Monday, December 26, 2011

Murat's Road

December 26, [Strada Nuova].—Went ashore; admitted to pratique, and were received here. Walter has some money left, which we must use or try a begging-box, for I see no other resource, since they seem to have abandoned me so. Go ashore each day to sight-seeing. Have the pleasure to meet Mr. and Mrs. Laing-Meason of Lindertis, and have their advice and assistance and company in our wanderings almost every day. Mr. Meason has made some valuable remarks on the lava where the villas of the middle ages are founded: the lava shows at least upon the ancient maritime villas of the Romans; so the boot of the moderns galls the kibe of the age preceding them; the reason seems to be the very great durability with which the Romans finished their domestic architecture of maritime arches, by which they admitted the sea into their lower houses.
We were run away with, into the grotto very nearly, but luckily stopped before we entered, and so saved our lives. We have seen the Strada Nuova—a new access of extreme beauty which the Italians owe to Murat.

The Bay of Naples is one of the finest things I ever saw. Vesuvius controls it on the opposite side of the town.

The Strada Nuova, as Scott mentions in his journal entry of December 26, 1831, was built during the reign of Napoleon’s former Marshal, Joachim Murat, who married Napoleon’s sister Caroline, and became King of Naples in 1808.  His reign lasted until 1815.

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