Saturday, February 15, 2014

Random Bits of Naples, Italy

Here's some stuff from Naples that didn't merit its own post...

We took the train from Rome to Naples. Luckily, we had reserved seats with a table, allowing us to play card games and do some art along the way. L kept herself busy.

L and the Polar Bear (good job staying inside the lines!)

Camel hiding L

The train station itself has some art--a fountain with a mermaid. J was completely uninterested, which surprised me.

Train station fountain

The station is called Garibaldi after the famous Italian politician. The piazza outside has a statue of the man.

Garibaldi monument

Garibaldi close up

The streets of Naples are fairly compact and run the gamut from empty to busy. We enjoyed the closeness of the buildings if not of the crowds.

Quiet street with a tower in the distance

Santa making his entrance

A busy street

Another busy street

A market!

The street vendors were selling the usual items, though some things were special to Naples. Many stores sell figures, buildings, and other parts of the complex nativity scenes for which the town is famous.

Nativity wares

Another item popular in Naples is the corno, a small red horn that looks like a chile pepper. The horn supposedly wards off the Evil Eye and brings good luck (like a rabbit's foot in America). Lots of people approached us trying to get us to buy a corno.

Corno on sale!

Of course, plenty of restaurants line the streets, and some are not above a little tacky advertising to get patrons in the door.

Why can't we go to this pizzeria?

As with most Italian cities, a great variety of churches can be found. One church had displays of over 30 nativity sets. Sadly they did not allow pictures inside. Another church, the Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco has a chapel of skulls. From the 1600s to the 1800s, those too poor to afford a proper grave were buried here. An odd custom grew up where locals would adopt a skull and pray for that person. Once that soul reached Heaven, they would return the favor by prayer there.

Santa Maria delle Anime dei Purgatorio ad Arco

We saw a variety of other churches and civic buildings from outside.

A random church

This church is fenced off!!

Civic building

Column to St. Januarius?

Memorial to Cajetan

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