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Naples, Amalfi and Palermo 2012

I have considered myself a man of culture and yet in my heart of hearts I knew I was a fraud; how could I masquerade as man of taste without having been to Naples, to have seen Vesuvius, and the ruins from that terrible cataclysmic eruption that hit in 79AD.

To know not only the art and architecture but also to experience what a true Napoli pizza, acknowledged the finest in the world, really is! The Amalfi Coast must be one of the most beautiful places in the world and it had been my dream to go there, and this was a journey to fulfill dreams! This did not disappoint me with vistas of colored houses perched precariously on steep slopes falling into the sea and Byzantine influenced churches, my cup of tea.

Palermo is more famous in popular culture as the home to the Mafia than the home of not one but two of the most astonishingly beautiful twelfth Century Norman churches that are no doubt at the apex of mosaic artistry for all of humanity. I refer to La Martorana and the very spiritually satisfying Cappella Palatina built by Roger II, King of Sicily.

I thank my friend the great carpet scholar Stefano Ionescu for serving as my guide and travel companion for the Rome and Amalfi sections of this trip and helping to arrange the journey to Palermo and for this I am most grateful. If you are interested in such an adventure, please contact him directly at: <stefano_ionescu@yahoo.it>