Then spoke the thunder
Datta: what have we given?
— T. S. Eliot
And Now the Prologue… (Points for anyone who gets the reference)
Yesterday we docked in Naples and toured the ruins of Pompeii. Afterwards I went and explored Naples while the rest of my group toured Herculaneum.
Pompeii has a very strange sense of history to it. Parts are very well preserved and you can walk through the (restored) houses, stores, temples and businesses of people who lived close to two thousand years ago.
It is an amazing gift to be on this trip with people I love seeing these sites but for me the most awesome part is walking in places I have only read about and experiencing the people and architecture there. Each city has its own heart beat and if you are open you can feel it. Naples is a city in which I could easily live. It is busy enough to be Metropolitan yet it has that laid back seaport feel.
There is a magic that happens when I find myself in a strange city where there is little English spoken. After passing the beautiful seaport Fortress and several pizza places, I found the beautiful shopping centre that the Pompeii tour guide had mentioned. Turning the corner there were many more stores, most but not all of them international chains. Continuing walking, I found a small art gallery that featured the t painting “The Martyrdom of St Ursula” by Caravaggio (one of my favourite artists) which was the last painting that he had finished (around a month before he died). They had several other painters of that style and that vintage and I spent a wonderful 20 minutes there.
For me, it is finds like that gallery and watching people living their lives as much and maybe even more so than the sites in any particular place that brings me the most enjoyment. Being able to balance the two this trip has been amazing.
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