Sunday, July 24, 2011

Odeon of Posillipo

Italy is a beautiful country, but it is sometimes difficult to understand the rationale behind the opening hours of many of its monuments. The Imperial Villa at Pausylipon, restored by - as so much in Italy - EU funds, was closed. Why? I can't think of any reason, instead of that the restored villa doesn't add to any pride, or a lack of 'ownership', or just because of the imcompetance of the Italian management. Therefore this picture of its odeon had to be taken by a zoom lense.

During the late republican period a magnificent residential complex was bulit on the hillside facing Sorrento. In its heyday, this villa covered an area of approximately 9 hectares including gardens, a theater, baths, vines and finds ponds. Historical sources cite the Roman knight Publio Vedio Pollione, a rich freed man originally form Benevento, as the first owner of a large villa built on the site which he called Pausilypon (meaning respite from pain in Greek) a modified version of which came to refer to the whole hill once the Greek name had been given to a villa, Villa Posilipi, a hill, Mons Posilipensis, and a hamlet; Casale Posilipi. Posillipo was the name finally given to the area.

The theater unfortunately can't be seen from the place I was standing. A long walk to the entrance just fueled my frustration about the inertion in this country.

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