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  • Day3

    Saturday before Christmas in Naples

    December 22, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Before falling into the moving masses through the old quarter, we decided to get our culture in first. First stop, the Palace (now Art Museum) way up high in Capodimonte. I think I will be fine if I never go through another Bourbon palace (Though the grand piano playing in the ballroom was very pretty), but it was nice to see those familiar Carlos-es who were also king of Spain. Even a couple of Goyas. Carvaggio, Titian, El Greco, Breughel, lots of madonnas and saints. Titian’s portraits of the pope Paul III were probably my favorites, and then way up on the fourth floor hidden away — Andy Warhol’s Vesuvius erupting!

    From there we walked down to the Catacombs of San Gennaro, patron saint of Naples. Even though he was not from Naples, when he made Vesuvius stop erupting, he became their patron. His bones have moved around a bit, but we saw their original 4th century resting place. Graves were from 3rd century onward, till sometime in the middle ages, when a church edict required all bodies to be moved because they were too close to the growing city. San Gennaro’s blood miraculously liquifies three times a year at special masses, but the church has not allowed for scientific examination.

    All cultured out, we walked back down to the historic center, a mad crush of people shopping and eating. Street food is sold at least every ten feet in one stall or another. Joe had a very delicious pistacchio canolo. We visited a couple of elaborate nativity scenes, some mechanical, and all beautiful.

    Dinner tonight will be in a nearby osteria recommended by the hotel, well known for fish.
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