Naples:life,death &
                Miracle contact: Jeff Matthews

Miscellany #80
started in mid-November 2020

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                1. Nov. 12
The National Archaeological Museum
IMPORTANT covid-crisis news: At this writing (Mid-Nov.'20) all museums in Italy are closed. My main entry on this website is here. For internet access:

The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli - acronym MANN) 
Italian-language websiteEnglish language website.  On-line accessibily.

The MANN site today is not working smoothy, but you can try.

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2. Nov.13
Friday the 13th!

Yes, today is Friday the 13th. Don't worry about it. Interestingly, the number 13 is lucky in Italy (and in a number of cultures in the world). In Naples and the Campania region, in general, you might say "tredici" (13) if you think your luck has changed for the worse as an exhortation to regain that luck. The day to worry about here is Friday, the 17th. That one is very complicated. There's one coming up in September of 2021. I may remember to warn you. On the other hand, I may not. It's unlucky just to mention it.

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3. Nov.14
Christmas in Malta 

Friend Peter H. of Wash. D.C. calls my attention to a remarkable new museum there. It is the Museum
of the Bible, located at 400 4th St. SW, Washington, DC 20024 (tel.1-866-430-6682). It is currently closed, but you can look at their displays on-line here.

Of particular interest for the coming season is

The Nativity Crib is a constructed model of the birth of Jesus, the Holy Family in Bethlehem. In Italian that display is called a "presepe" or "presepio". The Neapolitan models are well-known and are explained here in my original entry on the subject. The island nation of Malta is very well known for them. From the museum's publicity for the exhibit:
Handmade Nativity scenes set in elaborate landscapes called “cribs” is a centuries-old tradition that carries strong significance in Maltese culture. This year, in partnership with the museum, the nation of Malta sponsored a crib decorating contest. Come see the Top 10, featured in this all-new exhibition, Christmas in Malta.
The images shown (above) are two of the ten. Here is a separate entry on the Republic of Malta.

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4. Dec.1   Virtual Museums are taking up some of  the "covid cultural slack" in many places in Italy and elsewhere in the world. If the real museums are closed (and, in Italy, most of them are) and you can't go out, anyway, then you are going to have a few problems going out to a museum. Major tourist sites near Naples have "interactive" displays anyway. There is a good one at Herculaneum, for example. The assumption here, of course, is that you at least have to be able to get out and go to the physical site, itself. We hope that time is not far off. But the technology of developing digital interactive displays has helped some places that are simply too large to see unless you have a few days. The Cilento area, south of Salerno is a vast bulge in the coast that is one of the most scenic areas in Italy. So in the hope that we will all soon be able to get out and "get close", the town of Santa Maria di Castellabate has announced the opening of a modern, interactive" museum on the premises of the 18th-century Villa Matarazzo. It is the museum of the "The Natural Beauty of the Cilento, Diano and Alburni National Park." Visitors, with the use of 3-D goggles, may take a self-guided tour of the three pavilions on the premises (image, above right) and tour the entire park.

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