This past weekend I had my Baroque Art History class trip to Naples. We all had to be on the bus by 7am on Friday morning and I slept the whole way there. We arrived about 2 ½ hours later at the Capodimonte Museum, an old hunting mansion that was renovated into an art gallery. We saw lots of young kids playing soccer in the park and our professor said that the kids were on strike from school because the government had cut funding. How awesome is that?! (The kids on strike, not the cut of funding)
The gallery visit was very relaxing because there were barely any visitors. It felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. One of the paintings we saw was Caravaggio’s Flagellation. After our visit we went to the other side of Naples and took an elevated tram to the top of the hills to visit Certosa di San Martino which was an old monk monastery turned into a museum. The view of the Naples bay and Mount Vesuvius was spectacular.
Afterward we went to the hotel, got checked in and had an hour of free time before dinner. The whole class decided to go out with our professor because we knew she knew where to get the best food for an affordable price. I ended up getting a pasta dish with sausage, mushrooms, and a provolone cheese sauce. It was tasty; however, I hate cheesy sauces so it was a challenge to keep down. I had to keep psyching myself into thinking it wasn’t cheese. The sour dough bread was helpful in accomplishing this task, haha. Then we went back to the hotel and I walked around the streets for a bit with some other students before we went back to get a nights rest.
On Saturday morning we had to be up and ready by 9am which included eating our free breakfast in the hotel. It was a yummy breakfast and filled me up for the morning. At 9am, we put our suitcases in the bus and walked around the center of Naples, stopping at important sites for our lectures. The places we went were Duomo (Cathedral) of San Gennaro with the Chapel of the Treasury with frescoes by Lanfranco (1643) and Domenichino (1631-41), Ribera Museum to see San Gennaro Escaping the Fiery Furnace, and Pio Monto della Misericordia to see Caravaggio’s Seven Acts of Mercy.
We then got a break from lecture and were treated to a tour of Spaccanapoli. This area is home to a long narrow street that splits Naples in half, and we had some free time to walk around the little shops. I bought a keychain and magnet because those are things I collect back home and I haven’t bought anything for myself (besides food) since being here. After shopping we had lunch at a restaurant that served true Neapolitan pizza named “Sorbillo”. It was the best pizza I’ve had since being in Italy. It was the thin-crusted, delicious pizza that I thought I would find more easily in Rome. I had a traditional margarita plain cheese one, and it was yummy!
After lunch we continued our walking tour which included a museum called Cappella San Severo which housed Giuseppe San Martino’s famous statue Veiled Christ. The museum also had two preserved skeleton figures with their nervous system intact. It was the creepiest thing ever and they were super strict about not taking pictures. I wish I could’ve though because it was so freaky. We ended our lecture at the Galleria di Palazzo Zavalla’s Stygian which is a bank during the week in Naples. We saw our third and last Caravaggio of the trip here, called Martyrdom of Saint Ursula and it is thought to be Caravaggio’s last work before he died.
We ended lecture with about an hour to spare before the bus was scheduled to pick us up and take us home, so we walked around and got a great harbor view of Mount Vesuvius and also walked around the shops. They were even hosting a Race for the Cure event for breast cancer in one of the main piazza’s.
The bus ride home was relaxing and we got back to Rome in the evening, around 9:30pm. Now I just have to continue to push through this week which is full of mid-terms and then I will be heading off to London and Paris for fall break next week! I cannot wait! Ciao for now!