My recent visit of Pompei reserved a pleasant surpise. The Ancient historical town unerthed after centuries from the ashes belched out by the Vesuvius volcano, was seen under a different light: luminous and orderly. A miracle operated by the long restoration works of the last few years.
Changes are noted starting from the entrance gate to the eternal city: updated with modern gates that moderate the flow of visitors. The roads to the central districts are flanked by colorful oleander trees whose flower fill the air with delicate scent but also offers restoring shade during the overheated hours of the day.
The visitors flow is orderly the, most of the remain entrance are fenced to avoid trespassing by self-absorbed nose in the air tourists. Only the mostly known Domus ( houses) finely restored are open to visits eg: the spas, the house of the Faun, the house of the Golden Cupids, the Villa of the Misteries and many more of which five new extraordinary important domus opened to the visitors lately.
One of the major attractions remain however the Lupanare ( the brothel) — so called because “Lupa” for “she-wolf” was the Latin term for a prostitute who would howl to signal customers —What is lefft of the amusing house of pleasure – déjà-vu entertaing site to the elder, is a curios attraction for the teen-ager generation who stop to admire the finely restaured frescoes real sex scenes. Selfies must be fast to avoid blocking the endless queue. The staff at the entrance howl to move out quickly. Only ten people at a time are permitted to fast transit in what is now an ancient sex art gallery, this to avoid humidity that would endanger the paintings. The price list of the various “professional services” provided by the young “ladies”, (mainly slaves of Greek origin) stimulates amused smiles and comments.
The dream of Igor Mitoraj
The presence of 28 large size bronze sculpures masterpieces of Igor Mitoraj representing mithological idols melt perfectly among the ancient ruins of Pompei and its long preserved art.
The exhibition of the works, lasting until January 8-2017, is a tribute by the minister Dario Franceschini to the dream of the artist, who died in 2014, to see his works of art in Pompei
The first bronze statue of giant proportion represent Dedalo ( Dedalus ) a Greek skillful craftsman that constructed wings for his son Icarus has been positioned on a special platform built on the terrace of the Temple of Venere. The statue’s face looks over the Peninsula of Sorrento and the entrance to the escavations with thrilling effect.
The other statues are distribuite along the Forum of Pompei, the Via dell’Abbondanza, and the major sights. Among the 28 deity are: Ikara, that Mitoraj imagined to be the sister of Icarus, the Centurion and the Sagittarius.
The visit of Pompei including a tour guide and lunch, the afternoon visit of the major sites of Naples was possible in one day from Roma thanks to the fantastic range of excursions proposed by CitySighteeing Italy organization www.city-sightseeing.it that keep expanding from north to south Italy. Their winning success in Italy include the use of all the urban transport in the main cities where they operate. At a real bargain price considering the self-organization: train, transfers, reaching places of interest not served by public transport, and more, including punctuality and safety!
Photo credit MM