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Fullery of Stephanus: a unique glimpse of Pompeii’s past

When traveling through the enigmatic streets of Pompeii, a unique establishment transports its visitors back in time: the Fullery of Stephanus. Not just a typical ancient building, this site once bustled with the sounds of a full-blown laundry operation, offering a distinctive perspective on the day-to-day lives of Pompeii’s inhabitants.

Fullery of Stephanus
Fullery of Stephanus

The history of the Fullery of Stephanus began when it was uncovered between 1912 and 1914, precisely during excavations via dell’Abbondanza. Today, it is one of the most significant and meticulously preserved laundries ever discovered in Pompeii. Visitors can’t help but be enthralled by its large masonry tanks designed for rinsing, continuously fed by flowing water. Stone basins, where cleaning took place using special clays or even urine, give insights into the ancient washing techniques. And if you ascend, the upper terraces tell tales of drying and brushing clothes post-wash.

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But what truly sets this fullery apart and speaks of its high-quality service is the presence of a pressing machine known as a ‘torcular.’ Here, fabrics were stretched, ironed, and given that finishing gleam.

But the story doesn’t end there. Within Pompeii, there’s another fullonica, that of L. Veranius Hypsaeus. And it’s here that visitors can witness frescoes, now preserved at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, illustrating the various activities undertaken by fullones (the ancient laundry workers). These depictions range from workers pressing clothes with their feet in basins, brushing laid-out fabrics, transporting a cage topped with an owl (a sacred animal to Minerva, the patron goddess of labor) for sulfur-based bleaching treatments, showcasing garments to owners, and diligently preparing fabrics for the final pressing in the torcular. Furthermore, remnants of the torcular from the Fullery of Stephanus remain preserved—iron guides of the screw beams and the housings for affixing the apparatus, specifically located on the wall to the left of the entrance.

So, if you’re on a journey to uncover Pompeii’s hidden tales, make sure the Fullery of Stephanus is on your itinerary. It’s not just a laundry—it’s a portal to the past, showcasing the intricacies of ancient life and trade.

The enchanting tale of the House of Menander: a traveler’s dream

If you’re an aficionado of breathtaking historical sites and stories that seem to transport you back, Pompeii’s House of Menander is a destination you won’t miss on your next Italian escapade. Nestled within the ancient ruins of Pompeii, this grand abode whispers tales of luxury, art, and intrigue that belong to an epoch long gone. It is a house that underwent intricate architectural transformations and is today a symbolic representation of a home belonging to a family of significant stature.

The allure of the House of Menander is in its rich history and the intricate details it harbors. As soon as you enter the atrium, mesmerizing frescoes greet you, illustrating compelling episodes from classics such as the Iliad and the Odyssey. As you walk further, you’ll be intrigued by the unique “Rhodian” style peristyle, with its northern side raised, offering a different vantage point. And, of course, how can one overlook the portrait of Menander, the famous Athenian playwright from whom this house derives its name, gracing the portico?

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Where is the House of Menander?

Where is the House of Menander
Where is the House of Menander

It is located in Zone I, a short walk from the Teatro Grande, nestled between Vicolo di Paquius Proculus and Vicolo del Citarista. On the map, look for tag #7

Where is the House of the Faun located in Pompeii?

Now, while the House of Menander has its own enchanting story to tell, many travelers often confuse it with another famous Pompeii relic: the House of the Faun. Both houses stand as testaments to Pompeii’s grandeur but are distinct entities. Situated in the heart of Pompeii, the House of the Faun stands out due to its expansive size and the renowned “Dancing Faun” statue. However, today, we’ll explore the House of Menander, which boasts its unique story and distinguishing characteristics.

A concealed spa area in the House of Menander is one such feature that captures travelers’ imagination. Delve more profound, and you’d find an underground chamber, possibly a cellar. Archaeologists discovered a treasure chest filled with an impressive 118 silver pieces. This wasn’t merely a random assortment—it represented the family’s cherished silverware collection. 

These treasures, ranging from vessels for serving wine to plates and cups primarily used during grand banquets, are now displayed in all their glory at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. As you move towards the house’s southern side, the rustic quarter unfolds before you, showcasing a meticulously reconstructed cart. 

It’s worth noting that this house was the abode of Quintus Poppaeus Sabinus from the prominent Poppaeus lineage, which ties back to Empress Poppaea Sabina, Nero’s second wife. And for those interested in archaeological timelines, the House of Menander was excavated in three phases: 1928, 1930, and 1932.

Unveiling the secrets of Naples’ Christo Velato: a journey through history and wonder

Naples’ Christo Velato, or the Veiled Christ, stands as a magnificent testament to the unparalleled skill of Italian sculptor Giuseppe Sanmartino. Completed in 1753, this awe-inspiring marble statue of Jesus, draped in an ethereal veil, has captivated countless hearts and souls as it graces the hallowed halls of the Sansevero Chapel Museum in Naples, Italy.

