Travel writing: trip to Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum

For those of you who speak or read Romanian: I would like to present here one my older cultural travel writing pieces. It can be read bellow on the scribd.com platform and is a description of a memorable visit, undertaken about eight years ago, to Naples and the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum buried by the catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE (in the times of emperor Titus, just three decades before Trajan conquered Dacia that set into motion the formation of the Romanian ethnic group). For me it was an important formative intellectual experience, which influenced my way of looking at facts on the ground, such as I do now in my architectural history investigations, and the way to communicate them in writing. I had also included a few photographs taken during that visit to the fantastic ruins of those venerable lost cities and places. Enjoy the lecture!

Pompei, a mosaic fragment of a private house altar (Lalarium), photo Valentin Mandache

Pompei, street adjacent to the city's main forum, view towards Salerno, photo Valentin Mandache

The undersigned on one of Pompeii's streets paved with hard Vesuvian basalt, next to a former bakery; 2002, photo Valentin Mandache

The city of Naples and Golfo din Napoli, together with Vesuvius seen from Vomero hill. The sketch indicates the relative size of the old Vesuvius volcano before the cataclysmic eruption of 79 CE; photo Valentin Mandache

Alexander the Great; fragment from the famous mosaic representation of the battle between the Macedonians and the Persians at Issus in 333 BCE, found in Casa del Fauno in Pompeii and kept at the National Museum of Archaeology of Naples; photo Valentin Mandache.

Bronze statues of ancient athletes, Roman copies of Greek originals, kept at the National Museum of Archaeology of Naples; photo Valentin Mandache.

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2 comments on “Travel writing: trip to Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum

  1. Sorry if this message has nothing to do with the post above, but I feel, really to get this out of my head.

    I just found this thread via Google. http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=176535&page=2

    I´ts scarcely ridiculous Mr. Mandache that all countries except us are still constructing buildings that resemblance the beauty of art from the seventeen or 18 century. Even Ukraine got in plans to build beautiful houses in neo-classical shape. We got probably the most beautiful heritage and style in form of neo-brancovanesc and neo-romanian, yet, We do nothing about it. Quite the contrary, we destroy and demolish it. I mean, just now recently the gov.. promised that nothing will be destroyed at the renevation of The National Library, yet what did they do? They covered up the beauty of neo-classical art with that hideous prison look…I mean, can´t we stop them? It´s obviously they got something under their sleeves.

    I´m starting to regret the death of Ceasescu and his heritage and I´m postdecembrist to the bone, and a support for the Royal Family. But this is outrageous sir.

    Anyway, I´m sorry to been bother with the vain of this message. But, if it´s not to much to ask. Can´t you show the thread that I linked to your partners, so probably someone in the parliament can get their eyes open.

    Is sadly, that someone like you can´t be the minister of culture.

    Keep up with the great work. Numai bine.

    • Thank you for your comment! The problem is the low level of education of the Romanian public which renders it vulnerable to the cultural and architectural onslaught of its so-called elites, especially those from the state and provincial leadership. I do not have much love for the Romanian state as it is now, in fact I just ignore it. I am a British citizen and very proud of that, a fact which shields me psychologically from the Romanian morons with money surrounding me, destroying their architectural heritage. My only political objective in Romania is the restoration of the monarchy! Valentin Mandache

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