To see Pompeii, Visit Naples?

By Michael Traynor



That headline sounds like it should be a bad joke, but it is true. The first excavations of Pompeii were a giant scavenger hunt to augment the private collection of Bourbon King Charles III. The best mosaics and paintings were stripped and removed to Naples, where they remain today. The rest not making the grade were tossed, damaged, or even irreparably destroyed.


Today buskoads of school kids pass through the portals of the old Naples archaeology museum. Tourists and tour groups remain comparatively rare, although it is here where the guidance of a historian, artist or archaeologist would have more value to add than tours at the cities themselves.

Below is a sampling of what awaits, with one exception. Charles III had some erotic tastes and the museum features some risqué objects in its collection. Photos below are all rated PG! If you want to view the mature audiences version, then visit Naples to see Pompeii!