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Museum of the Mummies of Ferentillo


The Nera River divides the small village of Ferentillo, in the province of Terni, into two distinct villages, arranged on the steep and green hilltops that characterise this territory of central Italy. The Precetto district, which lies on the left bank of the river, is best known for the Museum of the Mummies of Ferentillo.

Re-reading the "macabre" name of this museum, one naturally wonders what mummies are doing in the middle of southern Umbria. To find out, you must go down to the crypt of St Stephen's Church, in Precetto, which is now the museum's headquarters.

In fact, the inhabitants of Precetto had the custom of burying their dead in these underground chambers, at least until a Napoleonic-era decree at the beginning of the 19th century forced them to take the corpses out of the town.

Among the human remains, exhumed on that occasion, twenty-four bodies were recovered that, unlike the others, had miraculously retained their organic properties, from hair to nails and clothing; in some, even stab marks and wounds were perfectly recognisable. The preservation of the Ferentillo mummies is due, according to some studies, to the special chemical composition of the soil, rich in microorganisms, of the crypt, as well as to the frequent recirculation of air in these rooms.

Museum of the Mummies of Ferentillo
Via della Rocca, 05034 Loc. Precetto, TR, Italia

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