The things people do with vinegar

Resting peacefully in her coffin you’d think she’d died yesterday.

But this little girl called Rosalina passed away in 1920 and her body has been kept perfectly preserved in a tomb packed with mummies that was first used in the 16th century.

The pretty two-year-old, her matted blonde hair tied up with a ribbon, died of a bronchial infection.

She is one of 2,000 mummified bodies buried in a catacomb at Palermo, Sicily.

Others aren’t quite as well preserved.

But then many date back to the 1500s and have not been embalmed like her.

The first to be interred was Brother Silvestro of Gubbio who still wears his monk’s robes. Some corpses hang from the walls, others lay in coffins. Monks living in the monastery above first started using the cavern after finding the cool temperatures and limestone walls were ideal for preserving bodies.

They dried the corpses, covered them with vinegar and then put them on display. Now, the catacomb is a ghoulish, but fascinating, tourist attraction.

Scientists hope the mummies can help reveal aspects of life such as diet and disease throughout history.