Naples, a walking tour of the historic center

I met my tour guide in Piazza Bellini and he began to reveal the incredible history of the historic center to me and my group of travelers from Israel and the UK.

Poor Bellini, his monument is a microcosm of Naples. A grand old statue with a sapling tree growing in its cracks. No one cares to climb up there and clean the surface.

The sign below says: Piazza Bellini and the Greek walls

The Royal Conservatory of Music was founded by Napoleon when he also suppressed underused convents (the Italians call monasteries convents). He thought the buildings were beautiful and not used to advantage and gave some of them as homes to new institutions.

No matter how rough the exterior of the conservatory is, the interior courtyard is lovely and well cared for.

My guide told us that there are 416 churches in the center of Naples! Below is the interior of one of them. I fail here as an art historian: I have no idea of the name of the church!

One of the highlights of the tour for me was the walk down this street which felt more like a Moroccan bazaar than an Italian street. This is the famous street where so many of the artisans who make the famous Neapolitan creche scenes are located.

I purchased a few figures for my growing creche composed of parts from Provence, Arezzo and now Naples. Of course, I am never home for Christmas, so who knows when I will put it together!

Below, a random scene.

A quick getaway to Aspen in August 2022

I had a houseguest in August and it was too hot in Denver so we ran away to Aspen to beat the heat. Unfortunately, the heat was also in Aspen.

Still, it was Aspen, always a delightful place to visit, especially for me, in the summertime. Why do the mountain towns of Colorado have such great flowers and gardens, when down in Denver we struggle to grow a colorful garden? No blue larkspur blossoms are ever found in the mile high city, alas.

Below, you can enjoy the flowers without experiencing the heat:

Boating around Capri & the faraglioni, Part 2

The faraglioni are stacks of a coastal and oceanic rock formation eroded by waves. The word may be derived from the Greek pháros or Latin pharus (“lighthouse”) and is cognate with the Spanish farallón.

In the Campania region of Italy there are three famous faraglioni in the Bay of Naples, off the island of Capri.

Part of the Campanian Archipelago, they are named, of course!
Stella, connected to the island, 109 metres (358 ft).
Mezzo, 82 metres (269 ft).
Scopolo (or Fuori), 106 metres (348 ft). The blue lizard lucertola azzurra (Podarcis siculus coeruleus) is endemic to this faraglione.

I’m going to Capri! Finalmente!

My first picture of the island!

I’ve always wanted to see Capri, since I first heard about it decades ago. On my one previous trip to the Naples area, we had limited time and most of the people in my group wanted to see Capri, but I was/am a dutiful art historian and I wanted to see the Veiled Christ statue by Corradini and Sanmartino at the Cappella Sansevero. They took a ferry, I took a taxi. We both saw what we most wanted.

So you can imagine how happy I have been to return to Naples and this time to get to see the Veiled Christ again, but also to finally make it to Capri!

Woo hoo! Let’s get on the ferry and go!