We spent one weekend back in June solely dedicated to food, and not just any food but eating Italian food in magical places in Napoli. Italian food (so far in our experience) is never a disappointment but when combined with a certain location of a place, the experience just skyrockets!
— A restaurant with glass floors showcasing a necropolis underneath! Villa Elvira is a unique restaurant located in Pozzuoli. During the renovation of this nineteenth-century farmhouse, it was discovered that Villa Elvira holds, underground, a fascinating early Christian necropolis: one of the oldest testimonies of Christianity in Pozzuoli. This restaurant has an elegant feel and they really elevate the food. There was no menu, just a couple questions here or there on things we would prefer- meat or seafood, for example. The plates of food literally just kept coming one after the other. Then we ordered dessert to share only to have them also come and chop chocolate pieces off of a chocolate block right in front of us! We were not able to visit the underground portion of the restaurant (I have heard that you can), but we hope to come back again and see the necropolis.
— A private lunch in a museum room full of 18th and 19th century weaponry! Our time at Museo Civico Filangieri was something I will never forget. This museum is an eclectic collection of artworks, coins, and books assembled in the nineteenth century by Gaetano Filangieri, prince of Satriano, who gave it to the city of Naples as a museum. Had it not been for Prince Gaetano Filangieri (1824-1892), Palazzo Como would have been lost when Via Duomo was widened during Naples’ Urban Renewal- the Risanamento di Napoli. Thanks to his generosity, the palazzo was saved, having been dismantled piece by piece, moved back 20 meters and re-erected in its current location!! He filled it with an eclectic assortment of art and artefacts and presented it to the city. Much of this collection was destroyed by fire during WWII, but it was rebuilt and today it includes over 3,000 objects: medieval weaponry, decorative arts furniture, paintings, especially from Neapolitan masters such as Jusepe de Ribera, Francesco Solimena and Francesco Jerace. There is also a library of 30,000 volumes dating from the 13th to 19th centuries.
The main floor is known as the “Carlo Filangieri Room.” “Carlo Filangieri was an important military man very prominent in the kingdom of Naples: he was awarded the honourable title of knight of the order of St. Januarius, showing a strong connection with the Deputation that manages and preserves the Treasure of St. Januarius. His son, the Prince Gaetano Filangieri decided to devote to his father Carlo the first room of the museum. It was organized in order to create harmony between XV style of Como Palace and the best exhibition of many works (artistic handicrafts, weapons, paintings etc etc..). Carlo Filangieri’s room is divided in three parts through great vaults realized by gold mosaic style by Fabbrica Salviata of Venice. It has many narrative functionalities: Renaissance architecture, innovative twentieth century art, the sculptures, the weapons, the dresses and Oriental pottery that describes different cultures. The focal point of the entire room is represented by the niche in which is situated the bust of Carlo Filangieri made by Tito Angelini. The Carlo Filangieri room hosts a unique series of eighteenth and nineteenth centuries weapons and armor from China, Japan and Turkey, collected by Carlo Filangieri, who was in charge of war ministry during the reign of Francis II of Bourbon.”
The upper room of the museum, or otherwise known as “Agata Room,” is dedicated to Prince Filangieri’s mother, Agata Moncada di Paternò. This room was my favorite! “It is characterised by its particular earthenware flooring with the figure and the symbol of Filangieri family. For the realization of the floor, the Prince designated Industrial Artistic Museum of Naples entrusting the artistic direction to Filippo Palizzi and the technical direction to Giovanni Tesorone. The scattered light of the space is provided by a skylight in iron and glass commissioned to Society of metal construction Cottrau in 1888. In the art gallery there are many paintings, from XVII to XIX century, by many European artists as Heckart, Fuger, Luca Giordano, Solimena, Andrea Vaccaro and Jusepe de Ribera. A passage roof is a space that expands the exhibition and allows to see the library. On the second floor there are many shop windows with pottery from different countries, from Meissen to Real Capodimonte Industry.”
Initially, our lunch was supposed to take place in the library of this museum, but it was currently closed due to an unexpected copying project taking place there. I LOVE libraries and was ecstatic thinking that I would be eating lunch in a historical one and in Italy nonetheless! However, the weaponry room didn’t disappoint for a lunch view 😉 Yet, the staff were still gracious enough to let us step in to the library for a couple minutes to take a peek and see something of much historical importance- a letter written by Benjamin Franklin to the prince who’s family the museum belonged to (and it’s written in Italian!)!! In the middle of the room there is also the desk of the Prince with some documents and glasses. On the bookshelves there are many artistic, industrial and drawing books and magazines bought by Filangieri.
[info: https://filangierimuseo.it/en/ ]
Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!