Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Meanwhile, Back in Napoli . . .

Monday, 1 July, 2019

Better grab an extra large cappuccino, this is going to be a looooooong post.

We made the 90 minute drive from Sala Consilina to Napoli without any problems.

Then we got off the Autostrada.

I was now driving in the heart and heat of a city that is home to 1,000,000 insane, lawless drivers.

To adapt or to perish were my only two options.

I clearly kept in mind the only rule of the arena. Whether you are driving a bus, a truck, a van, a taxi, a car, a motorcycle or a Vespa, if you hit a pedestrian it is ALWAYS the pedestrian's fault!

It did not help us that our onboard GPS system did not recognize the existence of our particular Hertz rental return office or its address. We were on our own.

After avoiding, goodness knows how many, near death experiences as we motored around this wonderfully chaotic city's interesting traffic patterns while lost and in search of our elusive Hertz office I realized that I had returned to my old Catania driving habits from a decade ago.

Thus, when we finally got close to the Hertz office in question, I had no compulsion in making the Neopolitan rational decision to drive the wrong way down a one way street two blocks to get close to my goal building.

Unfortunately, a police officer stationed about 50 meters from the Hertz building took a dim view of what I thought was a totally culturally appropriate maneuver. We talked about how close we were to the Hertz office but he said that I had to go back the way I came. So I did.

Backwards that is for about 150 meters before turning around.

Finally we found a way to get into the proper traffic flow, if there is such a thing in Napoli, but there was no place to park the car.

Except . . .

I sent Laurie in to get a Hertz rep while I stayed in the car and parked in about the #6 spot in the taxi queue which drew some ire from the cab drivers arriving behind me, as if I cared at that point.

Laurie and the Hertz rep appeared and the rep panicked when he saw, what I thought was an excellent parking job. He said to wait just a second while he moved the car forward about a car length into a double parking mode next to the car in front of me effectively blocking off one of the only two lanes of traffic on this one way street.

In other words, order was restored.

We then got into a taxi as I was OK now in the taxi driver's eyes for the short drive to our well located L'allogio dei Vassalli B&B, Via Donnalbina 56, 80134 Napoli, which we both highly recommend.

As we neared our B&B,
I noticed this building across
the street. What does that say . . .

. . . oh, it was built by Mussolini's
Fascist regime in 1936 in their
14th year in power

It is now Napoli's huge central Poste and Telegrafi Offices.

Once settled in at the B&B, we headed out into Napoli's wonderful tumult.

Religious signs abound praying
for pedestrians like Laurie to make
wise decisions in traffic

It was still like we were living
on the sunny side of the
planet Mercury

I liked the way this gentleman just grabbed a chair, set it up in his street and worked on his belly tan in front of this adoring woman.

Good spot for a slice of pizza
and a beer

I think that we were in
the left wing part of Napoli

We finally arrived at our first destination . . .

. . . the Basilica Santo Domenico Maggiore
erected between 1283 and 1324

It was the church of the Aragonese
nobility during the years Napoli
was under Spanish rule


Amazing ceiling

A Royal Family Coat of Arms
from 1711

I like Royal Coat of Arms

Now, THAT'S a golden set of rays

It was hot, laying down
sounded like a great idea!

A woman and her long lost love

Laurie liked the details.

How did they fashion this
marble into this detailed lace?

Lots of obelisks in Napoli

Our next stop was to the extraordinary Baroque Cappella Sansevero where photos are strictly prohibited.

With the brutal Gomorrah firmly intertwined into all facets of life in Napoli, I opted to follow the rules.

The highlight of this Cappella is the incredible Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sammartino in 1753.

The Veiled Christ as found
on a Google Images search

A close up of this amazing statue
also from Google images

How friends and neighbors
communicate in Napoli

The narrow streets make for
much desired shade on days like
today's scorcher

The Statue of the Nile

The overflowing cornucopia represents the abundance of good things in Napoli

The Chapel of Maradona
on the wall of a bar

Diego Maradona was the calico/soccer star of Napoli's great teams in the 1980s.

A closer look at Maradona's Chapel

Besides the Maradona Chapel, this
bar makes no bones about it . . .

. . . they support Napoli's calcio squad

A salesman on a hot day

It was a great day
for drying laundry!

Time for an ice cold,
refreshing adult beverage!

More Commie propaganda

Napoli's Museo Archeologico

This has one of Europe's best collection Greco-Roman statuary and almost all of the great art from Pompei and Herculaneum.

If you love all things dealing with antiquity, this is the place for you!

And we do.

The Farnese Collection
of gigantic statues is our
first powerful viewing point


Body of a man, head of a calf?

