The Hawkins Family

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Castle Saint Elmo

Yesterday, Taris and I took the "subway" to the last stop and walked to Castle Sant'Elmo.  The actual exit for the castle was one stop over, but we wanted to get our money worth so we road two exits past and walked.  What a difference in traffic it was.  At the top it was like a whole nother world.  Quiet, sketchy at times, and very calm (wind). 

Along the way, we met this very nice man.  His family owns the cameo factory.  (Side note: Naples is known for two things that they are proud of {the mob is not something they like to advertise}: Pizza and Cameo's.  Mr. Russo was nice enough to show us how cameos were made (they use sea shells) and then showed us some finished products.  They were absolutely beautiful.  I purchased a small matched my outfit.  The castle was right across the street.

A little history about the Castle Sant'Elmo.  Castle Sant'Elmo was built on the orders of Charles of Anjou: its construction, in tuff, was begun in 1329 and completed in 1343.  King Charles V completely rebuilt the castle. Spanish architect Pier Luigi Scriba designed the star-shaped plan of the castle. It has witnessed numerous sieges, fierce disputes between the various dominating powers, and repeated popular uprisings.  The old fort has risked destruction several times. During the Second World War the Germans had intended to blow it up before they left the city, changing their minds only at the last minute. The fortress has been restored to public use since 1980 and houses the “Bruno Molajoli” Art History museum.

The view from the top is amazing!  It gives a complete panoramic view of the entire city.  On a great day, you can see Mt. Vesuvius and Capri Island.  These are just a few pictures from being on top of the castle.

A view of the old Naples (original) and the modern

Taris with Mt. Vesuvius

the silver dome building is where I found my clothes

You can see our hotel from here.  Do you see the building with the bushes on top?  Look straight out and then go a little left.  Our hotel is next to that on the right!

Can you see the autostrada towards the back of the picture?  It is built above the city.  Crazy!

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