Chiesa di San Domenico Maggiore
This church is reached via staircases from its eponym piazza, and is a stunning surprise. Its rich interior make a huge contrast with the close-by Santa Chiara, and one could easily overlook its size and importance when walking by.
Spaccanapoli: No one can claim...
Spaccanapoli: No one can claim to have truly enjoyed the best of Naples who hasn't spent at least a couple of days in the section of town known generically as Spaccanapoli, or 'Split Naples,' so named after the long straight progression of narrow streets that bisects the Centro, especially in the area between Piazza del Ges Nuovo and the Via del Duomo. Important not only for the presence here of distinguished churches, monuments, statues and archaeological sites, Spaccanapoli, with its grandiose Baroque palazzi and warren of colorful vicoli, recalls Naples as it was under the reign of the Bourbons, from 1734 to the arrival of Garibaldi's liberating Redshirts in 1860. The Neapolitans rightly consider Spaccanapoli, in all its noisy confusion and exhilarating vitality, to be the city's soul. Spaccanapoli itself has been closed to traffic, the whole area is safe to wander in and the rewards, visual and cultural, for a sightseer are many. Most of the restored palazzi, such as the elegant Carafa and the Spinelli, with its strangely beautiful elliptical courtyard and bas-reliefs, can be visited and carry identifying placards beside their front entrances. Well-marked accesses to the archaeological sites are situated conveniently near the Duomo and other churches. They offer tantalizing glimpses into the Roman and Greek civilizations that underlie the whole city and one Napoli Sotterranea, provides a spooky, comprehensive hour-and-a-half tour of these long-vanished worlds.
The churches themselves are wonderful in their variety, ranging from the fantastically ornate to the austere Gothic of the Monastery of Santa Chiara, destroyed by incendiary bombs during World War II but rebuilt exactly as it had been. In contrast is the Church of Ges Nuovo across the way, with its rich mosaics, inlaid marbles, paintings and sculptures and, in a side chapel, the busts of 70 saints perching serenely on top of their reliquaries as if in miniature opera boxes. The privately owned little Chapel of Sansevero is a cornucopia of treasures, including the piece known as the 'Veiled Christ,' made in 1753 by Giuseppe Sanmartino, a statue so technically amazing that another accomplished sculptor, Antonio Canova, on a visit to Naples, reportedly attempted to buy it for himself. Less well known, the Church of San Gregorio Armeno provides an oasis of cool silence from the hubbub outside in the street of the same name, where for generations Neapolitans have manufactured their presepi, or Christmas mangers. The last time I visited San Gregorio Armeno, a baby was being baptized, the child's family the only others present, while from high above the nave a cluster of beaming, bare-breasted angels gazed down upon the scene, a reminder that the church was originally founded as a convent for the wayward daughters of the nobility.
And then, in isolated splendor, its elaborate decorated ceiling supported on 16 piers incorporating more than 100 antique columns, there is the great Duomo of San Gennaro (St. Januarius), known affectionately to Neapolitans as San Gennà. Indifferent to the fact that under Vatican II San Genn was inexplicably demoted from the Holy See's official calendar of saints, his constituents still consider him the city's guardian angel and his dried blood, kept in a couple of ornate vials in a side chapel, continues miraculously to liquefy several times a year, most notably on his feast day, Sept. 19. Visitors can reserve early for good seats at the event. San Genn's most vocal supporters maintain that the city's well-being depends on the speed of the liquefaction, a phenomenon no one has yet been able to debunk. Older Neapolitans tend to believe in miracles and, given their city's tumultuous history, why shouldn't they?
A great experience!
We were walking around the Galleria Umberto area doing some window shopping when we decided we were hungry and started looking for a restaurant. I'm not sure how we ended up finding this place but we couldn't have found a more charming restaurant with great food if we tried.
Situated in what might seem as a back alley the restaurant was nestled between a small grocery store and a butcher. We sat outside and ordered the house red wine which was very good and very inexpensive. We bought it as a liter.
The owner was very friendly and was telling us jokes. He strolled up and down the street entering the nearby businesses and we joked with him that he was a bigshot who owned everything on the street, he smiled and said "no, no I just friendly".
Anyway there was a guitar player who was really quite good. He sung us a few Italian songs and then burst into some Elvis"Blue, blue suede shoes yeah!" I even got him to play The Door's Light My Fire, man it was great we had a blast.
I had a delicous pasta with prawns. This place is highly recommended for its great atmosphere, excellently friendly staff and awesome food! Pasta Gemberoni, pasta with prawns with the house red wine.
National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum is one of the most important archaeological museums in Europe, with the collection that Charles of Bourbon inherited from the Farnese of Parma, bronze and marble sculptures, paintings and furnishings recovered from the excavations at Pompeii, Herculaneum and other parts of Campania.
A cultural tour in the metro
The new Metro of Naples is an efficient and modern system of transportation. But it’s much more than this. It opens a new road in the world of metropolitan infrastructures: the wide, luminous full of atmosphere “milieu” contribute to render more agreable the public transit. The participation of illustrious architects to the plan of the stations (from Gae Aulenti to Alexander Mendini to Domenico Orlacchio), and the introduction (inside and outside the stations) of many artistic elements, sculptures, works of modern art are the best example of art coupling and urban planning. Each station has contributed to radically transform the surrounding "milieu". In the picture a private building (2, Salvator Rosa street) transformed after the Metro Station opening.