Naples boasts more than a treasure. The most famous is certainly that of San Gennaro, housed in the homonymous museum, which houses a series of art collections including jewelry, statues, busts, precious fabrics and paintings of great value.
Visit to the National Archaeological Museum
But other treasures of inestimable value are those housed in the National Archaeological Museum (Piazza Museo 19 – www.museoarcheologiconapoli.it) which is housed in the ancient barracks of the Bourbon cavalry and preserves a huge amount of ancient finds representing one of the most important cultural sites in the world.
In itself, therefore, the museum, which is located at the edge of the Rione Sanità, should be visited, but in our case there was one more reason: the exhibition “The Langobardians. A people that changes history”.
But traveling with a puppy involves the necessary sacrifices and longer stops so this time, as well as postponing the tour in the Naples Underground, where Otto could have participated with us but two hours of track there seemed a bit ‘too much for him, we decided to split up to be able to make a tour, albeit fast, among the large and rich halls of the museum.
Since the exhibition area is very large and the time is limited, with Michele and Otto waiting for me in front of the imposing building, I had to make a clear choice.
Naturally I immediately went to the Farnese Collection with the colossal Roman sculptures. In the rooms there are masterpieces including the tyrannicide group from Tivoli and Aphrodite Callipige, found in the Domus Aurea in Rome, before being in the presence of the enormous Ercole Farnese and the Toro, marble group among the largest in the ancient world.
Among the Pompeian finds stands out the blue vase, a wine amphora decorated with the Dionysian theme of the grape harvest.
Going up the ramp of the grand staircase you enter the Salone della Meridiana, which owes its name to the sundial placed on the floor composed of a brass strip between marble squares in which are mounted medallions painted representing the twelve signs of the zodiac: you remain open-mouthed and you really do not know where to look.
In the first half of the obligatory room stand before the large craters found in Canosa, while in the second half there is the Atlante Farnese, a marble statue of the Titan that holds the world.
At this point, time is running out and all I have to do is head towards the halls that host jewelry and exhibits from the exhibition dedicated to the Langobardians. Among the most precious finds are the colored glass goblets in the shape of a horn found in the tombs of dukes buried in Cividale del Friuli, Ascoli Piceno and Nocera Umbra. Among the most striking the horse skeleton buried next to two dogs, testimony of pagan rites with the sacrifice of the dearest animal next to his warrior.
And then gold jewelry with colored glass pastes, combs, daggers and swords. Over 300 exhibited works from 80 museums and 32 langobardians sites represented: an exhibition not to be missed and to visit before it is transferred to the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, which sheds light on the period of Italian history from 568 to 774, with the continuation in the principalities of Benevento and Salerno up to the eleventh century.
The extra reason? The recent recognition by UNESCO of the serial site The Langobardians in Italy. The places of power that protects seven Langobardians monuments in different places, from Friuli to Campania.
Before returning home, an experience not to be missed is to sip from a cup the broth of octopus or better “o ‘brore ‘e purpo”, the street food par excellence of Naples once: in via Foria there is Lello, the last seller of a ritual now in extinction.
Meanwhile, we are witnessing a fun show by Mario, a street artist who turns from neighborhood to neighborhood and who in Naples know everyone: difficult to describe in words for which we attach the video of the “concert” which also participated in Otto as a singer!
Then, a must is the purchase of buffalo mozzarella: try those of Minicaseificio Costanzo (Via Lepanto, 118/120) in the Fuorigrotta area a few steps from the San Paolo stadium. In our “basket” there are also the Caciocostanzo of smoked cow and the buffalo ricotta in wipes, a cream of milk, to be consumed on a simple slice of bread or to prepare sweet and savory pies, but also try cold with nutella or coffee.
It’s time to go. It is very difficult for me to leave Naples and the warmth of its people. We will be back soon, very soon!