The Secret Room at the Naples Archeological Museum

Posted on April 9, 2013. Filed under: Art, Italy, Travel | Tags: , , , , , |

 347 napoli archaeology museum

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I thought I would stay on the topic of Naples and Pompeii today.  After a visit to the archeological site of Pompeii, it is a great idea to get to the museum in nearby Naples because that is where all the fragile and really valuable artifacts from the site are held.  There is some gorgeous glassware that looks so fragile, but somehow survived the whole disaster.  There are lots of cooking vessels and exquisite bronzes and mosaics.  It really fleshes out even more what that sumptuous town was like in its heyday.

The museum also holds the “Secret Room,” depository of bizarre phallic symbols and art works of all manner of sexual visuals. Apparently the ancients had a fascination with their genitals and the act of procreation. In Pompeii we toured the brothel complete with little “offices” equipped with stone beds/pillows and paintings on the walls meant to “inspire.” Also, below is a picture of a painting in the entryway to a home depicting the owner displaying his enormous wares for all who enter.

288 mary at brothel          283 pompeii envy entry way

Naples is definitely worth a visit, both for the pizzerias and the archeological museum!

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Naples: The Birthplace of Pizza

Posted on April 8, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Italy, Travel | Tags: , , , , |

 Travel - 343 napoli street                       Travel - 342 mary at pizzaria

When in Naples, en route from the archeological site of Pompeii, we had to have pizza in the birthplace of the stuff.  We walked our way through the narrow streets, darkened on this sunny day by the tall buildings with a lot of laundry strung between, and mindful of the crime rate which is high.  But we were determined to get to Pizzeria da Michele, established in 1870 and yes, this was before it became even more famous by Julia Roberts and her role in, “Eat, Pray, Love.”

There was a crowd outside waiting for their number to come up.  A lot of people had guidebooks in their hands as this place is recommended by every one of them.  The best sign, though, was the many local people in the place already eating.  We somehow got a number and also let the man know we didn’t understand the Italian numbers he was shouting out.  He indicated he would just point to us.  How we got this all arranged without any common words between us was amazing!  I find that if you keep smiling and indicate as best you can what you need, people figure you out!

Travel - Naples pizza oven          Travel - Naples Pizza

Once in, ordering was easy:  Pizza Margherita or Pizza Marinara (basically with fresh basil or without!)  At the time we were there it was €5 for a pizza and a beer.  We watched the locals who cut it in strips and rolled it up to eat.  Cool!

Travel -  pizza to eat!

The website for the restaurant says they are famous for their dough and it is great, but I think it’s the combination of the extreme heat of the wood oven, the dough, the fresh tomatoes, cheese and basil.  Wow.  But don’t expect this to be pizza that you are used to from the U.S.  This is a simple version, very clean in it’s flavor, and not overly done with cheese.  When you have eaten your whole pizza and had your beer you feel good, not stuffed to the gills!  I’d like to go back and sample the other pizzerias in town.  It’s always good to have a reason to return to a place!

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