The story of the Veiled Christ begins with the noble Sansevero family’s artistic patronage, dating back to the 16th century. The renowned Prince Raimondo di Sangro of Sansevero was a key patron, commissioning various works of art throughout his lifetime, including the illustrious Veiled Christ. The breathtaking sculpture, composed of marble dust and glue, took a staggering two years to finish, yet it remains unrivaled in its exquisite beauty and elegance.

According to legend, a mysterious figure appeared at the Sansevero Chapel after Prince Raimondo’s passing and lovingly draped a veil over the statue. Since then, the Veiled Christ has inspired believers and non-believers alike, who have journeyed to Naples to witness the enchanting piece of art.

The Veiled Christ welcomes visitors daily from 9 am to 7 pm, with extended hours during the summer months of May through September. While admission is free, donations are graciously accepted to preserve the historical monuments. Guests should be aware of the strict dress code at this sacred site – shorts and sleeveless shirts are prohibited, and respectful behavior and quiet voices are expected, considering those praying or meditating near the statue.

In addition to its artistic splendor, the Veiled Christ boasts intriguing facts that enchant visitors from around the globe. For instance, the great weight of the statue – almost three tons – and the astounding detail achieved without the use of tools. A pilgrimage to the Veiled Christ in Naples is truly an unforgettable experience for anyone seeking a spiritual encounter or simply marveling at its undeniable beauty.

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The Master Behind the Veiled Christ

Italian artist Giuseppe Sanmartino, born in 1720 to a lineage of talented stonemasons and sculptors, crafted the mesmerizing Veiled Christ in 1753. This life-sized statue of Jesus Christ, wrapped in his burial shroud, is so meticulously detailed that the veil seems to embrace a living body.

Commissioned by the Spanish Viceroy of Naples, Fernando Ruiz de Castro, the Veiled Christ was created for the Sansevero Chapel in Naples. Today, it remains a crowning achievement of the Neapolitan Baroque period. Sanmartino’s background includes tutelage under renowned sculptors like Francesco Solimena and Ferdinando Fuga and contributions to other sculptures and restoration projects.

Sanmartino’s masterpiece, the Veiled Christ, is a marvel of Carrara marble, skillfully shaped from a single block to form a lifelike figure beneath a seamless veil. The statue took three years to complete, and its mastery continues to astonish viewers and art historians alike, solidifying its place as a paragon of 18th-century marble sculpture.

The Veiled Christ’s enduring allure is attributed to its striking realism and meticulous detail, a feat achieved by Sammartino’s rumored use of a live model during the creative process. As a testament to the sculptor’s genius, the Veiled Christ remains a captivating symbol of Neapolitan Baroque art and an enduring icon for the world to admire.

The Veiled Christ: A Masterpiece in Marble

Giuseppe Sanmartino’s Veiled Christ is a breathtaking marble sculpture crafted in 1753, widely celebrated as one of the world’s most beautiful and flawless statues. This astonishing piece is carved from a single block of Carrara marble sourced from the renowned quarries of Tuscany, Italy.

The figure of Christ is gracefully enveloped in a white veil, revealing only the expressive features of his face, which poignantly convey the anguish of his suffering. The meticulously arranged drapery lends a sense of movement and elegance emblematic of the Rococo period in which it was created.

Standing nearly five feet tall and weighing approximately 1,700 pounds, the statue’s body is subtly curved, with outstretched arms and a head gently tilted towards the heavens. The flowing veil encircles the figure, cascading gracefully to the statue’s feet, enhancing the overall sense of movement and elegance.

The Veiled Christ’s profound beauty transcends its technical mastery and emanates an emotional intensity that resonates with viewers. The delicate interplay of light and shadow on the marble surface and Sanmartino’s expert manipulation of texture create an illusion of depth and fluidity that continues to captivate audiences today.

In conclusion, Giuseppe Sanmartino’s Veiled Christ is a sublime work of art that combines technical virtuosity, emotional resonance, and exquisite beauty. It represents the sculptor’s unrivaled skill and a stunning example of Neapolitan Baroque art. A visit to Naples would only be complete with experiencing the enchanting allure of the Veiled Christ for oneself.

Visiting the Veiled Christ Museum: Hours and Fees of 2023 and 2024

The Veiled Christ Museum is open daily from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm except for Tuesdays. Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before closing to ensure you have enough time to appreciate this breathtaking masterpiece fully.

