Sleeping Beauty: The world’s most beautiful Mummy in Palermo

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Nothing portrays a father’s love more than the mummified body of a two-year-old child, Rosalia Lombardo, resting in the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo.


Mario Lombardo was overcome by grief when his only child died of pneumonia. He approached a popular embalmer, Alfredo Salafia and asked to have her preserved for eternity. Since 1920, her body has been lying in a glass-covered coffin, her head poking above a fading silk blanket.

rosalia lombardo coffin
The techniques used by Alfredo Salafia have marveled many. The body has been well-preserved such that it remains intact close to a century after it was first embalmed. A recent x-ray of the body shows that Rosalia’s organs are still intact, although there were noted signs of decomposition, prompting the move of the body to a drier spot in the catacombs. The original coffin was placed in an enclosure which was filled with nitrogen gas to prevent any further decay.

rosalia lombardo xray 2

rosalia full body xray

rosalia lombardo xray
Thousands of visitors each year flock to the Sicilian Catacombs just to catch a glimpse of her tiny body. The mummy is documented as one of the best-preserved bodies, and not just that, it continues to marvel many, especially those who claim that it opens its eyes every day.

Eye-Opening Mystery

We live in a world full of wonders, but some of them have been exaggerated due to a lack of understanding. For so long, people have thought that Rosalia had been opening her eyes despite being dead and mummified for close to 100 years. This mystery has been resolved by an anthropologist and curator, Dario Piombino Mascali.

rosalia lombardo eyes open
The anthropologist debunked the myth, explaining that what actually appears as the eyes opening is an optical illusion which is produced by the light filtering through the windows. He made this discovery when the mummy was moved to a different area of the room. The movement led to a slight shift, allowing the anthropologist to see the eyelids better than before. He noticed that they are not fully closed, emphasizing that they have actually never been closed.

It is not only the eye-opening mystery that has mesmerized people when they visit Rosalia. They also marvel at the body and wonder how it could remain intact after so long. Some people say that Alfredo Salafia may have taken his embalming formula to the grave, but Piombino believes he unraveled the mystery and the formula used. For so long no one has been able to figure out what chemicals were used to preserve the body.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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