The day began with deep-fried spaghetti. It was … weird. This deep-fried spaghetti was three-day old mac and cheese, hard in some parts, and heated up in the microwave.
But as any traveler knows you will have lows and then you will have highs and our next stop made up for the fried spaghetti catastrophe.
If you can only see one piece of art during your stay in Naples go visit the Cappella Sansevero to see the Christ Veiled under a Shroud (also called The Veiled Christ). The sculptor, Giuseppe Sanmartino, completed this work and it is absolutely breathtaking. It may be chiseled from marble but this sculpture looks as though it may move at any moment. Staring at the artwork, it’s hard to believe the cloth is marble and not a real cloth over a dead body’s face. You’re not allowed to take photos and they’re pretty strict about it, so this googled image will have to do until you go see the real thing:
The second masterpiece we saw that day was Caravaggio’s, The Seven Works of Mercy. Caravaggio was commissioned to complete this work while he was on the run from Italian authorities after one of his many drunken brawls went too far. He had killed a man in Rome in 1606 and immediately fled to a safe haven in Naples. After he finished the painting it was placed behind an altar of the church Pio Monte della Misericordia. It still hangs in the same spot today. It’s rare to see art in it’s original surrounding. Caravaggio did not stay long in Naples and only months after he finished The Seven Mercies he fled to Malta in 1607. What kind of thoughts were going through Caravaggio’s mind when he was in Naples working on this piece centering on Mercy? One can only wonder.
After visiting the Mercies we walked to the Bay of Naples. On our way we walked through Piazza del Plebiscito then arrived at the bay where Mount Vesuvius sits. Paul and I watched the sunset and then headed to dinner at La Taverna Del Buongustaio. If you never had an Italian grandmother growing up, go to this place to fill that gaping culinary hole. The menu is always changing but I promise you will find something you like. It’s a classic, no-frills joint. We were the only tourists there and it felt like a neighborhood spot.
Finally, as we walked back home down narrow, winding little alleys, I saw quite possibly the most Italian thing I’ve seen yet:
A nativity made entirely out of pizza dough.