Anatomy Museum of the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli – Naples, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Anatomy Museum of the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli

An eerie, little-known Neapolitan museum filled with preserved human remains.  


The Anatomy Museum of the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli is part of the broader University Museum of Sciences and Arts. The entire museum system is full of fascinating historical and cultural treasures, though its anatomy section in particular is a trove of morbid curiosities, like human remains preserved in various substances.

Created at the end of the 18th century, the anatomy museum was reopened to the public only in recent years. It has sections dedicated to “normal” anatomy—think the type of material you’d expect to find in a biology class, like various scientific tools—and another specifically for anatomic pathology.

In the latter section, you can find all kinds of deformities caused by different diseases and birth defects. Be warned, though, as it’s not for the faint of heart: you’ll see malformed fetuses, cyclopic heads, faces scarred and blemished by different illnesses, and numerous other monstrosities preserved in formaldehyde or alcohol.

The anatomy museum also contains some of the the work of Efisio Marini, who petrified remains to create one-of-a-kind pieces of art. You can also see the preserved bust of a woman and the body of a newborn child, which were calcified by Giuseppe Albini in the late 19th century.

Know Before You Go

Entrance is free, but you need to book your visit on the website. You can also download an official app that can be used inside the museum to better understand what you are seeing.

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