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Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Naples & Pompeii, Italy.
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Naples & Pompeii, Italy
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends. In and near Naples, Italy you can see these species: Sandpipers, Grey Heron, Black-winged Stilts, Yellow legged Gulls, Moorhens, Little Tern and Jackjaws.
Melissa Penta offers a fascinating journal (mydigitalmind.com/blog/2013/03/birding-in-italy/) on Birding in Italy.
The Fat Birder (http://fatbirder.com/links_geo/europe/italy.html) provides an overview on Italian birding.
At Birding in Italy (birdinginitaly.com) you can find a tour.
Wines: In the Campania region wine making dates to the 12th century BC. Reds wines such as Taurasi and Aglianicos del Taburno are made using the Aglianico grape that was introduced by the Greeks and later cultivated by the Romans.
White wines such as Flano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo are made using Flano and Greco grapes.
Pizza – Naples is the home of pizza and they take it very seriously. The Associazone Verace Pizza Napolentana issues authenticity certificates to pizzerias around the world.
The criteria to be met is an 11 page document. It includes: the type, color and amount of the yeast, how to make the dough, how the dough is stretched, the type of fresh tomatoes, the mozzarella must be certified, the wood fired oven must be made of stone or brick and be sealed except for the door and the chimney, the floor temperature of the oven must be at least 905 degrees F and so on.
PublicTransportation: This is your site for public transportation (napoliunplugged.com/naples-metropolitan-transportation-network)
Business Information: Here is help in regard to your business: (http://bcg.thetimes.co.uk/Europe/Italy/Naples)
Exchange Rates (http://www.x-rates.com/)
Day One: Your first stop is Castel Nuovo - Piazza Castello, 39 081 795 7713
Castel Nuovo was constructed beginning in 1279 by Charles 1. It has served as a historical center, a garrison, a residence of Kings and now a tourist attraction.
Exhibits include 14th and 15th century frescoes and sculptures, silver and bronze artifacts and paintings from the 17th through the 20th centuries.
Next is a visit to The Botanical Garden of the University of Naples – M-F: 9-2, Su: 8:30-1:30, Orto Botanico di Napoli, Via Foria 223, 39 081 253 3937
The Botanical Garden of Naples was founded at the beginning of the 19th century.
It has 9,000 plant species that include: fernery, pinophyte, palmgrove, citrus grove and ecological areas depicting desert, beach, peatbog and rockery.
Di Matteo – 9 AM- 12 AM, Via dei Tribunali, 94, 39 081 455262 is acclaimed to have the best pizza in Naples.
The margharita with buffalo mozzarella is the favorite closely followed by the Duavola, Rucola/Crudo and Proscuitto.
They also have fried rice balls, potato fritters and fried pizza.
Try the ’02 Dolcetto d’Alba Tre Vigna.
An important stop is San Lorenzo Maggiore – Daily: 9:30-5:30, Su: till 1:30, Via del Tribunali, 316, 39 081 290580
San Lorenzo is a church and a monastery built by Charles 1. It replaced a 6th century basilica.
A section of the 6th century mosaic floor was saved and is visible under glass. The church has several notable sculptures and frescoes.
The church has two chapels that are baroque in design.
A museum is located on three floors above the courtyard and beneath the church is an original Roman market that has been partially excavated.
Your final stop today is the Museo Cappella Sansevero – Th-M: 9:30-6:30, Su: till 2, Via Francesco De Sanctis, 19/21, 39 081 5518470
You’re here to see the Veiled Christ, one of the most famous and impressive works of art in the world sculpted by Giuseppe Sanmartino.
Dinner is at Ristorante Mattozzi Europeo – L & D: Daily, Via Marchese Campodisola, 4, 39 081 552 1323
Favorites include baby octopus salad, bean and mussel soup, paccheri with seafood and the dried cod with tomato, garlic and oregano.
Try the house wine or the “07 Don Anselmo Aglianico del Vulture. Dessert is the house specialty – baba.
Day Two: Breakfast is at the elegant Gran Café Gambrinus – B,L,D: Daily, Piazza Trieste e Trento, 399 081 417582
The belle époque atmosphere is enhanced by the art and frescoes. The coffee is excellent and the Sfogliate (fried puff pastry with a cheese filling) is energizing.
This morning you’ll begin your day with a seaside stroll and a visit to the Castel dell’Ovo (Egg Castle) – M-Sa: 8-6, Su: 8-2, Via Eldorado, 3,39 081 795 4593
The castle of the egg was reportedly named by Virgil who buried an egg on the site and wrote that when the egg breaks the castle and Naples will fall.
The castle offers great views and over time a marina was developed and restaurants opened.
The Museum of Capodimonte – Th-Tu: 8:30-7:30, via Miano, 39 081 7499111 holds a wonderful collection.
The collection dates to 1738 when King Charles VII built a palace to display his mother’s Farnese collection.
