealt with Gino and his pizza- try it and you’ll see why 😉
Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!