Naples Travel Destinations
THE LOCAL LEGEND
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Before Vesuvius set the city’s residents scrambling with her blazing fury in AD 79, the crowds in Pompewere yelling and stampeding in all directions for an entirely different reason.
The occasion for this melee was a munera, (gladiatorial matches). The Pompeiians and the Nucerians (fierce rivals in the Bay of Naples) had packed the amphitheater one hot summer day in AD 59 to see the show, and were now hurling insults at each other, as was their custom.
Such intensity is not surprising to those acquainted with Italy’s modern-day sports scene; anyone who has heard the commotion that eminates from bars where soccer matches are televised knows that blood runs hot when foes are joined in close company. For the Pompeiians and the Nucerians it was no different. In fact, historical records suggest that the this rivalry was even more heated. After exhausting their repertoire of insults, the crowds began hurling stones as well, causing the eruption of a massive, no-holds-barred riot. Before it was over, fires had been set, many people were killed, and the city had plunged into a state of complete disarray. The Roman senate, as a punishment for the commotion, decreed that no games should be held for ten years-an awfully long time to wait for people so enthusiastic about them vast expanse of lush lawns, fountains, sculptures, and carefully pruned trees culminates in a 75m manmade waterfall the setting for the final scene of the 1977 Star Wars. To the right are the English Gardens, complete with fake ruins inspired by Pompeand Paestum. The palazzo boasts 1200 rooms, 1742 windows, 34 staircases, whose furnishings and decorations are equally grandiose. The Reg-gia is directly opposite the train station. (Open Su and Tu-Sa 9am-7:30pm. ‚6.) Trains run from Naples (40min. 35 per day, ‚2.70).
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