Friday, July 7, 2017

May 17th, Part One: Frescoes and Mosaics and Pizza

Thank goodness for sleep!

The weather the next morning was just as nice as it had been the day before. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay in Napoli much longer, so we took a few minutes to at least enjoy the view from our room.

I easily could have spent a week here, but there were other places to see and other pizzas to eat. We checked out of the hotel, left our bags with the front desk, and set out to do a bit more exploring.

We found a random cafe a short walk away and had lattes and pastries for breakfast. After our last trip, I had learned that Napoli is also home to the delicious pastry thing I found in Glasgow a couple months ago: sfogliatelle ricce. It's a delicious shell-shaped crunchy pastry, filled with sweet orange blossom flavored ricotta cheese and drowning in powdered sugar. We ate at a small table outside, which worked out really well considering how much powdered sugar was falling off of my delicious breakfast.

A little bit of walking later, we made it to our destination: the National Archaeological Museum. I had heard really good things about the museum, and wanted to at least spend a little time checking it out before we had to leave.

 It was definitely worth the trip.

Some of the best parts, though, were all of the artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum. I had read online that some of the best frescoes and mosaics were actually here at the museums, and they weren't kidding.

This was one of my favorites. It's supposedly pygmies fighting crocodiles and hippos.

There was an impressive collection of silver plates and dishes...

...and some other decorations. This one was my favorite; I'm apparently a sucker for animal-shaped fountain decorations.

There was an entire room of statues that had been found in Herculaneum and Pompeii. A couple of them had painted eyes, which was slightly creepy. One interesting thing I learned: most Roman and Greek statues (and buildings!) were actually painted bright colors. Over time, the paint wore or faded away, leaving the unpainted statue behind. All of those really old statues in museums around the world were very likely painted bright colors when they were new.

After wandering through the room of statues, we moved on to my favorite part of the museum...

...the mosiacs. The detail was incredible.

It's a little sad that they didn't leave these in place where they found them, but they're probably better preserved being in a museum instead of out in the elements.

This was one of my favorites. It looks like the guy is saying 'here chicken, you want dis?'.

This mosaic had such tiny pieces; the detail was incredible.

There were quite a few mosaics with animals, too.

I eventually tore myself away from the mosaics and we wandered outside. I didn't realize until later that Mark grabbed this picture of me.

This is the picture I was taking. I like Mark's picture better.   :)

We went back inside to see more statues. I really liked the dogs.

There was another big room full of statues from the Farnese collection; this one was huge.

We eventually made our way down to the Egyptian collection, which had some of the coolest things in the museum. This mummy was insane; it's not often you get to see what's actually inside a sarcophagus.

This mummy still had some of the decorations.

We eventually finished wandering around the museum and started making our way back to the hotel. We had a lot more stuff to do that day!

I can't remember which piazza this was, but it was pretty.

We made a stop for lunch along the way. I had been following some Italian food accounts on Instagram and knew that there were places that put potatoes on pizza, so I was pretty excited that we managed to find one for a quick lunch. Mark's pizza had thin potato slices and rosemary; mine had french fries and hot dogs.   :)

It took a little while to walk back to the hotel from the museum, but we stopped at a small marina to break things up.

These rocks were along most of the waterline in Napoli, and people were hanging out and soaking up the sun. We sat down for a little while, too, then eventually made our way back to the hotel, grabbed our bags and the car, and hit the road. Time to drive south!

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