Exploring the Art of Naples… with Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen studied history of art at the University of East Anglia and obtained his MA in medieval paintings. He has recently returned from Italy, where he was the expert lecturer on the Bay of Naples: Pompeii & Herculaneum art tour, run by Cox & Kings on behalf of the Royal Academy of Arts. We asked him a few questions about his experience…
What did you enjoy most about the tour to the Bay of Naples?
I enjoyed the detailed focus on the archaeological heritage of the Bay of Naples. As well as a full-day tour of Pompeii, we visited lesser-known sites such as Baia, Villa Oplontis and the Stabia Villas, which are not found on many other itineraries. This enabled us to explore our subject in far greater depth.
What did the clients enjoy most about the tour?
A particular highlight for the clients on this tour was the contrast between the Roman sites, the rural beauty of Paestum and an afternoon in lively Naples. Staying in the peaceful and attractive town of Cava de Tirreni was also popular.
Which special visits were included in the tour?
The Stabiae villas at Castellamare are often neglected by tour groups but offer fascinating ground plans, remains of frescoes and excellent views over the bay. We visited two sites, one where the famous ‘Flora of Stabiae’ was found, in peace and quiet, and a genuine feeling of exclusivity.
What are you looking forward to seeing when you next return to the area?
I am looking forward to seeing the stupendous temples at Paestum at a different time of year and in a different light. They are one of the undoubted highlights of Italy and have been visited by artists and photographers for many years now. They represent an incredible survival from the age of classical Greece and the early Italic period and should not be missed under any circumstance.
Is there anything else you like about this particular itinerary?
The free time provided on two afternoons of the tour enables the clients to explore on their own with the help of the lecturer and local guide.
See the Bay of Naples: Pompeii & Herculaneum art tour >