Rosalia Lombardo
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Rosalia Lombardo, Sleeping Beauty
Age 2 at death
Sex Female
Status General's daughter
Height Unknown
Culture Italian
Date(s) December 13, 1918-December 6,1920
Site Capuchin Catacombs
Current Location
Location Palermo,Italy
Catalog #


Rosalia was born on December 13, 1918 and died on december 6, 1920. She was 1 when she died of pneumonia.(Wikipedia) Her father Mario Lombardo who was an official did not know how to grieve with the loss of his daughter. Mario Lombardo looked for a noted embalmer, Alfredo Salafia to mummify her body. Rosalia's body was one of the last corpses to be admitted to the capuchin catacombs of Palermo in Sicily (wikipedia). Her body is kept in a glass covered coffin placed on a wooden pedastal.(The Chirurgeon's Apprentice)


Alfredo Salafia techniques were recently found in a handwritten memoir. Salafia composed a formula which is "one part glycerin, one part formalin saturated with both zinc sulfate and chloride, and one part of an alcohol solution saturated with salicylic acid." (The Chirurgeon's Apprentice) Salafia injected cadaver with a fluid made of formalin to kill bacteria, alcohol to dry the blood,glycerin to overdrying, salicylic acid to kill fungi and zinc salts to give her body rigidity.(Wikipedia) It said to be that the formula's composition is one part glycerin,one part formalin saturated with both zinc sulfate and chloride and one part of an alcohol solution saturated with salicylic acid.(The Chirurgeon's Apprentice) Lombardo's body was moved to a drier spot in the catacombs, her original coffin was placed in a hermtically sealed glass enclosed with nitrogen gas to precent decay.(wikipedia)


Nearly 100 years after her death, Rosalia looks unnervingly alive. In 2009, an MRI of Rosalia's body produced the first 3D image of the little girl and revealed that all her organs were perfectly intact.(wikipedia) Moreover, in time lapse photos, Rosalia's eyes open and shut showing blue irises to be nearly undamaged by decomposition.(The Chirurgeon's Apprentice)  Her eyelid movement is most likely to be caused by temperature and humidity down in the catacombs. Many cults believe that Rosalia's spirit has returned to her body.(Wikipedia)


Rosalia died of pneumonia.

Additional InfoEdit

She is a remider of the dangers of childhood in a pre-penicillin era, and represents her family's unwillingness to let go of her even in death.  In her defiance to decay, Rosalia Lombardo has become Death's doll, an eternal playmate that can neither age or disappear

Rosalia Lombardo's body was so well preserved that for years, many would swear that sometimes upon viewing her, the eyes would be partially opened - when at other times, the eyes were shut.

On most occasions, tourists would take photos of Rosalia during the day. Due to these tourists an experiment took place to set up a time lapse camera to see if Rosalia opened and closed her eyes. After a 12 hour time period it was recorded that Rosalia eyes have in fact been opening and closing. 

Many believe this is a kind of miracle, a strange piece of paranormal phenomena. Others say that it is caused by changes in temperature, pressure and humidity.

External LinksEdit
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Rosalia age 2
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in the Catacombs, Palermo
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