June 4, 2017: Bay of Naples, Cumae

Resting on the bus from Fiumicino Airport in Rome to Cumae—two seats per person and enough leg room to properly relax!






Learning to play the Italian card game Scopa. 

After a relaxing bus ride, we visited our first Italian site: Cumae. In Vergil’s Aeneid, Aeneas is said to have landed here first in mainland Italy, and to have consulted Apollo’s prophetess, the Sibyl, in her cave.  She then leads him down into the Underworld to visit his father, Anchises, and gather courage and advice for the difficult tasks that still lie ahead.

The Sibyl’s Cave:

Excisum Euboicae latus ingens rupis in antrum,

quo lati ducunt aditus centum, ostia centum,

unde ruunt totidem voces, responsa Sibyllae.

(Aeneid 6.42-44)

“The huge side of the Euboean cliff has been cut out into a cave,

where one hundred broad entrances lead, one hundred mouths,

from where as many voices rush, the replies of the Sibyl.”

Enjoying the view of the Bay of Naples from the temple remains in Cumae.  (Is that a dab or are Apollo and Diana preparing to let loose their arrows?)

After visiting Cumae we got back on the bus and checked into our hotel: the Vesuvian Institute in Castellamare di Stabia.  We had dinner and reflected on the events of our first day in the beautiful backyard garden, overlooking the Bay and Mount Vesuvius itself!

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