Its been a long day in Naples, up to the Capodimonte museum, to see some incredible works of art– although the air conditioning was out! So, a museum full of masterpieces in 90 degree heat. Some amazing pieces though, including Artemisia Gentileschi’s self portrait as Judith cutting off Holfernes’ head. Sometimes coming across a painting is like seeing a celebrity. It was thrilling. Titian’s Danae is here. Also, Camuccini’s Death of Julius Ceasar in situ is remarkable. We couldn’t go into the room, but the table actually has a mosaic from Herculaneum in corporated into its top! Lets not even talkbabout the room mafe entirely of porcelain.
We made our way down by foot through some very gritty narrow Neapolitan streets into the Rione Sanita, only to discover the church and catacombs were closed! We wandere around and miraculously came across a little bus that eas going to Piazza Cavour, where we took the train to Montesanto in order to get the funicular up to see the Certosa di San Martino, high above the city.
The Certosa was formally a Carthusian monastery, then a palace, and now a museum . “There’s something here for everyone, ” says my new Sewanee colleague, Jackie. She’s right– the orbste church, the largest collection of mangers in the world, art, a naval museum, and aview to die for, though the cats are bored with it.
The Trattoria da Nennella is where I am right now having dinner, a crowded street trattoria in the Spanish Quarter that happens to have Wifi. A few minutes ago, someone set off fireworks a hundred feet away–everyone ducked or ran. Is it gunfire? The waiter laughed and continued to take our order, writing it out on the tablecloth. I’m thinking I need one of their shirts. The cernia Jacjie ordered was excellent, my breaded cutlet serviceable. By the way, “friarelli” apppears to be collard greens though less bitter. (Ah, checking later, I see it’s Neapolitan dialect for broccoli raab). Later in the evening, they all even started to sing– see video below.