Italy | 7-8 August 1928

Capuchin Church 1928DATE August 7th
PLACE Florence to Rome to Naples
Today was another dreary day on these awful hot trains. We stopped at Rome for dinner, but before we went to get a hair cut & then over to a church [1] where the decorations are made of the skulls of the monks then on to Naples after a rotten dinner, chased up 4 letters. We arrived at Naples about 12:00 & then a ride in private cars to our Hotel Savoy on the bay where we could see Vesuvius [2] in all its fiery glory.

Vesuivus_1929_postcardDATE August 8th
PLACE Naples Amalphi Sorrento
This morning we left for the Amalfi Sorrento drive via Pompeii. We stopped at Pompeii & saw the whole town it was wonderfully interesting. Then on to Amalfi and much dust & heat. Stopping there for lunch then pushing on to Sorrento where we stayed at the Hotel Sirene very good. Took a swim which was marvelous. Then dinner & shopping afterwards.

SorrentoPompeii_1928This home movie footage from 1928 shows scenes from the Amalfi coast and Pompeii Courtesy of the Oklahamo Historical Society. Please lower or turn off the audio here.

Vincent Price Travel Journal 1928 (reproduced courtesy of Peter Fuller)

Vincent Price Travel Journal 1928 (reproduced courtesy of Peter Fuller)

Capuchin Church[1] The church Vincent visited is Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, or Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins located at Via Veneto in Rome. It’s ossuary, known as the Capuchin Crypt, contains the bones of over 4,000 Capuchin friars, collected between 1528 and 1870, that have been turned into decorative displays in the Baroque and Rococo style. Here’s the Italian website (here).

Vesuvius in 1928[2] In 1928, Vesuvius was still very active (see the news clipping above from 9 August 1928 or download a 1928 British Pathe film here), having last erupted in 1926. While that eruption had been minor, the effects of the early 1906 eruption was still very much evident when Vincent visited the region. This had resulted in the deaths of over 100 people were killed and much damage to the city of Naples, so much so that the 1908 Summer Olympics had to be transferred to London’s White City. The next eruption, also minor, would occur on 6 June, 1929, while a major earthquake on July 23 1930, in the Irpinia region (near Avellino), would result in 1500 people losing their lives.

[sic] Although Vincent misspells words in his journal, we have kept them as he wrote them.