fredag 20. september 2013

A Cultural Journey

L-R: Laura, Stein, Giustino and Marisa in Salerno

On the second day of my stay, we set out on a trip to Acciaroli, an Italian hamlet  in the Province of Salerno some 60 km south of Napoli. This is where Marisa and Giustino had their beach house on the idyllic coastline of the Tyrrhenian Sea. On our way there we visited Salerno, a town known for its Schola Medica Salernitana (the first University of Medicine in the world).  People from all over the world came to the "Schola Salerni"; the sick, in the hope of recovering - and students, to learn the art of medicine. Thus - Salerno was known as the "Town of Hippocrates" for centuries.

With us on the excursion to Salerno was  none other than the above mentioned Laura from Rome, a sociable pilgrim who also is a notorious medico of the good old school. In Salerno we rediscovered the profound wisdom in the Regimen sanitatis Salernitanum, a twelfth century poem with a collection of timeless medical advice, e.g.:
If you stand in need of medical advice,these three things will be as good as a physician to you;a cheerful mind, relaxation from business and a moderate diet. 
A prescription we followed to a tee. We also visited the Virtual Museum of The Medical School of Salerno in the old San Gregorio Church in Salerno.

Scenes from Salerno

Visiting Paestum
In the afternoon we headed for the the former city of Paestum, a Graeco-Roman city founded by Greeks in the 7th century BC. The Temple of Hera (or Ceres), from around 550 BC, was one of many monuments that left me awestruck in admiration of past times and cultures.

Fresco from the Tomb of the Diver in Paestum (470 BC)
One of the world-famous gems in the National Archaeological Museum of Paestum is the fresco from the Tomb of the Diver, which dates from 470 BC. It shows a diver in mid-plunge, thought to represent the passage from life to death (see photo). The diver from Paestum has also become the symbol of the Mediterranean diet, a diet so healthy that it inspires physical exercise such as e.g. diving. Amazing.

Pictures from Paestum

Our journey on this fine day ended in the aforementioned beach house in Acciaroli, a town where Ernest Hemingway –captivated by the lovely location– stayed during his Italian trips after World War II.

Aspects of Acciaroli