A room with a view. From The San Martino cloisters

A room with a view from The cloisters of San Martino in Naples
A room with a view from The cloisters of San Martino in Naples

Continuing with our trips around Naples at the top of the hill is one of the most important monuments in the city, the Certosa di San Martino (San Martino’s charterhouse).  You can reach this part of town from Chiaia via de funiculars or by Vespa which is the best way of transportation in Naples due to traffic, the narrowed streets and of course…the parking, besides getting around on a Vespa can only make your trip in Italian cities even more authentic.

After the unification of Italy the San Martino cloisters and the National Museum of San Martino were restructured.  Originally built in the XIV century.
After the unification of Italy the San Martino cloisters were drastically restructured. Originally built in the XIV century, part of the complex was turned in to a Museum. From there the dramatic views of the Gulf of Naples and the Vesuvius.
In 1325 the construction of the cloister begun under the rules of Charles of Anjou.  The Monastery was deconsecrated in 1806 and since 1866 became a Museum displaying the greatest pieces of Neapolitan art and history
In 1325 the construction of the cloister begun under the rules of Charles of Anjou. The Monastery was deconsecrated in 1806 and since 1866 became a Museum displaying the greatest pieces of Neapolitan art and history
Carthusian monks lived in the Monastery designed by Giovanni Antonio Dosio at the end of the XVI century.  The original look dramatically changed over the years with Baroque and Mannerist rebuilding.
Carthusian monks lived in the Monastery designed by Giovanni Antonio Dosio at the end of the XVI century. The original look dramatically changed over the years with Baroque and Mannerist rebuilding.
Inside the Museum of San Martino there are permanent and itinerant exhibitions like the Bourbon Royal Boat from an exhibit in collaboration with the Naval Museum of Naples.
Inside the Museum of San Martino there are permanent and itinerant exhibitions like the Bourbon Royal Boat from an exhibit in collaboration with the Naval Museum of Naples.
From the Aragonese to the Bourbon dynasties the Museum of San Martino presents important pieces dedicated to the Kingdom of Naples.
From the Aragonese to the Bourbon dynasties the Museum of San Martino presents important pieces dedicated to the Kingdom of Naples.
The Nativity scenes (Presepe) became a form of art and a very important part of the Neapolitan tradition in the 19th century.  This part of the Museum of dedicates an entire section to The Presepe.
The Nativity scenes (Presepe) became a form of art and a very important part of the Neapolitan tradition in the 19th century. This part of the Museum dedicates an entire section to The Presepe.
Another scene of the Nativity I found on display at The Grand Hotel Vesuvio in Naples during the presentation of the "Duemilla Vini" guide to the wines in Italy.  Note the attention to the details and how simple acts of life take active part in the Presepe Napoletano
Another scene of the Nativity I found on display at The Grand Hotel Vesuvio in Naples during the presentation of the “Duemilla Vini” guide to the wines in Italy. Note the attention to the details and how simple acts of life take active part in the Presepe Napoletano
Even Pulcinella is part of the Presepe (Nativity) Pulcinella is a classical character from the "commedia dell'arte" and is a traditional character in the Neapolitan puppetry both contemporary with the art of Nativity craft in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Even Pulcinella is part of the Presepe (Nativity) Pulcinella is a classical character from the “commedia dell’arte” and is a tradition in the Neapolitan puppetry. It shows how characters from different periods of time are mixed up, note the hanging baccala (cod fish) the provolone del Monaco cheese, the ugly tomatoes on a basket.

 

Pause for Coffee

In Naples coffee is a ceremony, the Neapolitans love their espressos very strong and you can have them everywhere, plenty of historic coffee shops and pasticcerias (cake shops) offering a wide range of coffee brands, many of them born in Naples such as Pasalacqua and Kenon.  In fact the moka pot (Napoletana) is a Neapolitan invention dated back from the late 19th centuries.

Coffee time in Naples is anytime, I take mine macchiato (with a dash of foam) if you are watching the line ask for "dietor" a low calorie non aspartame sweetener  because they will assume you will drink your coffee with sugar.
Coffee time in Naples is anytime, I take mine macchiato (with a dash of foam) if you are watching the line ask for “dietor” a low calorie non aspartame sweetener because they will assume you will drink your coffee with sugar.
coffee break and newspaper readings in Piazza Vanvitelli at the Vomero quarter
coffee break and newspaper readings in Piazza Vanvitelli at the Vomero quarter
Scaturchio, one of the traditional coffee and cake shops in the Vomero quartier right next to the Funiculare station.
Scaturchio, one of the traditional coffee and cake shops in the Vomero quarter right next to the Funiculare station.
Café Biandini , as you can see most coffee shops in Italy sell more than coffee,  they are also a bar, a bakery and most of them offer a lunch menu and aperitif buffet from 5 pm.  I love the elegant uniforms their trained baristas wear.
Café Biandini , as you can see most coffee shops in Italy sell more than coffee, they are also a bar, a bakery and some offer a lunch menu and aperitif buffet from 5 pm. I love the elegant uniforms their trained baristas wear.

Italians know if someone is not Italian when they order cappuccinos during the day, afternoon or after a meal.  Cappuccinos are meant to be drunk only with breakfast, with those delicious “cornettis” (pastries).  After lunch or diner they drink their espressos.  Coffee is a way of expression and is a form of art.  Enjoy an espresso before or after your Museum visit.  See you tomorrow!!!

A classic Italian breakfast: cappuccino, orange juice and cornettis, the pastries can plain or filled with nutella, marmalade or chocolate.
A classic Italian breakfast: cappuccino, orange juice and cornettis, the pastries can be plain or filled with nutella, marmalade or chocolate.

(c) 2013 Montserrat Franco.  All pictures by me taken with IPhone 4S and Sony Cybershot.

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