Days 6 through 11: Naples in a Nutshell

Since I was pretty much on my own during the day on this part of the trip, I think I can more easily combine these days and give you a list of hits and misses for Naples. We’ll resume with the regular format for day twelve.

Hits:

Santa Chiara. This was the church of the Angevin Kings in Naples. It’s gothic, originally constructed in the 14th century, with lots of great sculpture. In addition to seeing the church, you can also visit the cloisters that house a museum with relics from Roman times and from the Middle Ages. There’s a lovely garden area with some truly amazing lemon trees in the atrium area and also remains of a 1st century Roman bath that you can visit within the cloister area.

the altar of Santa Chiara

This is how I need to be buried!

lid from a child’s sarcophagus

Madonna and Child at Santa Chiara

The Neapolitans take their nativity scenes very seriously. This is a huge one on display in the cloisters at Santa Chiara.

The cloisters at Santa Chiara has some amazing frescoes and mosaics.

sumptuous lemon trees

— San Lorenzo Maggiore: I didn’t actually get to see the basilica since it was closed by the time I got out of the scavi and museum, but that’s ok, because I felt the scavi were worth the visit regardless. The museum houses some pieces associated with the area dating from the Roman times through the 19th century. But the real fun comes in visiting the ruins (scavi) underneath the cloisters by the church. Here you can descend a stairway into an actual Roman street and walk around a few blocks of preserved ancient Roman and Greek city. The ruins date back to the 4th century BCE and include market stalls that still have the benches for their wares and one home/room(?) that still contains an oven. I went once on my own and once with my husband and enjoyed it both times. In fact, the on the first visit, I was down in the excavations by myself so I just wandered in and out of the stalls, rooms, and buildings at my leisure and enjoyed every minute.

the cloisters at San Lorenzo

This room was the seat of the Napoli government for a time.

close-up of part of the ceiling

 

Oh, how those Italians do love a painted ceiling! Taken from another room at San Lorenzo’s cloisters.

sarcophagus top from the museum

fast asleep… forever.