The National Gallery occupies the 1st and 2nd floors with paintings from the 13th to the 18th centuries with works by Simone Martini, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Masaccio, Lorenzo Lotto, Giovanni, Giorgio Vasari, El Greco, Jacob Philip Hackert and others.
The ground floor has the Farnese collection of Roman sculpture. The Royal apartments are furnished with 18th century furniture and a collection of porcelain and majolica.
Without rules there is chaos, but for lunch today you have a little chaos at Trattoria Nennella – L & D: M-Sa, Vico Lungo Teatro Nuovo, 39 081 414338
Sharing is the order of the day. Your starter is the special of the day which could be the pasta with potatoes and provolone.
Then for your first either the grilled sea bream or the grouper. Their grilled steak or sausages are very good. Sides include sautéed broccoli, mushrooms and roasted eggplant.
Your wine is the house red or the ’02 Barbera d’ Alba. Dessert is tiramisu.
You should see the Naples Cathedral (Duomo di San Gennaro) – M-Sa: 8-12:30, 4:30-7, Su: 9-12, 5-7:30, via Duomo,149, 39 081 421609
A vial of San Gennaro’s blood is brought out three times a year, and if it liquefies all is well and if it doesn’t it’s a bad omen for Naples.
The cathedral has beautiful art works including frescoes and 4th century mosaics.
An integral part of Naples and for that matter Italy, is it’s opera house, the Teatro di San Carlo – M-Sa: 9-5, Su: 9-2, Via San Carlo, 98, 39 081 797 2111
By all means try to book a performance, but if you’re here when the opera is not in session or tickets are not available, you can visit the theater and enjoy the museum and its contemporary archives.
One more place to see today, The Pio Monte della Misericordia – Th-Tu: 9-2:30, Via dei Tribunali, 253, 39 081 446944
The church was consecrated in 1606 and it has many important paintings by Luca Giordano, Carlo Sellitto, Fabrizo Sanatafede and Battistello Caracciolo, but you’re here to see Caravaggio’s Seven Works of Mercy at the high alter.
Palazzo Petrucci – L & D: Tu-Sa, Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, 4, 39 081 5524068 has a great view.
For your starter we suggest the chicory salad with fried anchovies stuffed with mozzarella and a sweet and sour sauce or the smoked beef with artichokes. Share the risotto with green olives, burrata and tomato.
For your mains select either the lamb with dried apricots, mint and pecorino or the duck breast with sweet peppers, celery, orange and a horseradish sauce.
The ’01 Amarone della Valpolicella is a great wine choice. Dessert is the chocolate mousse with lemon and strawberry sorbet.
Day Three: Breakfast today is at the Gran Caffe Ciorfito – B,L,D: Daily, Via S. Biagio dei Librai, 39 081 20316
The café freddo and cappuccino are excellent as are the warm pastries and almond biscuits.
Your visit to The Naples National Archaeological Museum – W-M: 9-7:30, Piazza Museo, 19, 39 081 442 2149 is preparation for an exciting day.
The works of art and archaeological findings are presented within twenty-six thematic sections.
The first area is centered around the core of the Farnese collection inherited by King Charles III and then held by the Bourbon family. Other collections that were added include Borgia, Picchianti, Santangelo and Vivenzio.
The second is composed mainly by the objects found in the excavations conducted in the cities buried by the eruption of Vesuvius and the sites from Ancient Greece and ancient Italy.
Lunch is at SUD - D: M-Sa, L: Sa,Su, Santi Pierto & Paolo 8, 081 020 2708
Start with the roasted octopus with artichokes or the sea urchins, shrimp and guacamole.
Then the pasta with red mullet and mandarin oranges or the codfish and eggplant parmagiana.
Your wine is the ’07 Les Cretes Valle D’Aosta Chardonnay and dessert is their crunchy chocolate with cantaloupe and mint.
At the Naples National Archaeological Museu you have seen the artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum and now you’re off to see these cities that have been partially excavated.
But first a little background, starting with Mount Vesuvius, which is hundreds of thousands of years old.
Around 1780 BC Vesuvius erupted shooting millions of tons of ash 22 miles into the sky and in 63 AD it erupted again.
In 79 AD Mount Vesuvius buried Pompeii and Herculaneum under millions of tons of ash.
A dig began in 1748 and Pompeii was found as it had been 2000 years before. Look for the many contrasts between the commercial town of Pompei and the holiday resort of Herculaneum.
The wall paintings in Villa Oplontis and Torre Annunziata provide evidence of the opulent lifestyle of the wealthy during the early Roman Empire.
We would be remiss if we did not suggest a visit to the Amalfi coast, Sorrento and Capri. As a lagniappe to your journey to Naples take a little time for a 25 mile drive on Strada Satatle 163 from Amalfi to Sorrento.
Along the way you will have spectacular views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. If you’re so inclined in Sorrento you can book a day trip to Capri.
The Amalfi coast is known for its limoncello.
Until next time, best wishes and happy travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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