Built way back in the year 1200, San Bernardino alle Ossa stands on the spot formerly occupied by the Ospedale del Brolo, a former leprosy hospital.
The current Ossuary and the Church only came about in 1750 following the serious damage that occurred in 1600 when the nearby Santo Stefano bell tower collapsed.
This is a place that is at the same time fascinating, painful and particularly evocative and equally rich in history and anecdotes. It is said that on the 2nd November each year a little girl comes back to life and walks around leading all the other skeletons in a rather macabre dance... Absolutely not to be missed is the grate located in front of the main altar, through which you get a glimpse of the ten steps leading down to the Disciples’ Sepulchre, a crypt containing the remains of members of the local brothers of the Ossuary cult and on the walls of which you can see the famous 21 masonry niches where the Disciples laid their brothers to rest, wrapped in their tunics and with a tablet on their heads bearing their names as the sole distinguishing feature in the total absence of anything else.
To be viewed with the utmost sober respect.
*The times may vary due to holidays.