Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14
Our Air BnB on Via Monte di Dio is small, but nicely appointed, has a fabulous view from its one window, and is perched on the edge of a cliff in a fascinating old neighborhood of narrow alleys between five-story buildings hung with laundry and layered with tiny shops and restaurants. The entry to our flat is through an over-grown garden, populated by friendly cats, and tonight as we entered at twilight, a singing bird. Could it have been a nightingale singing at twilight?
Last night we explored in the rain and got terribly lost, but discovered just below us a posh pedestrian shopping street and the magnificent Piazza Plebescito with a semicircular colonnade centering on the Pantheon-inspired circular church of San Francesco di Paola. Across from the church is the Palazzo Reale, which adjoins the Teatro San Carlo where we will see Madama Butterfly on Tuesday evening.
Finally back in our own neighborhood, we bought bread, cheese, butter, olives, and wine at a small grocery, and after taking them home returned to a small trattoria where we had a simple, satisfying dinner of pasta.
After a late start this morning, fortified by toast, jam, and cheese, we set out for the Archeological Museum, joining strolling families, many carrying palm fronds from Palm Sunday services. The museum, with a special exhibit on Canova and his inspiration by classical art and sculpture, as well mosaics and many other items unearthed from Pompeii and Herculaneum, occupied us for the rest of the afternoon. We finished with a look at the waterfront and a dinner of pizza at a small restaurant in our neighborhood.
Tomorrow we hope to get to both Pompeii and Herculaneum.