Atlas Obscura would not be possible without the dedicated work of our community, who help us add more wondrous places to the site every day. We want to give some of our most dedicated contributors a chance to share collections of some of their favorite entries, and tell us all a little more about themselves. Atlas Obscura user StepYoshi tops our leaderboards in places visited in Naples, and is number one in additions to the Atlas from Italy.
“Ever since I can remember I have been a geography nerd, I was that kid that knew every country, their capital cities, and more,” he says. “Over the years, that passion became a willingness to discover obscure facts and places, so when I stumbled upon Atlas Obscura I was mindblown.” StepYoshi spent the following week combing through the Atlas and discovering new places, “as a consequence of this I ended up with more than 1,300 places on my ‘Want to Go’ list.”
Not long after, he had his first submission published to the Atlas, and years later he still feels that same level of excitement. “I still feel the same way whenever a new one gets published,” he says. Over the three years since joining Atlas Obscura, StepYoshi has added dozens of unique places, from ancient ruins and modern buildings to natural wonders and incredible works of engineering.
“The large majority of my contributions are in Italy, mostly in the northeast and the south-central region, the reason being that I grew up in Veneto, while most of my family is from Naples. While living in the north, I have always been able to spend some time exploring the south,” he says.
Although obsessed with geography, StepYoshi has a scientific background, with a degree in astronomy: “I actually studied and graduated from one of the places on the Atlas, La Specola Observatory.”
Fascinated by the gaps in history that leave us yearning to know more, StepYoshi loves reading about mysterious places and cases. “That is why I chose to showcase these 10 places for which the historical record is incomplete, dubious or it borders on legend,” he says. “The origins of some of these places are lost to the sands of time, while others are surrounded by myths, legends, and curses. But all of them are surely worth a visit.”