Naples 3: Graffiti and fine art

January 5, 2011

DSC_1128.JPG So it rained. Plan B was put into action and we left the hotel for breakfast in a cafe near the station then hopped between various Churches and Museums to match the weather conditions. Caravaggio’s Seven Acts of Mercy in the church of the Pio Monte left us stunned. They way the eye is drawn through the pattern of flow within the picture is amazing. As the eye lingers more detail is found, any moral is ambiguous and it marks out the realism that is the essence of his work. From there we followed the v. del Tribunali avoiding scooters, cars and people in a confined space, nipping into Churches or pausing to take photographs of the fish and other stalls. We headed north briefly to visit the Duomo and from there to the Museo Madre which was a mixed blessing. There were some wonderful photographic exhibits, some brutally realistic (a mans head in a pool of blood in Naples Street for example) some delightfully humorous such as the bar scenes during the visit of Andy Warhol to Naples. However if you go there, head for floors 4&5, the lower floors are modern to the point of absurdity with the honorable exception of a room with skulls mounted around the room, each looking into a small mirror, some of which were moving.

From there we headed back to the v. del Tribunali to attempt to find the home of Pizza, where it all started many years ago. We failed in that , but we did grab the last table in a restaurant full of local families and had a Margareta and Beer before heading off for Castel Nuova. This impressive mix of Normal brutalism and Renaissance glory is now a museum. The top floor reveals wonderful views to Vesuvius across the harbour, the ground floor is glassed to reveal the old Roman ruins below including a fair number of skeletons, once buried now exposed to the view of the world. A break in the rain took us to the Plazzza Plebisco to discover the palace closed but a rainbow in the sky (pictured above).

Eleanor was now into discussing her third year thesis project, so we talked about myth and narrative as we walked the streets. Early in the day she seized on the graffiti which is so much a part of Naples and proceeded to document it (pictured) on each and every occasion. I think she plans to use the material but more of that in the future. I feel the thesis will be a source of much conversation over the next year. We foolishly went up the funicolare centrale is find dusk closing in as we emerged from the tunnels. So it was straight down the Funicolare Montesanto and a walk back to the hotel. Having been on our feet for nine hours we went for the soft option and eat in the hotel (never again) and then to bed.

The forecast for tomorrow is mixed so we will put Capri off to Saturday and head for Herculaneum (Ercolano) tomorrow, with a possible side trip to Sorrento.

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Naples 2: Pompeii, corsets & pluralism

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This was my second visit to Pompeii and I paid more attention to detail. ...

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