Monday, July 11, 2011

Napoli, Pompeii, Capri

This weekend I went to Napoli, Pompeii, and Capri with a school organized tour. I liked going on the tour because there were other students and, unlike in Florence and at the Palio, I wasnt alone. In Napoli I stuck with the tour guide and he showed us around the city. We saw piazza del plebiscito where there are buildings and monuments from many different time periods next to one another. We saw a church (in the photo below) and went in briefly but a wedding ceremony was about to start so we had to leave. There are buildings from the period of French, Roman, and byzantine rule. The tour guide said that it is rare to have all of these buildings with different styles coexist among one another because in many cities it was typical for old buildings to be torn down when a new leadership came in.
Piazza del Plebiscito in Napoli
Graffiti is typical in Napoli. Here is a statue facing the Mediterranean. I didnt have a chance to put my feet in until the next day in Capri

One of my favorite sights in Napoli was the Castel del uva (Castle of the Egg), which is called that because of a legend. In the legend, Virgilio came to Naples and brought with him an egg and said that as long as the egg didnt crack that the castle would remain standing. The owner of the castle hid the egg and the castle remained standing although most others in the same area were destroyed throughout time in various wars, especially during world war two. The egg is said to still be hidden inside the castle, which explains why it has never come under attack despite its vulnerable position by the sea. Another interesting part of Italian history I learned about was the destruction of Pompeii. At the time when the Vesuvio erupted in 79 AD, Pompeii was one of Southern Italy's richest cities. The Vesuvio erupted during the night and the flowing lava was not louder than running water, so many people were killed in their sleep. Other people heard the eruption and tried to scape by sea or to run away, but were killed by toxic fumes. It was sad to learn about the destruction of Pompeii, because I can only imagine how terrifying it must have been. The ruins of Pompeii are really interesting though and, although I didnt see any of them, apparently some skeletons still remain in the destroyed houses.
Me at the ruins in Pompeii. The population was killed by volcano lava in 79 AD
Entering the tiny blue grotto opening. We had to duck!
In Capri I took a boat tour around the island, which had straight rock cliffs on just about every side. Capri is known in Italy to be the expensive resort island of the stars. We saw the houses of Giorgio Armani, Sofia Loren, and previously of Mussolini on the island. We went into the blue grottoes, which are blue because of the way that sunlight reflects through the tiny cave opening, but which are more expensive to enter into than the Uffizi and the Accademia combined in Florence. I think that seeing the blue grottoes was a once in a lifetime experience though, so I am glad that I went in. There were other interesting natural features around the island that we saw, including rocks that had gaps in them as a results of wind. Our boat drove directly under an arch formed out of rock that I remember seeing on the Visions of Italy DVD my grandfather advised me to watch.
Inside the blue grotto, about to leave. I took a video of the inside as well. The rower was singing O sole mio
I took a sneaky photo of this boy at the beach at Capri. The beach was mostly rocky. This was taken from the rock jetty.
The beaches at Capri are rocky although there was a tiny patch of sand on one part of the island. I went swimming in the Mediterranean, which I thought was the perfect temperature but which my friend from Estonia thought was too warm.

Some friends from the University for Foreigners. Sofia (Mexico), Rodrigo (Brazil), Scella (Brazil), Me, Helen (Estonia)

1 comment:

  1. gorgeous! So how was the school run trip? Will you take another?