Vatican Museums (June 2013)

September 28, 2013

I saw more than ever before on this latest trip to the Vatican Museums…

Vatican Museums wall view

Assorted sculptures

Clio, Vatican Museums (060413)

Clio

Vatican Museums interior courtyard (060413)

Interior courtyard

View of Rome from Vatican Museums (060413)

View of Rome from the Vatican Museums

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Oplontis (June, 2013)

September 6, 2013

The Villa of Poppaea at Oplontis is not nearly as well known as the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum but it should be. Buried in the same 79 CE eruption of Vesuvius, this villa has amazing frescoes, plenty of rooms to explore, and is easily accessible via the Circumvesuviana. Also, it’s never been the slightest bit crowded when I’ve visited.

Oplontis (060313)

The view from street level.

Bird fresco, Oplontis (060313)

Birds are a popular fresco subject…

Fresco, Oplontis (060313)

Not sure what this is… Anyone know?

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Pompeii or Locked Out (June, 2013)

August 29, 2013

I enjoyed my visit to Pompeii. I really did! But in the last twenty years I have never seen so many locked houses and inaccessible areas. However, Pompeii being such a gigantic site, I still saw some great things I’d never seen before…

Locked out, Pompeii (060313)

At least you can see some of the mosaics and frescoes here…

Vietato l'accesso sign, Pompeii (060313)

Keep out!

 

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Herculaneum (June, 2013)

August 21, 2013

Many people prefer Herculaneum to Pompeii. Perhaps this is because it is smaller and more manageable? There are some nice new facilities since last I visited but it seemed like fewer buildings were open than usual… Still, there was plenty to see.

Herculaneum (070213)

Mosaic of Neptune and Amphitrite

Herculaneum (070213)

Seat of the Augustales

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Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (Naples Archaeological Museum)

August 10, 2013

This is my favorite museum in Italy. Like the Capitoline and Palatine Museums in Rome, the Naples Archaeological Museum has seen significant improvements in recent years. In particular, the lighting seemed better in many galleries. If you’re visiting the Naples area and have any interest in antiquity, you need to go here. A trip to Pompeii or Herculaneum is not really complete if you don’t also see the artifacts taken from those sites. Considering the current inaccessibility of vast swathes of Pompeii (see forthcoming post), I’d suggest visiting the museum instead of the site if you have a limited amount of time. Also, if you’re visiting Rome, be aware that the museum is easily reachable from Rome by train for a day trip. These photos don’t even begin to do justice to the breadth and quality of the collection:

Europa fresco, Casa di Giasone, Pompeii, MAN Naples, INV 111475 (060213)

Europa about to depart for Crete

Musicians mosaic, MAN Naples (060213)

Street musicians, late Republican mosaic by Dioscorides

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The Palatine Museum (June, 2013)

August 9, 2013

They’ve considerably improved the lighting in much of the Palatine Museum since the last time I was there.

Apollo fresco, Palatine Museum (060113)

Apollo

Asklepios, Palatine Museum INV 1115, ca150 CE (060113)

Asklepios

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The Capitoline Museums

August 8, 2013

There have been a bunch of improvements to the Capitoline Museums since I was last there (seven years ago?): new rooms, better lighting, a great view of the Republican forum…

Wall view, Capitoline Museums SQUARE

Many, many inscriptions…

Wolf and twins, Capitoline Museums (060113)

The famous wolf and twins

Stele of Anicetus, NCE109

Funeral stele for a gladiator

Sarcophagus with hunt scenes, MC Inv 822 (maybe) (060113)

Detail of a sarcophagus

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