18 May 2018

Our time in Italy (continued)

Of course, for the church group the trip to Pompeii was a spiritual pilgrimage as well as a social occasion to be enjoyed with family and friends.  We were accompanied by a priest from the local abbey and a nun from the local convent. She also sings in the choir. 

a concert event in the abbey church
when a recording was made for a CD
I had the opportunity to take a photo of the whole group
 gathered outside on the steps of the church after the service.
The two boys in the front row are our great-nephews
  standing with their grandmothers and my other sister-in-law
 is standing in the middle of them.

Dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary the church is also classed as a cathedral and minor basilica.  A painting above the high altar depicts the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus presenting rosaries (prayer beads) to St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena.

photos taken before and after the service
the high altar

mosaics in the side naves
 Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
Jesus carries the Cross
the Crucifixion of Jesus
the Risen Jesus Christ
The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven
We were sitting under this painted cupola during the service.
I was fascinated by the figures in the painting especially the
angel in the pale pink robes to the left.
Thankfully there was time to take photos after the service, but
as the whole of the church was elaborately decorated
I could have spent hours looking at the images
 and art work.

St Michael slaying the dragon
St Margaret Mary Alacoque's mystical vision of
the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This image
can also be seen
on the bronze doors of the bell tower.

Lunchtime ...the restaurant was a manageable
short walk from the church.

a good menu - fish or meat choice
although the gnocchi was also a vegetarian option

I think the apple pie must have been a local speciality
as it contained candied citrus fruit

a view of the bell tower from the restaurant
The great-nephews would have liked to have gone to the top
of the tower. There would have been great views across the Bay of Naples, 
the Roman excavations and Mount Vesuvius in the other direction.
It would have been a great work out after that lunch, but only for
 for the young and energetic ones in the group! 

However, we walked in the other direction towards
the place where we would meet the coach
taking in some of the typical Neapolitan sights
along the way.

giant lemons

limoncello and other citrus liqueurs
and products

the information centre

My brother-in-law bought his grandson
a Roman helmet and my sister-in-law
bought a box of rock specimens
from Mount Vesuvius for her grandson.

We spent some more time relaxing with our family
near an entrance to the excavations.

No time, of course, to go inside and you need at least a day
of it anyway.  However, there are a couple of buildings
 outside the Roman site, constructed mainly of glass,
where you can see some of the exhibits from
 the archaeological excavation.

Soon it was time to leave the Naples area and head back to our village. We arrived back safely after a good day out.

the abbey May 2018

Thank you for your interest and recent visits and comments on my blog.  My personal computer is still causing some frustration as the speed is slow although the connection seems to have settled down.  
Wishing you a good weekend.  It will be my birthday and we're looking forward to our grand daughter coming back from uni to be with us for the occasion.   Both local grandchildren have finished some exams so hopefully we can all relax and enjoy some time together.
More blog posts on Italy soon!
Linda :)   


  1. Always love seeing the beautiful old churches and the history of the area. When we were in Bethlehem many years ago at the Church of the Nativity, an Italian tour group broke out in song as we viewed the birthplace of Jesus. My friend and I immediately started crying. Away in a Manger in Italian is absolutely beautiful. :) Happy birthday!

    1. It's good to hear from you Tammy. The experience in Bethlehem would have been very emotional and the spontaneous singing special. Thank you re. good wishes for my birthday.

  2. I've just been catching up with your last posts about your time in Italy. How wonderful it all looks, the buildings,the food, the blue skies. the cathedral in this post looks so beautiful. I hope you have a very happy birthday and a lovely birthday weekend:)

    1. It was an enjoyable day out and a nice way to spend time with family and friends. Thank you for your good wishes.

  3. What a brilliant day, you must have been tired when you hot back after all that sightseeing. The church is really beautiful, I could stay there for ages taking it all in. I'm not sure I could fit in all that tasty lunch. 😊

    1. The trip had been well planned with the church visit and lunch being the main events. There was not too much walking, coach travel was a great way to get there and back, good company and food made it a great day out.

  4. Sorry about the continued internet problems and have a happy birthday. That church is absolutely amazing and that cupola and all those paintings are too and I agree about the gruesome part. The food looks absolutely Divine and what a wonderful trip to have with your family and you had so many family and friends in that group that had to be really good

    1. Thank you for the good wishes for my birthday. The visual aspect of the decoration in that church was amazing. I like plain architecture, but I appreciated what I saw. Having close family and friends as members of the choir is something to be celebrated and a day out together was special.

