The Secret Room at the Naples Archeological Museum

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

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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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Wondrous Pompeii

Posted on April 4, 2013. Filed under: Italy, Travel | Tags: , , , , , |

299 mary at birdbath

Going to Pompei is like entering a time capsule.  You can really imagine how people lived…

284 pompeii frescos

their sumptuously decorated homes with beautiful courtyards, elaborately painted rooms, and piped in running water.

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You can walk right down the very roads they walked and you can feel the ruts from the iron chariot wheels.  You can really get a sense of the beauty living in this little coastal town in the first century.  But it is also sobering because…

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many people suffered and died here on the last day when Mt. Vesuvius blew up and covered the town in small rocks, ash, and then molten rock.  Here is a plaster cast made of one of the bodies left in the destruction after Pompeii had been rediscovered in the middle 1700s.  It’s a heartbreaking pose of self-preservation, but alas, the person didn’t make it.

In spite of this harsh reality this is a spectacular place to visit and I am eternally grateful for my sister making me go on the last day of our trip!  I’m hoping to visit again and add Herculaneum to the archeological sites to see as it was another town covered by this same eruption.

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