A Travellerspoint blog

I went to a Brothel

Sorry for 2 in one day, Internet troubles...

Well, I guess it was a 2000 year old brothel with no trace of the former inhabitants.  Of course I am describing one of the many preserved businesses in Pompeii. This site was the main reason I came south of Rome and it did not disappoint. A labyrinth of roads and buildings, most of them open to explore. An ancient jungle gym that was a treat to navigate.  I also visited a fast food restaurant, a bakery, theaters, temples and beautiful private homes.  But the brothel stood out with its tiny rooms, stone beds and menu of services captured in frescoes on the walls.  Blush....

It was another hot day and everywhere I went in Pompeii I encountered stray dogs basking in the sun or just watching the tourist go by seeming to be in an eternal holding pattern waiting for their former owners to return or maybe reincarnations of the original inhabitants.  I imagine Han and Leia playing here and the scene would be much different.  Han would be weaving in and out of the tourist groups soliciting attention and Leia would be sniffing and exploring every nook and cranny as fast as her feet and nose will take her.  They would bound down the streets and up the theatre steps.  Strange how the Pompeii dogs are so chill.  Can you tell I'm getting homesick for my babies...

Against my better judgement, I left Pompeii on the train and headed to Naples, a healthy dose of reality.  The train between Naples and Sorrento is not the most pleasant experience but not as bad when I did not have my luggage to cling to. The carts are covered in graffiti and many of the passengers are young and rowdy.  Its funny, I felt transported back to the 80's, with rolled up jeans and teenagers playing with rubics cubes.  Arriving at the main train station for he second and last time in my life, I kept my eyes forward and walked with all the confidence I could muster.  Repeating in my head, "I am Attia, I am Attia" (for those of you who don't know, she was the ruthless alfa mother of Augustus) I channeled her briefly until I made it on the subway and arrived at the museum.  I was more uncomfortable here than any mexican border town I've ever been to.  I was certainly out of my element, but the museum with all the treasures of Pompeii was worth the trek.  

Then I took a walk from Rick's book - a slice of Neapolitan Life. The people are fabulous and interesting, the shopping was fun, but the feeling I had in Naples was sadness. This was a rich seat of power in the world for centuries and the buildings, monuments and churches are still here to remind us of the tradition and beauty.  But, the outsides are littered with graffiti and trash and many of the people appear poverty stricken.  Even one of the most important museums in the world is run down on the outside but when you walk in the main hall it is lined with 20 foot tall statues from ancient Rome and ascends up the stairs to reveal a dome and countless rooms of artifacts and art.  The city is such a contrast to the rest of Italy, but is certainly lively.

I came away unscathed if only moderately traumatized (I've lived a sheltered life), a belly full of Neapolitan pizza from the pizzeria out of Eat, Pray, Love and had the best cappuccino in all of Italy at the Mexican Cafe.  The men at the pizzeria are sweet and all had a picture with Julia that is proudly displayed on the wall.  The locals still come here and I watched my pizza bubbling in the brick fired oven while the people around me laughed and argued loudly. As it was getting dark, I took a cab to the ferry terminal for the trip back to Sorrento where I immediately indulged in a glass of wine thinking I should admit to Franco and Joe that they were right about Naples. Humility sucks!

Foodgasm: margeherita pizza and beer in Napoli. I know you are surprised. Tonight I am in desperate search for a vegan Foodgasm, I will keep you informed.  

Bacci ball wisdom:  Today take nothing for granted - got it, no problemo

Posted by cherishthelove 09:01

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I have heard from every person I know who's gone to Pompeii that it was most fascinating place they had been! It is definitely on my bucket list. And kudos to you for your bravery - I so admire your daring spirit! A friend of mine always says after a little misadventure "Well, nobody died!" Sound to me as though you're doing much better than that - you're thriving!

by Marilyn

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