  5. We once had an unscheduled extra day in Naples having missed a flight! I wish we’d had longer. Have a lovely birthday weekend Linda.

    1. I love the view of the Bay of Naples from car or coach. I think the city art galleries and museums must be interesting ones to visit and I would like to go back myself preferably on a guided tour. Thank you re my birthday plans for the weekend. The celebration will be extended into next week too!

  6. Such beauty in the Church I am not sure I would have been able to concentrate on the service. Wishing you everything you wish for yourself for your Birthday weekend.

    1. I must admit I looked up several times at those paintings in the cupola above our head during the service! I also shut my eyes and listened to the choir singing. There was a lovely atmosphere The white and cream roses at the altar were gorgeous too. Thank you for your good wishes for my birthday. I know it will be a lovely weekend with the Royal wedding to watch on tv as well.

  7. Nice shots and very accurate description...
    You really enjoyed your time there.
    All the best for your birthday!

  8. I have not heard Pompeii described like this, a spiritual journey. What made it that way for you? (Maybe this is a common thing? I just haven't heard it before. :)

    1. First of all Pompeii is usually associated with the Roman excavations, but there's more to experience there because the modern town has developed and the Basilica is a special, devotional place for the residents, the people of the area and is also a national pilgrimage site. That's why it's also a spiritual journey for many people to travel there. It was special for me and my husband on a personal level to share the occasion with those we love - family and friends. We were also supporting the choir. Their contribution during the church service was to give glory to God. I hope this answers your question.

  9. What lovely posts about your trip to Italy. I absolutely love Italy and have visited three times over the past 16 years. Not enough but I am lucky to have been able to have these holidays. I love the food, the language, the landscape and the history. I have visited Pompeii twice as a tourist and Naples once. I love it there and appreciate your photos and story of the choir and a wider view of the area than just the archeological sites. When we last visited we stayed off the main tourist drag in a place called Vico Equense. We enjoyed sitting in the square in the evening watching the world go by. There was some kind of festival happening and the town felt full of families enjoying their family time in the evening.

    I hope you have having a wonderful birthday Linda.

    1. Thank you Jan. It's good to hear from you and to know you love Italy too. I think you went to Liguria which is also a beautiful region especially on the coast. In the Sorrento area Vico Equense must be a lovely fishing village and being near the ferry in Sorrento maybe you went over to Capri? My dream is to go back and stay in Sorrento. One hotel we stayed in was up on the cliff set in a garden full of pine trees and it was magical. We have wonderful memories of Capri. Walking on that island would be a challenge for us these days, but we have lovely memories and photos of our visit there. We climbed to the top of the island and visited the place where Axel Munthe lived, (the author of The Story of San Michele, an autographical account of his life and work).

  10. What amazing places you visited -- the architecture, the food, the markets -- thanks, Linda, for allowing us to tag along! Best, -Beth

    1. Thank you Beth. I'm looking forward to visiting your blog to see your gardens and the work you've been doing in them these last few months.

  11. Wonderful photographs, but the ones inside the Church are stunning.
    My good wishes for your birthday.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thank you, Jan, for your good wishes. All the best to you too.

  12. The art work is the Basilica is amazing!

    1. The artists certainly put all their talent and heart into their work when decorating the Basilica.

  13. The church is fabulous - thanks for so many wonderful photos. Hope your birthday was fantastic!

  14. hello
    merci de se joli voyage en Italie
    j'ai voyagé un peu en Europe , mais je ne suis jamais allée en Italie
    gros bisous
    j'ai un peu changé mes paramÚtres de blog , tu ne verras plus beaucoup de ( IRIS) maintenant c'est mon vrai nom qui s'affiche à bientÎt

    1. Thank you Edith (Iris) for visiting my blog and for your kind comments. I wish you all the best.

  15. Goodness, the artwork is nothing short of astonishing, how beautiful! You are so lucky being able to visit so often and living in your beautiful village with access to so many stunning areas. Loved hearing about the choir and your family....just wonderful. All the very best for your birthday, enjoy with your family, so glad exams are done!xxx

    1. Thank you, Dina. I had a lovely birthday and I'll write more about it soon.


Thank you for your kind comment which is much appreciated. Have a lovely day.