Whatever he was, I'm just glad that truth, justice and the Greco-Roman way of life prevailed.

I know Karate,
don't mess with me

Caesar Augustus in priest's robes


That's a big statue!

Delicate boy and big cat

Great hair,

Nice flat top hair do

Has anybody seen my spear?

Two tone, flat face

Nice fountain

I can't even begin to figure
our how this was made

Laurie loves her grapes

Angels and bulls
at play

More grapes

How did Egypt get in here?

Well Egypt is known for its
fare share of antiquities too

And mummies of course

Los Angeles Rams fan club
President of the Napoli chapter

We started seeing a lot of art
from Pompei and Herculaneum

If you visit either of these two sites that Mt. Vesuvius buried when it exploded in 79 A.D., you will note how bare many of the restored buildings have become.

The reason for this austerity is that most if not all of the great art work from these two nearby cities now resides in this museum.

This delicate vase was my
favorite work in the museum

Now that is one
impressive ceiling

A repentent Mary Magdalene

Laurie like this horse and . . .

. . . these three women

Same women,
rear views literally


Hoisting up the World
on your shoulders is not easy


That should read "SKORPIONS"
with a "k"

Cupid's quiver of arrows

Nice candid shot

From here on, we were heavily into the Pompei and Herculaneum displays.

Hmmm . . .

Last least Centaurs are chivalrous

Goods looking faces


What, me worry?

Soldier down

I like a good sarcophagus,
doesn't everybody?

A man and his alter ego

I liked his beard

Laurie liked his
grape laden wreath


Seafood is big in Napoli
and so are these mosaics

Morbid Art

Is something wrong
with Mt. Vesuvius?

The Dancing Faun has . . .

. . . an interesting tail

Fauns are half men, half goats and are symbols for fertility.

This faun is stationed near . . .

. . . the museum's famed
Secret Rooms

A Faun just doing his duty

The Secret Rooms hold much of the erotic art from Pompei and Herculaneum.

Enter at your own moral risk.

Well now . . .

This may not be consensual

Don't you just hate it when this
happens at a party?

They came with wings
back in the day?

I did not know that.

Often these paintings were used
in houses of prostitution to overcome
language barriers when bartering
for services

Sure, why not?

If this continues for four hours,
seek immediate medical attention!

Well, that was stimulating.

We still had two final statues that are considered the two lynchpins of this museum's collections.

They were the Toro Farnese and the Farnese Hercules. We found them but were not allowed to see them as that part of the museum was being used for some kind of photo shoot.

The subject of the photo shoot

He is famed Italian Light Welterweight boxer Patrizio Oliva.

He is now a 60 years old but in his prime won the Gold Medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics and the WBA title as a professional.

Actually, he looked like he was still quite physically fit to all of us watching him in action.

Olympic Champion!

Time to strut a bit during
the cool down

Interesting on the way
out of the museum

It faked out this sea serpent

The ancients were all
hirsute it appears to me

Back on the streets of Napoli, we worked our way down the city to our B&B.

The empty Galleria
Principe di Napoli

Laurie's fan was the envy
of many women today

Me too to be honest.

A lion guarding its lair

"I couldn't care less"

Piazza Dante

And there is Dante

The gelato here was damn near

What are these things?

They are found randomly around the city and usually travel in pairs.

This tribute to the memory of
Salvo d'Acquisto is, ironically,
directly in front of one of Napoli's
Fascist architecture buildings

Salvo d'Acquisto was a local hero who in 1943 was executed after falsely confessing to an act of sabotage in order to save the lives of 22 fellow Italian soldiers from a Nazi revenge massacre.

Laurie likes any street with
red heart decorations like this one

Another Fascist inspired building

This is the Bank of Napoli building built in 1939 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the bank's founding.

Dinner here was a BIG HIT
for both of us

The last time that we ate at a Fratelli la Bufala was in Roma about ten years ago.

The Caprese Pizza was AWESOME!

Did you ever wonder where
your eyeglasses come from?

Why an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius
of course

We had a good work out today!

A few more photos from the weekend's flag football tournament appeared on Facebook today.

Here are some of my favorites.

Yes Enzo and Dario, you only get
FOUR downs to try to get
a new first down

I guess Arianna was hot

Now Arianna was hot and wet

Marta was our team's Offensive MVP
and Laura was our Defensive MVP
during our five game weekend

Laurie, Fabio, George and Dario

Two of the best people I know and one that I love.

Word of the Day:

Just a fun group to be with
at all times, whether we are
winning or learning

Well, this was a FULL day don't you agree?

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