With all of our traveling this year, my brother-in-law just asked me, “Does anybody do any work around there?” Theoretically, yes. In actuality … yes, too. Maybe not in the crazy American way of an 80-hour work week, but in the sane Swiss way which requires employers to grant at least four weeks a year for vacation plus a large handful of religious and state holidays thrown in along the way.
Mixing work with pleasure, H decided to attend a conference on photovoltaics in Rome so we could return to the city we enjoyed touring in 2009 with our daughter who was studying dance in Italy, and so that I could continue my quest to try more gelato.
Because said daughter had enjoyed Naples during her time in Italy, we decided to front-load our trip with a few days there. Naples has a well-deserved reputation for being gritty and emotion-filled. As much as we love living in Zürich, it is always refreshing to go someplace with a lively culture. We stepped into Naples, smiled at each other and said, “We aren’t in Switzerland anymore!”
The traffic whizzes by, the white zebra crossings and red lights are mere suggestions for negotiating between pedestrians and cars and Vespas. We successfully navigated our way from the port to our AirBnB without incident. We just followed the locals and crossed streets with them.
Our first day involved wandering through the old part of town. We usually like to get the lay of the land and sense of the culture.
The Naples National Archeological Museum was a must-see either before or after a visit to Pompeii (on our agenda) since it houses many artifacts recovered from Pompeii and other Vesuvian cities.
In with the usual kind of marble statues were a few that are different enough to look at for at least a few minutes each. Usually I can stroll right through these kinds of rooms with cursory glances at each ancient statue. They begin to blur together for me.
The Farnese Bull is the largest statue out of one piece of marble. It dates from the second century BC. It took a little while to circumnavigate the statue to appreciate all the action taking place.
The mosaics and frescos were worth the price of admission and in amazingly good shape for how old they are.
The Secret Cabinet (Room) is filled with erotica. Here is one example which greets visitors at the door.
I particularly enjoyed the Grammar Police that had helped this sign: