Monday, November 2, 2009

Naples and Pompeii

We arrived in Naples on September 10th and stayed until the 12th. We didn't spend much time in the city of Naples it self, since the main purpose of this stop was to visit Pompeii. We spent about 5 or 6 hrs milling about the ruins and listening to a podcast that Christian downloaded from the internet. The commentator liked to mention that whatever we came across in the city displayed some behaviour that is "just like we do today." The following day we visited the Archaeological museum in Naples which has an incredible collection of precious artifacts and art found in Pompeii and Herculaneum. I was particularly interested to see their famous collection of illicit frescoes, but the exhibit was closed because they were under-staffed. At least we got to see the brothel in Pompeii though.

First thing's first... the pizza. Minimalist and amazing. This place was recommended to us by my dad and stepmom. There are only two kinds - meaning that they have absolutely perfected these two varieties.

Right before my little camera ended up in the Pompeii dust.

One of the preserved human forms created by pouring plaster into a cavity in the earth during excavations.

Light pouring into the bath house all Indiana Jones-like.

Street scene with Vesuvius in the background.

Ancient beware-of-dog-sign in mosaic tiles at the entrance to a home.


Amazing colours are still visible inside several dwellings.

Road with grooves for chariots and stepping stones for pedestrians.

Mother and child caught in Pompeii. It was an amazing experience to feel the scale of this place, and it also was a sad and ghostly place to be.

Model of Pompeii at the Archaeological Museum.

There was a great exhibit on ancient Greek and Roman coins. Apparently it wasn't supposed to be open to the public though and there weren't any staff supervising, so we were quickly ushered out (but we saw most of it).

Beautiful hall at the Archaeological Museum.

Ancient Greek intellectual gazing into the eyes of a modern Canadian intellectual.

Random beautiful Italian arcade on the way back to our hostel.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


On September 5th we traveled from Venice to Florence by train. We spent three nights in this beautiful city, and only saw a fraction of what we could have.

Fake David.

Inside the Uffizi Gallery.

Ponte Vecchio with view of the Vasarian corridor which leaves the Uffizi, runs above the shops on the bridge and leads to the Palazzo Pitti.

Looking down on one of the many street markets.

Indoor market off of the street above.

Duomo from the outside.

Inside the Cathedral. We took the stairs all the way up to the top of the Duomo. This is on the way up.

Christian in the stairs.

Ceiling inside the Duomo.

The scenes of life in the heavens were beautiful.

And the depictions of hell were horrifying.

I'm sure from the ground, the terror loses its effect somewhat.

Here we are at the top!

This experience was a major highlight for me. I was excited and on a high for the rest of the day.

I love the reflections in this shot.

We went a little camera crazy.

About to blow over the railing.

We also visited the History of Science museum which had an amazing collection of Scientific instruments used by Galileo and other famous minds. Christian stared at this clock for a very long time.

Some of the beautiful items on display.

The magic of science.


On September 8th, we traveled by train from Florence to Rome, and spent two nights there.

This one's for my mom. Apparently we descend from a family of ice-cream makers.

Lemons getting ready.

Olives getting ready.

Pomegranate getting ready.

Arch of Constantine outside the Colosseum.

The formerly glorious underground maze below the floor of the Colosseum.

Great public fountains, almost as good as Venice.

A lovely courtyard we invited ourselves into.

Mob of mopeds.

Crowd of tourists around the Trevi Fountain.

Outside the Pantheon.

Scary crowd of tourists storming into the Pantheon. We had to wait outside while a wedding ceremony finished up.

The very wealthy bride who was married in the Pantheon.

View of the Roman Forum.

Having a little rest. We did a ton of walking that day, but Christian did a little extra when our audio guide broke and he walked all the way through the Palatine hill to the entrance to get a new one. I had a snack... he's a gentleman.

Piece of an old temple that really gave us a sense of the scale of this grand old space.

Christian holding our daily gelato.

We sat and enjoyed pizza and gelato on these steps looking down at the Column of Trajan.

A really great space that focused on Trajan's forum, but also had many pieces from other forums in the city. It is called Mercati di Traiano Museo dei Fori Imperiali.

Enjoying the view of this ancient and modern space.

Student working on some sketches. I think they were architectural students working on projects. They were all over the place, and really made me think of my brother and dad.

Christian taking a breather from the museum.

The two of us eating up the experience of Rome.

Disgusting product that Christian wanted to try. Imagine a teeny weeny little drink box that tastes a little like coffee, but mostly like preservatives and fakeness. MMMMmmmmm. Part of it is still in our mini-fridge here in Greece, and I'm considering chucking it while Christian's mind is on his conference.