Our last day in Naples was a whirlwind! We started with a gothic church. Then to Doug’s happy place, botanical gardens. Next the museum housing the artifacts from Pompeii. And last the Ancient Greek aqueducts under the city. Now 19 hours on airplanes....
Today we explored a”vibrant Italian City.”
We explored waterfront castles, and tiny steam punk side streets. We saw 2000 year old statues tucked away in tiny piazzas. We ate delicious food including sfogliatelle and pizza (the second one). We also explored a gothic church and saw ruins of an Ancient Greek tower!
Today was Pompeii!
We were welcomed by this pup or to beware of it, @goosef00t Latin is rusty... Then @goosef00t pretended to be a volcano and grabbed a bite at the fast food place near the Roman Baths!
There were so many amazing mosaic floors and remnants of ornate walls. It really gave the feel of what the ruins we have seen thus far would look like!
The last photo is ancient Roman piping make of lead!
Today we got to go to an amazing gallery, it was a collection created in a vast house by a cardinal that was rated to a pope. He was a patron to the master Bernini who helped with St. Peter’s Basilica.
The first two photos are Apollo chasing Daphne. Her father the river god turned her into a laurel tree so the god Apollo could not rape her. The cardinal justified the pagan statue by adding an inscription “Those who love to pursue fleeting forms of pleasure, in the end find only leaves and bitter berries in their hands.”
The next is the Rape of Proserpina. You can see the tears on her face and Pluto’s hands digging into her soft flesh.
The last is an ancient Roman floor depicting gladiators. If they have a theta by the names it means they had died. .
Today was the Colosseum, Forum, Palatine, Pantheon day!!! So much incredible history in these incredible sites. Lucky to see and hear about it.
Fun fact of the day. The singular column was barely visible before excavation was started. It is call the Column of Reflection.
Behind us on the left is one arch of the Basilica of Maxentius. This building is what the Vatican was trying to top in building St. Peter’s. Then you can see the Temple of Venus and Rome, a Church was built over it that is the bell tower you see. Then the Colosseum where the gladiators fought and the arch of Constantine celebrating his victory.
It was amazing how all these places had been repurposed or looted by the Catholic Church or buried under sediment and rubble.
Today the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.... 6 hours of wandering and amazing scenes.
This is from St Peter’s Square. The obelisk was taken from Egypt when the Greek’s conquered. It was then move to this square when the Roman’s conquered the Greeks, and now as part of Vatican City. The dome in the back is a highlight of St. Peter’s Basilica standing two football fields and is ornately decorated. The Vatican itself sits to the right of this photo.
The second picture is one panel in a hallway painted with full maps of Italy.
The rest include ancient and modern artwork scattered throughout the Musuems spanning from Ancient Egyptian to Dali. Carvings, paintings, frescos, mosaics and tapestries.
The final photo is actually an intricate tapestry... #crazyart#vatican#stpeters#history#sculpture
This bridge connects Tigre River to the Trastevere neighborhood on to west side of the river. This stone is from the original bridge which was completed in ~60 BC. The words have almost been rubbed smooth by the centuries and millions of hands, but you can still make out Cesar’s name on the top.
This is apparently the first portrait of Mary sitting next to Jesus, as his equal. It’s an interesting commentary on the world we are living in and have lived in for a long time.
This mosaic church was amazing! The portraits and floor made of tiny tiles. Rich gold paint and tiles everywhere. Even the floor was opulent.
The great marble columns stolen from the great houses and temples of the Romans who persecuted the Catholics as they were starting... what a mess humanity is.... #catholic#churches#mosaic#jesus#mary#womenequality
Frescos from the churches of Matera. We got an amazing art history lesson from @claire.tramba about the progression of art through time! Also he’ll looks terrifying with snakes eating your face and demons tying you up!
Yesterday we went and explored the Sassi of Matera! This cool city began as cave carved into the soft rock.
The city now wraps around the hill. Some of it overlooking a large gorge were we saw wild boar foraging around the prickly pear.
It was the capital city of this region from 1663 to 1806 and is one of the longest inhabited cities in the world!
After an amazing Italian lunch of delicious cooked meat, potatoes, and chicory we headed to Alberobello which has a mix of crazy architecture including the trulli! These dry stone huts (no mortar) are specific to this area and range from the 14th to 20th century. It has an inner limestone layer and then the roof rocks were stacked the bottom and inside were white washed to prevent drafts. The initial step of building was digging a cistern because of lack of surface water in the area.
There was a high concentration of trulli in the town but they also dotted the landscape along with long rock walls used as fences.
There were symbols painted on the roofs having means related to different Gods mostly, and the topper is supposedly the signature of the mason who built the trulli.
Today we visited this magical place, Polignano a Mare, an ancient city perched on a cliff over looking the Adriatic Sea. Legend supposes that a chunk of Greece broke off and floated across the Italy.
We entered the thick city walls which have a fresco of Jesus over looking but which, with the help of the sharp cliff face, likely protected people for thousands of years. The history surrounded by the raw beauty of nature was a sight to behold. @gata_guels and @claire.tramba are sitting a high bar for our expectations of Italy!
This picture... vs the story behind this picture. I stood on this ledge for easily 20 minutes while my belay and friend waited below... I climbed up to a hairs breath away from being able to clip the next bolt and then down climbed to the safety of the ledge. I put my cold fingers in my armpits claiming it was numbness; making excuses for my height and not know what route I was on... Really I was losing at the game in my head. The “what if I fall and hit that ledge?” and “what if the rope breaks?” and my worse fear the last few times I have been climbing is “what if I cause a rock fall the hits my partner?” These fears range from absurd to possible, but isn’t that life in the outdoors?
Managing fear and difficulty and personal choices? Going outside and climbing is more risky than sitting on the couch but is it as risky as driving my car? Walking down the street?
So why have I let this fear overtake me?
The only thing I have found to manage it is focusing on the next move.... Side pull, thumb over fingers... or focus on those toes and hips in.. but it still creeps in and paralyzes me sometimes.. Here is to each step, difficult or fabulous.