The museum offers a range of ticket options to suit different budgets and ages. Standard admission is €10.00, while FAI members can enter for a reduced fee of €8.00. Young visitors aged 10 to 25 can enjoy the museum for just €7.00, and children up to 9 years old enter for free. School groups are offered a special rate of €3.50 per student on weekdays, with one teacher admitted for free per ten pupils. Enhance your experience with an audio guide for €3.50, or take advantage of the “Tandem” offer, which includes two audio guides for only €6.00.

The Veiled Christ Museum also has special opening and closing hours throughout the year, with extended or reduced hours on specific dates. Be sure to check the schedule beforehand to plan your visit accordingly. Debit and credit card payments are welcomed, making your museum experience as convenient as possible.

Special Opening and closing hours

The Veiled Christ Museum also has special opening and closing hours throughout the year, with extended or reduced hours on specific dates. In 2023, extended hours are offered for several days, including April 8-10, April 25, April 29-30, May 1, June 2-3, and December 8-9. On these days, the museum will be open until 8:30 pm. Additionally, the museum will be available on normally closed Tuesdays, such as February 21, August 15, September 19, October 31, and December 26. On December 24 and 31, the museum will close early at 2:00 pm and be closed all day on December 25.

In 2024, the museum will continue to offer special hours, with extended hours on January 5-6, when it will be open until 8:30 pm. In addition, on January 2, the museum will be available from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.

How to Reach the Veiled Christ Museum in Naples

Getting to the Veiled Christ Museum in Naples is easy and convenient, with several transportation options available. If you have booked a tour with us in Naples or the surrounding areas, we will happily accompany you to the museum. We strive to offer the best and most practical solutions, tailored to your preferences and agreed upon before the tour.

Public transportation is another great option for reaching the museum. Several bus lines serve the area, including Bus 151 (with stops at Via Nuova Marina, Università, or Dante), Tram 1 or the replacement service 601 (Via Nuova Marina stop), Bus 154 (Marchese Campodisola stop), Bus R2 (Corso Umberto stop), and Filobus 202 (Corso Umberto stop). If you prefer the Alibus, disembark at the Dante stop.

Line 1 and Line 2 have a convenient stop at Cavour for those using the metro. After alighting from the bus or metro, you must walk for approximately 5 to 10 minutes to reach the Veiled Christ Museum. With so many options, your journey to this awe-inspiring destination will surely be a breeze.

Traveling in Italy: assistance and useful numbers we recommend

Welcome to Italy! This article provides helpful information and advice to make your stay more enjoyable and safe. We’ll help you save on roaming fees and be prepared for unforeseen events with a list of significant phone numbers and local phone companies.

Don’t just visit Italy—experience it! Reserve your tour, excursions from ports or transfer now to immerse yourself in Italy’s captivating history, awe-inspiring art, and mouthwatering cuisine. Make every moment count!

Choosing the right phone company

To save on roaming fees, purchasing a local SIM card is advisable. In Italy, there are several phone companies to choose from:

  • Vodafone
  • Fastweb
  • Wind3
  • Iliad
  • TIM
  • PosteMobile
  • Kena
  • Ho
  • Tiscali
  • Spusu
  • Optima
  • Very Mobile

Each of these companies offers different options and rates, so it’s essential to compare them to find the one that best suits your needs. Also, remember that to purchase an Italian SIM card, you’ll need a valid ID.

Where to buy an Italian SIM card

You can find phone company stores in major shopping centers and cities. Additionally, you can purchase a SIM card at airports, train stations, and some electronics stores.

Valuable numbers in case of emergency

In case of unforeseen events or emergencies, it’s essential to know the phone numbers of law enforcement and rescue services. Here’s a list of the valid main numbers in Italy:

  • Police: 113
  • Carabinieri: 112
  • Guardia di Finanza: 117
  • Municipal Police: varies depending on the city
  • Coast Guard: 1530
  • Fire Brigade: 115
  • Medical Emergency and Ambulance: 118

Other assistance numbers for tourists

In addition to emergency numbers, it’s helpful to know the following tourist assistance numbers:

  • Roadside Assistance: 116
  • Railway Information: 892021
  • Tourist Information: 039039 (toll-free)

Tips for a safe trip in Italy

To make your trip to Italy even more enjoyable and safe, here are some valuable tips:

  1. Carry a copy of your passport and leave the original in a safe place.
  2. Always be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded or touristy areas.
  3. Avoid displaying valuable items in public and leaving bags or backpacks unattended.
  4. Follow traffic rules and local authorities instructions.
  5. Make sure you have adequate travel insurance covering any medical or emergency expenses.
  6. In case of health issues, go to a local pharmacy or medical center.
  7. Learn about local customs and laws to avoid misunderstandings and problems.
  8. Save valid and emergency phone numbers to have them always at hand.

