Historic Southern Italy (Day 5)

Pompeii & Napoli

November 20 – 25, 2018

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Our room may have been a quiet haven from the streets, but it was not as quiet as I thought. The room fan was noisy and the sound of late-night party goers came in from the street below. But it was a comfortable room, and there were no 6 AM street cleaners to disturb my morning slumber.

Today we had two things on our agenda: a tour through the underground caverns, and a visit to the Archeological Museum. Both of these things were likely to be relatively quiet and not terribly crowded. Dan and I were still recovering from yesterday’s overload of the senses.

We had breakfast in the dining room, only to find that we were some of the last to arrive. There were no free tables, and some of the items were low on availability. But when we did get a table, the food we had was good and we were soon on our way, back out on the streets.

We started the day at the Museum (Museo Archeologico nazionale di napoli). This required some backtracking of yesterday’s walk, but we tried to take a different route when possible.

The book alley again

The Museum building

We entered the museum (12€) and found it to be almost empty of other visitors. As we had all day to tour the exhibits, we went about it slowly and methodically. There were some beautiful displays, including many items that had been taken from Pompeii. It was amazing to think that some of these perfect art pieces had been buried for so many generations.

I present to you a series of photos from within the museum. The source of the art is noted where I remembered, but otherwise, I really don’t know what came from where…

From Pompeii

From Herculaneum

From Pompeii

I love the use of the colored marble

“I have a present for you!”

A thing of nightmares

I should have something like this in my garden

At this point we went upstairs. There were rooms full of the original mosaics and frescos from Pompeii. The act of moving them from the ancient walls and floors seemed impossible. But the details and beauty of the final pieces was wonderful to see, and I was glad that they were secure from the elements.

One of my favorites – imagine this in one of the fancy kitchens!

Detail of the wing

Mosaic covered columns – exquisite

Three old women

Detail

This mural was huge. There was a recreation in Pompeii, which looked remarkably similar

Detail from the righthand side

Charred papyrus from Pompeii

Upstairs in the museum

The Romans celebrated life – in all aspects

We have entered the fresco room

The museum did a nice job of incorporating the old frescos with modern day images from Pompeii. It gave a nice sense of “place” when looking at the frescos. Here is one example, although they had a few nice ones.

Ah ha! I know this image!

A model of the city of Pompeii

When I think of “Pompeii”, I think of cart ruts in paving stones, frescos and plaster cast bodies. What I don’t think of are the day-to-day items that filled the houses of the average resident. Now I was seeing these items for the first time, beautifully cleaned and displayed. The craftsmanship – remember: 2,000 years ago! – was incredible.

We had spent two hours in the museum and felt that we had covered it fairly well. We made our exit back out into the city in search of our next activity: the underground caverns!

Day 5.5

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