May 23, 2018

Giornata del museo/Museum day

Friday May 18th was our first hot and sunny day and of course a good deal of it was going to be spent inside.

We walked everywhere in Naples and this was our first time we used the Metro. This is the outside of the station next to our apartment.

Our first stop was the National Anthropology Museum.  Bad photo I know but I just wanted a snap.

Fortunately we had a Rick Steves audio guide to the museum or we would have been hopelessly lost for days. I start with the appealing back side.

As you can see the sculpture is very tall.  This Hercules, a Roman copy from the original by Lysippos.

There are many nooks all around with different pieces of art. I took this because of the color and design.

This was a display of times BC, they had glass in 100 BC?

There were many artifacts from Pompeii which were most interesting. This map shows how much more there is to be excavated.

In the same BC display these fry pans caught my eye.  They look the same as some that we use today right down to the handle and pour spout on the side.  Note the iron pan in the top right corner.  I imagine it could be used for eggs or to bake four small balls of bread.

From the museum we had a bit of a walk to the next stop but it was wonderful being outside in the warmth of the sun as well as taking in the various street scenes as we passed from neighborhood to neighborhood.  The main reason we went to the Museo Cappella Sansevero was to see the sculpture by Giuseppe Sanmartino, 1753, entitled ‘ The Veiled Christ ‘. Photos were not allowed. However I took this photo before I got scolded, I was so in awe that I forgot about no photos.

Please read the above and then click here to see the photos, the description and photos go together.  I really would like you to, I almost insist that you do look at the photos.  This is said to be the most incredible sculpture ever and I am still moved just thinking about what I was privileged to see in person.  Nothing I have seen this trip is as breath taking.  The rest of the chapel was fascinating as were the Anatomical Machines by Giuseppe Salerno, 1756-64.  You can Google that if you are interested.

Next we got lost in the maze of winding streets with no direction trying to find San Lorenzo Maggiore.  No one knew where it was but we did eventually find it as we were determined to see archaeological area  under the church.

A fairly intact Roman ruin complete with an ancient 3 meter wide Roman road.

It was so fascinating that I forget that I was claustrophobic.  So far down and so very cold.  This place was huge and we were the only two in the ruins.

This is the market area. There was not a lot of signage if any.  Another amazing discovery in Naples.

We next stopped for a well deserved late lunch at Di Matteo Pizza know to be one of the top pizza restaurants in Napoli.  Conde Nast Traveler describes this pizza as the best ever.  We disagree, it was very good but not the best but you can’t try them all.

With full stomachs ( we usually share a pizza for lunch but we were hungry after all that walking ) we decided to walk to our final destination of the day instead of take the Metro.  It just so happened that about halfway there we passed right by the best authentic gelato store in Naples., Casa in Fante on Via Toledo, 258.  We each had a small tub of limone/lemon and it was the best ever.  The flavor was so tart and yet so refreshing.  Colin says it was like eating lemon meringue pie.

Somewhere along here nature called.  I have been meaning to write this, Italy has no public restrooms, so if you have to go, you have to go into a restaurant and buy something in order to use the facilities.  However I spotted a McDonalds and was able to use their toilet at no charge.  I would like to add that free wifi is very very sparse and not found easily.

Our destination was the harbor which we had yet to see.

As well as the Castel Del ‘Ovo, one of the worlds oldest fortifications now free to tourists to glimpse views of the Gulf of Naples and also events such as weddings.

It is a huge building and the only way up is your own feet. I gasped when I saw the step incline but marched on.  Then as we turned a corner there was yet another such incline.  By the third and forth set of upward ramps I was winded and needed to stop and catch my breath before moving up.

There is no denying the view but I was tired, I had been on the go since 8:30AM and it was close to 7PM.  There are two cruise ships in the middle background.

Remember this view as we walked out of the Castle all the way to the left and yet further to the left.

The top for me.

Yes there is more up above but I was done!

As we strolled left along the promenade we stopped to listen to this fellow play classical guitar. Of course Colin and Antonello started to chat. Turns out they enjoy the same music and both play a large number of the same classical pieces.  They exchanged information and have already being going back and forth about music.