What to see in Naples: must-visit attractions, iconic landmarks, and unforgettable experiences

Naples, Italy’s vibrant coastal city, is nestled on the Gulf of Naples in the heart of the Campania region. Renowned for its beautiful shoreline, mouthwatering cuisine, and rich ancient history, Naples offers a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

Embark on your Neapolitan adventure by visiting the enchanting Castel dell’Ovo, a 12th-century castle perched on the seafront with a fascinating past. Meander through Spaccanapoli, a bustling area teeming with narrow, winding streets, delightful shops, and appetizing eateries. Continue to the majestic Piazza del Plebiscito, a grand square flanked by two striking neoclassical palaces, where you’ll find live music and captivating street performances.

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To immerse yourself in Naples’ cultural offerings, explore the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, which boasts a remarkable collection of ancient and Roman artifacts. Admire Italy’s finest artistic masterpieces, including works by Caravaggio and Botticelli, at the Galleria Umberto I. For theater enthusiasts, the Teatro di San Carlo, Europe’s oldest opera house, is to be noticed!

For a unique experience, join a guided tour of Naples’ historic catacombs, providing a rare glimpse into the city’s past while traversing underground tunnels filled with age-old relics. If you prefer outdoor activities, stroll along the scenic Lungomare Caracciolo or take a boat tour around the picturesque Bay of Naples. Are you feeling adventurous? Dive into the underwater world with scuba diving or snorkeling, uncovering vibrant coral reefs and mesmerizing marine life. Whatever activities you choose during your Naples stay, rest assured that it will be a memorable experience!

Weekend on the Amalfi Coast: what to visit

Spending a weekend on the Amalfi Coast, you will find yourself immersed in another dimension where time seems to have stopped.

From the crystalline sea to the countless natural beauties, from the breathtaking landscapes to the yellow of the lemons that color the entire Coast, characteristic paths and alleys where craftsmanship is still alive and contributes with its colored and entirely hand-crafted ceramics to make everything heavenly.

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Weekend on the Amalfi Coast: tips for visitors

To fully experience every corner of the Coast, the ideal is to rent a car to move quickly in the characteristic villages of the area where the roads are usually narrow and, in some areas, it is difficult to find parking.

By booking in the periods of May / June and September / October, it will be possible to avoid excessive heat and crowding. It will also be possible to find accommodation in strategic places to visit the Coast, such as Maiori or Vietri.

Weekend on the Amalfi Coast: the destinations

The primary destinations with which the Amalfi Coast is immediately associated are Positano and Amalfi. Still, one cannot fail to visit the other towns and seaside villages such as Ravello, Maiori, Minori, and many others.

Furthermore, you cannot miss the Path of the Gods, one of Italy’s most evocative nature trails that connects Agerola, home of the fior di latte, to a hamlet of Positano.

Positano is the chicest and most worldly city on the Coast, full of handicraft shops, and famous for the large stairways to reach the main beaches, including Arienzo and Fornillo. In addition to enjoying a unique landscape in the world, the alleys that connect the areas of the city are full of boutiques, characteristic restaurants, wine bars, and lounge bars.

Amalfi, a city of a thousand colored alleys, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Wholly immersed in the culture in Amalfi, you cannot fail to visit the Cathedral and its cloister, near which the Pasticceria Pansa is located, where you can try the many lemon-based specialties.

Furthermore, the seafront is full of bars and restaurants where it is possible to taste limoncello and first courses based on citrus fruits and fresh fish typical of the area.

Another obligatory stop is undoubtedly the city of Ravello which, although not located on the Coast, is among the most scenic. Once in the so-called “city of infinity,” you must visit Villa Rufolo, Villa Cimbrone, and the Infinity Terrace, which offer truly breathtaking views.

Minori and Maiori are among the main villages where it is possible to cross the suggestive Path of the Lemons, painted by lemon groves in the Parco dei Monti Lattari.

In Minori there is also the best pastry shop on the whole Coast: Sal de Riso, full of local specialties and often turned into a lounge bar.

Less known but noteworthy are certainly the villages of Vietri sul Mare and Cetara, both protagonists of countless folkloristic events and festivals, boasting a fantastic seafront and cliff, respectively.

Vietri is also famous for its craftsmanship and ceramics entirely worked and decorated by hand. At the same time, Cetara is known for its anchovy sauce, a condiment based on anchovies used as a condiment for pasta and more.

Finally, let’s not forget Furore and Conca dei Marini. The first is born in the mountains, overlooking the sea, where the houses seem to adorn the rocks from which they emerge, which gives a magical touch to the landscape.

In Conca dei Marini, on the other hand, there is the Emerald Grotto, a real natural jewel, like the entire Amalfi Coast.

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