Napoli: il quarto giorno: Museo Nazionale

Today we were going to the Museo Archeologico Nazionale or Museo Nazionale as it is often called because of its importance. It includes not only artefacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum, but also the collection of the Farnese family, who were related to one of the popes, Paul III, I think, and includes ancient Roman and Egyptian works.

Google maps said it would take 25 minutes to walk the 1.8 kms. Google maps always underestimates time but the walk took almost an hour. We had been walking less than 5 minutes when I lost Scott. I found him one street behind talking to a guy in a car who was asking Scott for directions and wouldn’t stop talking. It took a while to figure out how to cross the multi-lane roads with no traffic signals. Basically step out into the zebra crossing; realize no one cares; then wait for a break and walk quickly, if not run. Google fails to mention the route is uphill. And, of course, we got lost.


Getting into the museum once we got there took over 10 minutes because of the crowds. So many school groups and tour groups.


People standing at the doors offered to guide and when we said no, they were quite pushy insisting we couldn’t get around without a guide because the museum is so big. It is big but the layout is basically a figure 8. A lot less confusing than the Louvre.


There were many Ancient Roman statues. The most impressive is called the Farnese bull.


This was made from a single block of marble. Impressive. But who handles a bull semi-naked?

What I really wanted to see was the original mosaic of Alexander the Great and Darius II. The original is much more impressive than the replica in Pompeii.


This is what the entire picture is imagined to look like.


Another fancy ceiling.


A number of the rooms with Pompeii and ancient Naples stuff were closed. The model of Pompeii is considered a highlight


I like this wall version:


Another ceiling:


So many big statues:

IMG_2644


We decided to ditch Google maps when we left.  Had lunch at Piazza Bellini:

More than a few people have questioned why we would spend so much time in Naples. Its reputation is dirty, disorganized and crime ridden. Certainly there’s a lot of graffiti–which I can sometimes get into—and roads under repair–which no one appreciates. There’s a disregard for traffic rules. Not only are pedestrian crosswalks ignored, but parking is pretty insane.

The above is all parked cars–double parked on both sides of the road. Maybe because it is unusually wide for a road in the centre, people thought nothing of double parking since cars still got through. Roads can look more like this.


Naples has had a long history of extreme wealth and extreme poverty. It can bring chaos, but has resulted in some of the great art housed in opulent buildings. If you look up on many streets, there are interesting sights.

More mundane: Went to the hotel spa for a massage. Scott thought they were too gentle  I’ll order “make him cry” next time. No photos but a cool looking spa with glass and colours.

For dinner, we ventured along the seaside to a recommended traditional restaurant that turned out to be rather old fashioned. Quirky bamboo decor and waiters who must have been there for decades. Not necessarily a bad thing.



Food was good.


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