Friday, September 28, 2007

last days in Italy

We're back home now, a bit jetlagged, but happy to see the doggies and Vasco! But I thought I would keep doing some the end we didn't have much access to internet. And there are a couple of posts that I wanted to do all along (sort of combo/overview posts) and I think Eric has a few things he wants to say! Also, I've posted some more photos on my facebook profile thingy...

Our last days in were kind of rainy (first 'bad' weather we had). We went to Castel del Monte, a very famous castle built in the 13th century by Frederick II, who was kind of a renaissance man (poetry, astronomy, etc. as well as you know, wars and stuff),

Then we went back into Basilicata. We had planned to see a few different things in northern Basilicata but 1) we were tired! and 2) it was raining. So we decided to just hang out in Venosa. Which is a charming town, even if it does need more (open) restaurants!
AND it's the citta di Orazio (Horace), since he was born there. Also, it is the site of a tremendous defeat of the Romans (1st Punic war) during which the brilliant general Marcellus was killed (not so brilliant as to not get killed...). There are Roman ruins as well as the ruins of a paleo-christian church, and an old abbey, including an unfinished church. AND a really great archeological museum! In fact, that's just what we managed to see! There is also the (maybe) tomb of Marcellus, Christian and Jewish catacombs (outside of town a bit)... Here are some photos,
the Piazza Orazio Flaco, Poeta Latina, with a nice bronze statue of Horace,

We saw this- likely ancient Roman- in the side of a wall on our street,

This is the castello in town. I've forgotten who built it and when but more important (to us) is the great archaeological museum that is housed in it. It covers Venosa and environs from Neolithic era through to the Romans. The museum rooms are all in the basement-y part, the lower part of the castle pictured here. Very cool!

Dionysian head, in the museum,

Paleo-christian church,

Part of the unfinished abbey (both this and the paleochristian church are next to, on top of Roman ruins),

As we drove from Venosa back to Napoli, we passed Mount Vulture, an extinct volcano on the slopes of which they grow the Aglianico grape vines that they make wine from,

We dropped the car off in Naples, took the train to Rome, and flew out the next morning. Here's one of my favorite little monuments in Rome in the Piazza della Minerva. The obelisk is ancient Egyptian (moved to Rome in perhaps 1st century, see, we aren't the only ones obsessed with antiquity too!) and the charming elephant is by a student's of Bernini's (I think),


At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still so ipressive and what a cultural trip.

I knew nothing of that area.


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