Youths Find New Lives Among Italy’s Dead
They’re not easily spooked. La Paranza Cooperative has started bringing tourists into Naples’ catacombs, where centuries-old art comes with the occasional nobleman’s skull. In recession-racked southern Italy, where youth unemployment is a whopping 75 percent, catacomb tours offer an alternative to mafia-dominated streets. After 10 years, the cooperative has 20 paid staffers who cater to 70,000 tourists a year. Now they’re branching into bed and breakfast hospitality, an orchestra and theater, with each youth-friendly job helping to make Naples a little less scary.