Parco Virgiliano
Parco Vergiliano is a public park in Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, southern Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. It is located directly across from the Mergellina
.Mergellina is a section of the city of Naples in the Campania region of Italy. It is at the west end of the seaside road, via Caracciolo, one mile away from the main port of Naples.-Overview:...

 railway station and in back of the church of Santa Maria di Piedigrotta
Piedigrotta Literally, "at the foot of the grotto". A section of the Mergellina quarter of Naples, Italy, so-called for the presence of the Church of the Madonna of Piedigrotta near the entrance to an ancient Roman tunnel...


It is a relatively small space and easy to overlook. The site is a monument tribute to the poet Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

, and a plaque claims that the site is the final resting place of the poet. The site is at the eastern opening of the so-called "Neapolitan Crypt," an ancient Roman tunnel that led through the Posillipo
Posillipo is a residential quarter of Naples, southern Italy, located along the northern coast of the Gulf of Naples; it is called Pusilleco in the Neapolitan language.-Geography:...

 hill to connect to a major road leading north to Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, itself. Legend says that the poet—also renowned as a sorcerer—called the tunnel into existence by his powers. The tunnel was probably the work of Lucius Cocceus Auctus, the Roman engineer who built the nearby Seiano Grotto and many of the fortifications of the Roman Imperial Port in Baia
Baiae , a frazione of the comune of Bacoli) in the Campania region of Italy was a Roman seaside resort on the Bay of Naples. It was said to have been named after Baius, who was supposedly buried there. Baiae was for several hundred years a fashionable resort, especially towards the end of the Roman...

. Parco Virgiliano also contains the authenticated tomb of a more recent poet, Giacomo Leopardi
Giacomo Leopardi
Giacomo Taldegardo Francesco di Sales Saverio Pietro Leopardi was an Italian poet, essayist, philosopher, and philologist...

, who died in Naples in 1837.

The "Neapolitan Crypt" is also called, generically, a "grotta" (grotto) and is the reference in various place names in the area such as Piedigrotta ("at the foot of the grotto") and Fuorigrotta ("at the other end of the grotto"). The tunnel, though ancient, was kept up and even expanded in recent centuries and remained in sporadic use until quite late, until superseded by two nearby modern vehicular tunnels around 1900.
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