Sightseeing and Shenanigans

16mm by16mm - Mosaic gold, smalti in sterling silver
$165 USD

Last Naples post, I promise! But I couldn't move on to other tales without telling you about one last fabulous thing about Naples: the sightseeing. Blythe and I only had three full days and two half days, so we had to plan carefully, especially since certain attractions are closed on certain days, some are weather permitting, and there was public transport to navigate as well. 

Attractions being closed on certain days had been a frustration for me in 2014, when the National Archaeological Museum—the one attraction I wanted to see—was closed on the only day I had planned for Naples. I was NOT making that mistake again! So we crossed that sight off the list the first day. To say it was worth the wait would be an understatement. The Roman mosaics, unearthed from nearby Pompeii, are some of the finest examples I've seen, though sadly the famous Battle of Alexander mosaic was away for restoration. We also enjoyed the cheeky "Secret Cabinet" of Roman erotic art artifacts (phallic windchimes, anyone?).

A fine fish (mosaic) fresco

Look how these tiny pieces make the pieces I use in my jewelry look huge!

Speaking of Pompeii, a visit to those ruins was naturally on the list, on our third full day. For those not as ancient history minded as me, Pompeii is the most intact Roman town ever excavated, owing to its being covered in a layer of ash and pumice when nearby Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. I visited these ruins in 1996, as an excursion from the archaelogical dig I was working on, and was amazed by how much more had been excavated. What I love most about Pompeii, owing to its intactness, is that you can really imagine people living and working there. There are wagon wheel ruts in the streets, fast food stalls, mills, theatres, public baths and toilets, and even a brothel with lascivious wall murals. Pompeii is often known for the tragedy of its demise and the plaster "casts" made from the voids left where people perished and decomposed, but I really loved how easy I could imagine the life there, far overshadowing the disasterous end. 

Would you like to buy some stew?

Me being "Fauny" in the House of the Faun

We weren't all sightseeing and go, go, go though, as we both believe strongly in "la dolce vita", and really, there's no more apropos place to experience that than Italy. So another day had us heading to Sorrento, a posh sort of town on the Amalfi coast, just south of Naples. You know those movies where some guy in a bespoke suit is driving a convertible sports car along a cliff clinging winding road? Yeah, that's the Amalfi coast. A lovely wander was had, but the highlight was sitting on the pier, enjoying a glass of wine. The moment was so perfect we even had a second glass. 

This is the good life...

Everyday in Naples, Blythe and I walked by an always busy trattoria (restaurant) that we ascertained we had to try. After the day in Sorrento and endless walking, we decided it was the night. We arrived, however, to find to our dismay the terrace was packed, and even the few tiny tables inside were taken. The adorable young waiter was undaunted, he would get us in, if we could only wait a few minutes: "Wait, I bring wine!" 

He brought not only wine for our wait, but also came bustling up with two bar stools, which he parked across the lane from the restaurant. And that's how we ended up drinking wine in an alley in Naples. 

Being blonde and cute in Italy has its benefits

Grazie, Naples. You were more than I ever imagined.