Monday, August 27, 2012

Why I Should Be Reading Mark Twain

"We came out from under the solemn mysteries of this city of the Venerable Past - this city which perished, with all its old ways and its quaint old fashions about it, remote centuries ago, when the Disciples were preaching the new religion, which is as old as the hills to us now - and went dreaming among the trees that grow over acres and acres of still buried streets and squares, till a shrill whistle and the cry of "All Aboard - last train for Naples!" woke me up and reminded me that I belonged in the nineteenth century, and was not a dusty mummy, caked with ashes and cinders, eighteen hundred years old. The transition was startling. The idea of a railroad train actually running to old dead Pompeii, and whistling irreverently, and calling for passengers in the most bustling and business-like way, was as strange a thing as one could imagine, and as unpoetical and disagreeable as it was strange."

Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, 1869

The above quote was in a Munich, Germany museum. We visited Munich back in December for Christmas Market-palooza. One of the museums as well as the popular tourist site, The Residenz, had tons of artwork, paintings, etc. from Naples. One of the museums was even featuring an exhibit on the Campania region with photographs taken by George Sommer in the late 1800s. And we had fun finding photos in Munich that were taken from the area right by our house.
I have not read The Innocents Abroad, but it is on my Kindle. Now let's just hope I get to it before we leave Italy (not likely, but one can dream).


  1. I have a feeling you might be reading a little more "Let Me Hold You Longer" and Baby Einstein than Mark Twain. But yes, one can dream.

  2. Thank you for sharing this blog about your search for gelato. Been searching myself for the good ones in Italy. One of them is mister Sergio Dondoli in San Gimignano. After reading about him I had to taste his gelato so we planned our holiday close to this famous little city. Another place for gelato that I like is in Verona and called Savoia famous for Nasce il Gianduiotto and Bombardino.

    You wrote about Georg Sommer the painter, also known as Giorgio Sommer the photographer who lived in the south of Italy. I was wondering about the museum in Munich where you saw his pictures. I would like to see them myself because my parents own one of his paintings. It is a big one of 1,2 x 0,8 meters and impressed me since my youth. Tomorrow I'll see it again when I bring my son to his grandparents. Thank you in advance if you can help me.

    best regards,

    Norman Saarloos
    The Netherlands

    PS: I visited the Campania area around Benevento a few times and was impressed by it's beauty