Want to know some interesting facts about Naples?!?
– Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world
– Naples has 466 churches!
– Naples has the worlds largest UNESCO-ed historical centre
– Naples in the 96th richest city in the world
– People from Naples are called Neapolitans…like the ice cream…
Our big stop of the day was to be a museum, but we charted a course there that took us past a lovely church. The Naples Cathedral is the main church in the city. The cathedral was completed in the 14th century and is the seat of the Archbishop of Naples. The exterior was very nice, although nothing to write home about in comparison to many we have seen. The interior however was worth the visit. The walls were marble, although not the bright colored stone we have seen in other churches. They were simple & understated and allowed your attention to be drawn elsewhere, such as to the roof. The ceiling was covered in incredibly bright paintings, surrounded by intricately carved frames. It looked like the walls of a palace. The high altar was the most mesmerizing part. Many huge churches create these bulky, intimidating or forceful altars that awe you but are not always as beautiful to just sit & gaze at. This was the complete opposite…the altar itself was simple with many rounded lines and the windows behind it were plain, frosted glass. What really got you though was the yellow tinge to the light coming through them and the one highest, stained glass window. It created a very “holy” effect and seemed to put you at peace by just looking at it. We spend a good amount of time just sitting in the pews enjoying it.
Our main stop for the day was the National Archeological Museum, definitely our type of museum. It was filled with artifacts from the Roman Empire as well as finds from the nearby ruined cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. There were many sculptures, mostly of the gods but some of random people who are long dead. They were incredible considering how long ago they were carved. You know what, we would still consider it incredible if someone created them today since we don’t understand how a person can just take a large marble block and turn it into a fully realistic sculpture of a person. It’s amazing how real they look…the folds of the cloth look as of you could just pick them up and rearrange them. After the scuptures we came to the paintings, but if you have been reading us since the beginning you know about how long paintings hold our attention. We were more interested in the gorgeous, gigantic hall they were housed in. The ceiling had a beautiful fresco in the center…now that’s the kind of painting we like! One room housed many intense and perfectly made mosaics. There are soooo many tiny pieces in each of these creations…the one photographed below is estimated to have over 2 million!
We also got to visit the secret chamber. A man on the train from Venice had told us about it, so we made sure to scope it out. Turns out it is secret so that kids dont happen across offensive material. Inside was an interesting erotic exhibit full of forbidden paintings and sculptures from many ancient places. There was an “interesting” ornamental lawn sculpture of Pan (a satyr god of Greek origin) doing a goat….?
After leaving the museum we found a place for lunch. It was conveniently located, with this nice view:
The prices were cheap so we weren’t sure how big our pasta dishes would be. We both ordered the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina, because, as we have stated in the past, everyone needs more potato pasta in their lives! The plates ended up being massive…like to an unfinishable degree…and incredibly delicious! The sauce was a pleasantly seasoned tomato, with exorbitant amounts of cheese melted in. Sometimes you went to stab a gnocchi and instead ended up with a huge chunk of cheese on your fork. Yum!
We followed our meal up with some more random wandering, this time through the historic center. We saw many more nice (if not slightly run down) buildings. We were going to go up to a look-out point, but we couldn’t find the funicular and climbing the big hill didn’t seem like the best of ideas with Kristin’s currently decreased lung capacity. We turned in early at the hostel and spent some time chilling out…relaxation & recovery time so that we are ready for the excitement of Rome. Justine made us grilled cheese sandwiches for supper. You might think this is a waste of a meal when in Italy, but (1) we didn’t want to go out after dark to anywhere further than the grocery store a quarter of a block away and (2) if you’ve ever had Justine’s grilled cheese you would know it is the best grilled cheese ever and could never be considered a wasted meal!
Things We Learned Today:
– No matter where it is & what you do with it phlegm is gross.
Love, Luck & Laine…which is Blaine without the B (we may have spent our chillaxing time catching up on Glee)