By hazelh

Ballroom, Capodimonte royal palace, Naples

This morning we walked from our hotel in Toledo all the way to the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte (formally the royal palace) to check out its collection of (mainly) Renaissance art. There we also worked our way through displays of porcelain, guns, and armour, and a very interesting temporary exhibition about the life and work of Caravaggio. Before today, we had no idea of this artist's violent reputation. My blip is of the palace ballroom.

We reverted to the Scottish holiday tradition of 'cake for lunch' before walking downhill again through the back streets to our next tourist destination. This was the Cimitero delle Fontanelle, and another recommendation from Jon.

In short, this cemetery is an ex-quarry full of old human bones. The bones were first placed here at a time when the city was running out of space to bury fresh corpses in church yards. Later the space was used as a paupers' cemetery. Then in the late C19th attempts were made to organise and catalogue the bones, and following this a cult of 'adopting' the skulls emerged. This latter practice was apparently outlawed by the Catholic church in the 1960s, but from the decorations around the ossuary that we saw today, it looked like some people still 'care' for their adoptees. My extra shows a neat stack of bones.

Dinner this evening was also quite an experience. On the advice of our guide book we turned up at Nennella early ready to queue for a table. There were already around 40 people ahead of us and we feared that we wouldn't be seated, but at 7pm on the dot we were noisily ushered into the restaurant with everyone else and then directed to a table for six between an Italian couple on one side, and a French couple on the other. Our waiter shoved menus under our noses, we chose quickly, then the waiter shouted our orders to his colleagues in the kitchen, competing with every other waiter in the establishment who was each doing the same for his customers. It was completely chaotic, but so much fun. The meal was also super-cheap at €27 for three courses and a bottle of wine!  I'm so glad that we bothered with the queue, although I wouldn't like to dine in such a crazy environment every night.

Exercise today: walking (26,037 steps).

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