Monday, 3 June 2013

Pompeii mosaic 542

▲ A mosaic from Pompeii in the Museo Archeological Nazionale

Naples street - Via Tribunali 271The third stop on my recent Italian trip, after Pistoia and the island of Capri, was Naples, that most down to earth of southern Italian cities. It’s a place which positively drips history, you can feel the age everywhere you walk, particularly in the Centro Storico, the old city centre.

◄ Walking along Via dei Tribunali, you’re following the decumanis major of Roman times. This is a wonderful city for wandering.

Highlights? Caravaggio’s painting of The Seven Acts of Mercy in the Pio Monte della Misericordia.

The Complesso Monumentale di San Lorenzo Maggiore where you can clamber downstairs to find the old Roman street well below the modern street level.

And the Cappella Sansevero, literally overflowing with artwork, in particular the Veiled Christ sculpture.


Finally when you’re not walking or gazing it’s a great city for just kicking back with a coffee, a pizza or a glass of wine. Piazza Bellini is just one place to do it

Vesuvius 542

▲ And all the time, just around the bay, Vesuvius looms dangerously, even when its top is shrouded in cloud.