Today we visited the museum where most of the artifacts from Pompeii are housed. A lot of the exhibits were closed but fortunately the two that we were particularly excited about were open. We really enjoyed the collection of Mosaic artwork from Pompeii; the works were incredibly detailed and really cool!
We also visited the ‘secret cabinet’ (given its name because the artifacts used to reside in a locked cabinet and were only shown to persons of sound moral character. In addition, they were completely closed off to viewing for almost the past 150 years, only opening to the public in 2000). This exhibit consisted of paintings, sculptures, and trinkets with (gasp!) explicit themes. For example, for the Romans the phallus was believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck, so many household items like oil lamps were shaped like them.
On display, there were many frescoes of sexual scenes; some were of mythological themes and came from homes, others were from brothels and depicted the available services. It was interesting to see these “forbidden” artworks and to learn that the Romans had a much more permissive attitude towards sex than exists today.
We headed to get one more pizza before leaving Naples. This time we went to another famous Naples pizzeria, Trianon. It was also quite good, though not as good as Micheles. While eating there we also had the chance to try the local wine – Lacryma Christi (tears of Christ, grown on Mt. Vesuvius). It was good. We returned to the hostel after lunch to get our bags and head to the train station. We needed to take a train back to Rome where our ship to Barcelona was departing from. Our train was running about a half hour late which made us worried we would miss our boat. We didn’t, but it was nerve wracking. It was strange to be on the boat; it had all of the facilities of a cruise ship but there was virtually no one on it so it felt like a ghost ship. We got a great night of sleep in the cabin, seeing as without a window it was virtually lightless.