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The realization of the Line 1 of Naples underground allowed the reconstruction of the landscape, the topography and the functions of the coast between the sites of Partenope and Neapolis.
The station of Piazza Municipio stands inside an ancient creek, that used to stretch out on a tuff promontory from Castel Nuovo to the Ferry station and the area around the Church di Santa Maria di Porto Salvo.
In the Piazza Municipio have been brought to light the I century A.C. ruins of an harbour (whose deepest seabed are notched by dredgings datable between the end of the IV century and the second half of the III century B.C.) with a quay in calcareous rock supported by wooden poles, perpendicular to the coastline, along which were abandoned two boats ( shipwreck A and C) and a third one (shipwreck B) of the end of the II and beginning of the III century A.C. At the beginning of the V century A.C., the harbor basin became swampy; the piazza Municipio, during the Middle Ages, was characterized by the presence of house ruins around the Castel Nuovo, destroyed at the beginning of the 16th century for the construction of bastions.
Pompeii (referred to by marketing as Pompeii in 3D) is an upcoming American disaster-adventure film co-written, produced and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, the film starsKit Harington, Emily Browning, Carrie-Anne Moss, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jessica Lucas, with Jared Harris, and Kiefer Sutherland.
The mosaic represents an allegorical and symbolic philosophical theme of the transience of life and death that eliminates disparities in social class and wealth. The summit of the composition is a level with his plumb line, a tool that was used by masons to control the levelling in construction.
The axis of the lead is the death (the skull), under a butterfly (the soul) balanced on a wheel (Fortune).
Under the arms of the level, and opposed in perfect balance, are the symbols of poverty on the right (a stick a beggar and a cape), and wealth to the left (the sceptre a purple cloth and the ribbon).
Popular belief says the phrase “Memento mori” originated in ancient Rome: as a Roman general was parading through the streets during a victory triumph, standing behind him was his slave, tasked with reminding the general that although at his peak today tomorrow he could fall or be brought down. The servant is thought to have conveyed this with the warning “Memento mori” that means “Remember that you will die”.
This moseic have been also used for the cover of the Pink Floids’ album “Live at Pompeii” recorded in the Amphitheatre of the city in the year 1971.
The Blue Grotto, situated at Anacapri, was known locally as “Grotta Gràdola”, the name being taken from the neighbouring ancient landing place of “Gràdola” and “Gradelle”, popular because of its narrow access, and because of the legends about monsters and witches that dwelt in it.
The revelation of the “Blue Grotto” was thanks to two German tourists who visited Capri in 1826: Augustus Kopisch, a writer, and Ernst Fries, a painter; their chief merit was that of bestowing a new name: “Grotta Azzurra”.
The cave sank during a geological age 15-20 metres below the present sea level and thus blocked every opening through which light might enter directly, except the narrow breach of access with the result that both the cavity of the grotto and the sea basin that is enclosed in it acquired two different and magical colours, for, on one side the sunlight penetrating from below through a veil of sea water springs out and is reflected onto the sides and the vault of the grotto colored with azure; and on the other side, this light being reflected by the white sandy bottom of the grotto renders the water strangely opalescent so that any object that is bathed in it drips and vibrates with a silvery light.
The Romans not only knew the Blue Grotto (in italian “Grotta Azzurra”), but had made it the object of particular investigations, though the type of their researches was obscure. At that time the conditions of the grotto were the same as they are today in the days of Augustus and Tiberius. And a careful study of the remains of Roman works inside the grotto and of the ancient structures on the outside, may assist us to understand what the “Blue Grotto” meant to the Romans.
Along the end wall facing the breach of access the Grotta presents a cavity; this cavity is accessible by a small landing step covered by Roman concrete work; while a square opening in the shape of a window which is accessible from a step evidently cut by human hands is opened in the wall of the rock just opposite the entrance.
The rocky landing step and the square opening seem to be made on purpose to permit people to land and to enjoy comfortably from the land the fascinatingly clear basin of azure. But this square hollows reaches deeper into the mountain becoming an increasingly winding and narrow cuniculus. The slabs of rock heaped at its sides suggest that the Romans opened this tunnel searching for spring water and abandoned it after a fruitless exploration.
Because of its position below the imposing “Villa di Damecuta” it is obvious to suppose that the Grotta was a “nymphaeum” that was accessible from the sea, and perhaps also from the land by a more secret road that has now crumbled.
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The statue became part of the collection of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese in 1562. It represents the Titan Atlas supporting the globe on his shoulders, on which are represented in bas-relief forty-three constellations.
The peculiarity of sculpture, a Roman copy of the II century. d.C., is its uniqueness, as there are no other figurative monuments that bear witness, in an equally complete, of the iconography of the celestial sphere as it had gained in the astronomical culture Greek-Hellenistic.
The celestial sphere is depicted as seen from the outside, as it would appear to an observer outside the universe. All the elements are rendered in very tenuous relief: the equator, the tropics and the northern and southern rims.
On the globe are represented 43 constellations including the twelve signs of the zodiac, with the constellation of Aries in the equinoctial point, corresponding to the astronomical situation of the fourth century BC; 17 constellations are in the northern hemisphere and 14 in the astral.
The globe Farnese, therefore, constitutes the most ancient representation of the constellations.
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A brief tour with Emiliano Tufano at the Piscina Mirabilis.
Contact Emiliano http://www.pompeiin.com
In Miseno, on the north-west side of the gulf of Naples, there is the biggest Roman cistern of drinkable water ever built in Italy, realized during the Augustan period. Entirely excavated in the tufa rock, it has a capacity of 12.000 cubic meter of water, it’s 15 meters high, 72 m long and 25 m wide and it is covered by a vault, supported by 48 enormous cruciform pillars to form five long naves. The cistern was built to collect water for the Roman fleet docked in Miseno’s harbour. It represented the final tank of the Augustan aqueduct (Aqua Augusta) that, from its springs in Serino (100 kilometers away), brought water to Naples and the Phlegrean Fields.