The mummies of Urbania

It’s known as the town of the Befana (the ugly witch who feeds children with sugar coal on each jan. 6th) but Urbania deserves to be mentioned for something else instead: The church of the Dead. Corpses were naturally preserved in this ground since the 1500’s. As the people who were buried there had no money for coffins, decades later they discovered, while digging, that their corpses were still intact.. mummies!

This rare phenomena is due to a particular fungus of the ground, which naturally preserved the bodies of these people, who were buried there by an association that was taking care for burying poor people. Interestingly enough, there are personal records for each person, for example one died because he was stabbed in the heart during a dance, another was a woman who died during a cesarean birth. Very interesting place to visit, seriously.

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If you wonder why the province of Pesaro-Urbino includes the names of two towns, instead of being simply the Pesaro (by far bigger than Urbino) you probably don’t know enough about Urbino, Montefeltro, and its amazing renaissance history.. Next time I will tell you!

 

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