Days 60-61 – Napoli

The train trip from Rome to Naples on the Frecciarossa fast train takes a little bit over an hour. Nearing Naples, we pass large agricultural fields.

A large display in the Naples train station contains a presepio, the nativity, but the scene also shows Christmas in Naples 1843. Naples is not so different today.

I walk to the Pignasecca Market, not far from where I’m staying. In the afternoon, it’s still got lots of street action.

At the Piazza Montesanto, I decide to enter the church. There is not much to see, but the priest invites me to return to mass each night at 7pm. He says “Please come. It’s cute,” obviously confusing his English adjectives.

The funicular goes from Montesanto up the hill, and I decide to take it.

As the funicular rises, I enjoy the view of Naples.

And wonder about this passenger: who, what, why? Hmmm…

At the top there is the Castle of St. Elmo, but I decide to return another day. Instead I go into a coral artist’s shop and see his working tools.

I visit an art gallery with the art downstairs and the view upstairs.

Enough for first day arrival. The next day I head off to take a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, a good way to get oriented to a new city. I pass this installation, made from an enormous number of shoddy clothing items, on the Municipal Piazza.

It stands near the New Castle, also called Maschio Angioino, which was built in 1279 when Charles of Anjou transferred his capital from Palermo to Naples and wanted something better than the existing castles in Naples.

Many immigrants sell items on the street. This hat man doesn’t hesitate to approach tourists already wearing hats.

The bus takes a route up the hill in Posillipo where we have spectacular views of Vesuvius.

Swimmers and sun bathers enjoy the rocky water break.

I try to tour the Opera House, but it is closed until the morning. Instead I head across the street to the Gallery of Umberto I. This enormous structure was built as a commercial complex in the late 1800s. It now contains McDonalds, Zara, and other giants of our global world of commerce.

The materials and workmanship in the gallery are supurb.

I’m glad to have found this haven. It’s a massive contrast to the crowds and motorbikes on the streets. It’s not far from where I am living, and I will definitely return for some relief from the hectic and dirty streets.

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