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Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro – Scroll or use left and right arrows to see more images...
Day Eleven
      Back on the bus to our last destination, Naples. The road was filled with hairpin turns like many of the roads we’ve traveled on. Our first guide, Sara, arranged a group lunch at a local pizza shop. It cost 20 euros each and included an appetizer, a glass of wine, an entire pizza for each a person and creme-filled pastries for dessert! Wow! Later in the day, a local guide took us on a tour… we saw amazing Caravaggio paintings in a church and the Naples Duomo. We also visited the Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro located next to the Duomo where artworks and donations collected during 7 centuries of Popes can be seen. The Bishop's headgear is considered one of the most precious objects in the world. We skipped dinner because we were still full from lunch and shared a bottle of Chardonnay on the 9th floor rooftop deck of our hotel and were served delicious bar snacks. It was so relaxing and the views of the city and The Bay of Naples were spectacular!
View from our
rooftop deck!
Day Twelve
      In the morning, we rode the subway guided by Alfio to meet a local guide who gave us an excellent tour of The Cappella Sansevero. We saw some very famous and truly incredible paintings and sculptures like the Veiled Christ (1753) sculped by Giuseppe Sanmartino. We both agreed that this sculpture was one of the most stunning we had ever seen all carved out of one piece of marble. Our group stood silently for a long while just staring at it. We walked around it so we could see it from every angle. A true masterpiece. The fisherman with the net and all of the others were also spectacular. We felt so lucky to see this and would not have wanted to miss it. The museum does not allow photographs to be taken inside but you can see much of this art at the Cappella Sansevero web site. Next, our very knowledgable guide led us through The Naples Archeological Museum where we saw the most extensive collection of artifacts and art salvaged from Pompeii and the Farnese Bull, the largest sculpture ever recovered and restored with the help of Michelangelo. Unearthed in 1546 in a gymnasium at the Roman Baths of Caracalla, it was formerly part of the Farnese Collection in Rome. The artifacts from Pompeii, housed in this museum are extraordinary. Such an advanced civilization! We saw exquisite mosaic art, examples of hand blown glass that was done way before they started blowing glass in Murano (Venice), a doctors kit with some tools used by modern day doctors, a very extensive collection of bronze sculptures and much more. The “Secret” room of paintings taken from the brothels in Pompeii was quite interesting. We noticed some adolescent boys giggling as they somehow managed to get past their parents to go in and see what the Secret Room was all about. We each had a small focaccia for lunch then bumped into a couple from our group. The four of us rode the funicular up to the top of Vomero Hill to see Castel Sant-Elmo, an old fortress completed in 1369, perched high up on the hill overlooking the city. We were given extra tickets to pay for it. Peeking over the fortress walls, there were lovely panoramic views of Naples, the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius. There was a cameo shop/factoray located near the castle where they demonstrate how cameos are made by hand. Before our final group dinner tonight, Sara arranged a private Neapolitan concert just for us and it was fantastic! Alfio led us to the restaurant and Lisa got to try octopus for the first time and also fried calamari. The pistachio cake for dessert was delicious. We walked back to the hotel, exchanged email addresses and said our goodbyes. We stayed an extra day in Naples just to do a little more sightseeing on our own. On our last evening, we saw a magical double rainbow over Mt. Vesuvius from our hotel rooftop deck as we sat back and enjoyed a glass of wine and reflected upon what a truly amazing trip we had taken. Off to Rome by train in the morning to spend one last day there and then fly home the next morning. This enabled us to fly non-stop both ways.
Strolling Around Naples!
The Naples Archeological Museum home of The Farnese Bull – Scroll or use left and right arrows...
Fenicula to Castel Sant-Elmo
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