Remember my friend that picked us up at the airport yesterday? Well today, she picked us up at our base hotel and took us to the historic area of Naples -- and WOW! We started at The Duomo, the Chapel of San Gennaro, and it just so happened that there was a couple getting married, while we were there. Crazy because they were getting married with about 100 tourists walking through the church. Annually, since 1389, they bring out a vial of San Gennaro's blood from the crypt, to see if the dried blood will miraculously liquify. In December 2016, the blood failed to liquify, which can mean possible disaster for the years to come. It is documented that the blood has failed to liquify twice in the past, in 1939 (WWII) and 1980 (the earthquake).
Then we went into the Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco Complex, which is a Church and a Museum that revolves around 'taking care of' the souls in Purgatory. You pay to go into the 'Lower Church', where there are all sorts of alters filled with anonymous bones. In the seventeenth century, women would select or adopt a skull (via a dream) and then intensely pray for shortening the time which the soul had to spend in Purgatory.
Of course, we did pizza for lunch from the restaurant that won the 2016 grand pizza prize. With our bellies full and bodies refueled, we walked down San Gregorio Armeno (aka Christmas Alley), which is known for their elaborate "presepe" or nativity scenes. Oh yea, I tried Crema di Cafe (aka Cafe del Nonno or Grandpa's coffee), which is kind of like a very sweet coffee milkshake.
We visited the Chapel Museum of Sansevero, which houses The Veiled Christ and the anatomical machines (corpses that have their blood vessels preserved or reconstructed) amongst so many other breathtaking statues and artwork. The entire place was absolutely spectacular and how all of this was done in the 1750s is just mind-boggling. I so wish I could have made photographs there but photography is strictly prohibited.
We ended our five hours of exploring historic Naples with a stroll down a narrow Neapolitan side street of Spaccanopoli. What a fantastic day, full of beautiful architecture, great Italian food, palazzos, churches, street performances, museums, art, shops, education and lots and lots of walking. So much gratitude Janine; we loved our day with you so much!!