Friday, November 13, 2015

Campania Day 5: Naples Archaeological Museum

After visiting Pompeii, one of our top priorities the next day in Naples was the National Archaeological Museum. When Pompeii and Herculaneum were first excavated in the 1700s-1800s, the cities were plundered by treasure-hunters. Most of the best artifacts are found here.
It's said to be one of the most important archaeological museums in the world, housing not only mosaics and frescoes from Pompeii, but also a significant collection of classical Greek and Roman sculptures. The treasures range from the massive:

Hercules the impossibly tiny:

The building itself is impressively gorgeous; it was a palace for the Bourbon king. 

One of the main attractions is the stunning collection of mosaics taken from Pompeii: 

This mosaic from the House of the Faun in Pompeii depicts Alexander the Great--it's 20 square meters and was made around 100 B.C.
A closeup from The Battle of Alexander Against Darius (above)
One of the largest Pompeii-related exhibits was restricted from photography, so I don't have a ton of pictures to share. And since this is a family-friendly blog, we won't discuss the other notable exhibition: the Secret Cabinet, a collection of obscene frescoes, little household gods, etc...quite startling in their explicitness. We rounded the corner from the mosaics and wandered in having no idea what we were getting into. Let's just say ancient Pompeii had pretty loose morals...I'll leave it at that.

After we left the museum, it was approaching lunchtime, so we wandered through the historical center of Naples, taking in the chaos and looking for authentic Neapolitan pizza. I'm tired and don't feel like writing any more tonight, so we'll pick back up there tomorrow :)

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