The last photo of what would end up being a very long day. The sun was sinking and the road next to the promenade was closed to vehicles and was filled with runners and bikers while across the road at the posh hotels folks were sitting and enjoying a spritz which is where I wanted to be instead of still walking 🙂

Some how we got turned around thanks to the policeman’s directions when we asked.  We actually walked around a huge block twice.  So our new tactic was go two blocks and ask for directions but only from locals.  The Metro was blocks and blocks away ( there was one closer I later discovered which was where I was heading but we kept getting lost in the maze of old streets with no signs ) but we did find it just as it started to get dark.  The next challenge was to purchase a ticket from the machine.  We normal would just go to a tobacconist shop but we saw none as we walked.  We finally figured the system out with some kind help from other travelers on the Metro.  So we got to the platform and waited and waited and eventually we heard announcements being made.  Turns out that our train had broken down and was not coming for at least an hour or possibly longer.  We could not believe that that was how our day was going to end.

In the end we climbed up all the stairs ( not all stations have escalators ) up to the street and found a taxi.  It was the best 10 euro I have ever spent.  It actually was 9 but we gave the driver a 10 note.  We finally got back to our apartment at 9PM just when we had a reservation for dinner down the street.  Apparently is is one of the places to eat in Napoli with Italians coming from all over the city and you can only get it with a reservation. Two seatings per evening.  We were both too worn out to enjoy a full course meal so Colin went to cancel as people are always walking in hoping to be seated.  He came home with a pizza to share and that was our very very full day.  25,118 steps, no wonder my feet ached.

It took so long to write this that I am not going to proof it even much so bear with me dear readers.



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12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Giornata del museo/Museum day”

  1. Kelly says:

    What a magnificent sculpture. Hard to believe it is marble.
    I’m really enjoying your trip. I bet there are some fabulous Pinot Grigios there.

  2. AHA the bathroom dilemma in every country. So funny you should say that, I told the boys if they were not with us and needed to use it to look for fast food – the next day Stepson #3 used this exact tactic lol. Our train to Pompeii was delayed then cancelled, I think it often happens with the older commuter trains. That’s the reason in the end we booked a cab back to the airport from Salerno instead of cab to train, commuter train to napes then alibus (on Sundays there is no shuttle from Salerno to Airport – wish I knew that before I booked all our other arrangements). It was worth it though. I hope you got some rest!

  3. Barbara says:

    Maybe 15 years ago I was given a book (I’d specifically asked for it, when asked for gift suggestions for me) called “Palaces of Naples” (this format will not allow me to underline titles) that had photos of this sculpture, “Veiled Christ”. That is the reason I wanted the book. I’ve not seen it in person, though hope to one day. I am a woodcarver, and can’t imagine carving this in marble! Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe it. Thank you for the photos and link!

    I hope you continue to enjoy your journey – so much history, so much to absorb.

    • contessa says:

      So glad that I gave you a link to some good photos. There are so many bad ones out there. Colin would have loved to have done all the official photos which had poor lighting. I appreciate your input on sculpting this out of a single piece of marble. Truly a miracle.

  4. Dee Tillotson says:

    I kept feeling your pain when you were lost trying to find the metro and kept saying to myself, “get a taxi, get a taxi!” AND, you did! When we get lost, I look for the nearest posh hotel with a taxi stand and catch a quick one. If one is not readily available because it is getting-off-work time, I tip the hotel doorman, and he goes out in the street and hails me one.

    • contessa says:

      Not quite how it happened. We persevered and eventually found the metro. It was only after the train broke down that we took a taxi back to the apartment. But in hindsight we really should have done it an hour earlier.

  5. Sally says:

    Beautiful! You might want to change sculpture to 1793, not 1973. Looks like you have done a wonderful job planning your trip.

  6. Jannose says:

    Looks like you are having an awesome l trip. You are bringing back lots of memories. We also spent 5 days in Sorrento and 5 on the Isla of Capri. Go visit Capri if you the chance. We loved it. Also the Hop on Hop Off Bus is an excellent way to see the sights. Happy belated birthday!

  7. Maxx Trails says:

    Wow what a day, it sounded totally awesome … as well as very exhausting 🙂

  8. Peter says:

    An amazing sculpture for sure, thanks for the link. A big day indeed! There is never too much pizza.

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