The Sleeping Beauty

At the end of the first corridor of the Caphucin Catacombs of Palermo, in the chapel of Santa Rosalia, between two coffins with the corpses of children, there is that of the little Rosalia Lombardo, a two years old girl died in 1920, amazingly preserved and with the aspect of a sleeping angel.

Rosalia Lombardo, which is often reffered to as the "Sleeping Beauty of Palermo", was one of the last people to be interred in the cemetery of the Capuchin Friars.

Daughter of a noble family, she was embalmed by a famous local taxidermist called Alfredo Salafia, who was asked by her father to make it "live forever".

The results of the method used by Dr. Salafia on small Rosalia are still visible today: Rosalia looks as if she was plunged into an endless sleep, with long eyelashes profiling eyes closed, a yellow ribbon in her blonde flowing hair, a plump face and rosy red cheeks. Rosalia is so perfectly preserved that she is considered the "world's most beautiful mummy".

Now the child mummy rests inside a glass-covered coffin saturated with nitrogen to prevent any hint of decomposition.