OH! there was a lot of contempory art in the new metro stations and... yep that's all I got. However, you still gotta go. Aside from the pizza and subway art that don't quite make up for Naples shortcomings you must go to see Pompeii. If chaotic, kinda dirty, and a little rough around the edges isn't your thing...go to Naples eat a pizza and catch the first train to the Amalfi coast or a ferry to Capri, then go to Pompeii. I don't see how you would regret this. I'm sorry Naples but 1790 it ain't.
Pompeii was what I call a sock remover. At the base of the still active Vesuvius lie some of the best preserved roman ruines ever. This did make up for a less than stellar performance from Naples. We gave ourselves 5 hours to do the grand tour. We used up every minute and missed tonnes I am sure. You get a nice panorama of the ruines as you enter threw the main gate. Layed out before you, a true roman city begging to be explored. How could we refuse?
The first stop the temple of Apollo. Fluted Roman columns, the altar space, and even (replica) statues that somehow withstood the temperature and time, waited to be explored. Cobbled streets with ruts where the chariots rode acted as the best way to get from one sight to the next.
As fast and furious as we could walk was as fast as the sights to see came up. So much stuff, in fact, there is no way I can keep track of it all. The most bang for our buck, so far, I'd say. More Roman columns than you can shake a stick at. Nicely preserved mosaic tiled floors, frescos, relief
carvings and even an ampitheater.
We saw about 1000 baths and an ancient fountain where cool water flowed for the bathers to drink in the hot bath. Not so ancient dogs made themselves at home where ever a cool surface could be found. We saw ancient bakeries, large clay pots, dwellings, tombs, and even kitchens! The sight was brimming with as much history as it had tourists. I felt a connection to the past and could imagine bustling village life.
We went to see the villa of the mysteries, a large estate on the outskirts of town, where the most viberant of the fresco paintings are found. Sprinkled throughout the site were plaster casts of victims of the eruption. Apparently, during the excavation process cavities formed where bodies once lay and archaeologists were able to cast the human forms that once lay buried under layers of solidified volcanic ash.
All in all, both Corina and I had our metephoric socks blown off with a force similar to that of Vesuvious. Why metephoric, you ask? Well, it seems we visited wearing our sandals and you all know how Corina feels about socks and sandals. So come to Italy and go to Pompeii, just make sure to bring an extra pair of socks...regardless if you are wearing sandals or not.