The Day We Became British

26 Aug

One of the days in Napoli, we headed to a set of ancient Greek ruins called Paestum.  Once we arrived, we were greeted by our favorite guide again (Silvia) who pulled me and Enzo aside.  A situation had presented itself.  All EU citizens under 18 (which was all of the kids) got into the ruins for free, but Americans would have to pay the full price of admission.  As a result, we became Brits who spoke no Italian.

I went over to the bus and ordered the kids not to speak until we entered the ruins.  I, of course, was free to speak because I only did so in Italian.  We paid for the tickets and the guide mentioned that we were a group of high schoolers from London here to study ancient Greek culture.  The lady even marveled “oh, how wonderful” before letting us inside.

The ruins themselves were beautiful.  Note some of the pictures below.

The best-preserved temple in Paestum

Probably the coolest part was that archaeologists had found an ancient burial site (one of the only ones preserved from the Greek times).  Inside, they found 8 sealed jars.  When they opened those jars, they found honey.  IT STILL RAN. How cool.  No one tasted it though.

There was a second part to the trip.  A museum.  We again had to pretend to be British.  The story grew more complex.  We had our tickets from before, but in theory had to get a second set.  Silvia told the lady that we had left our IDs with the professor (Enzo) for security purposes but that he would meet us after the trip.  The lady that was fine, and that if he came, he could show her the IDs.  I then called Enzo and asked him not to show up at the museum.

It worked and the museum was really cool.   One of the treasures was a set of tomb paintings.  Of these, the most famous and studied is called the “Tomb of the Diver.”  It represents the voyage between this life and the next life.  It was really cool.  See it below.

Ultimately, a really cool visit.  Cheers, Paestum!

One Response to “The Day We Became British”


  1. Enzo offers some “protection” « Not Intent on Arriving - August 29, 2010

    […] August 29, 2010 by Anthony Napoli is a dangerous place.  One day, as we’re waiting to pretend that we’re British, we take a trip out to the beach.  Most of the kids are chilling and chatting (doing everything to […]

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