My mornings in Naples started earlier than normal, though I didn't mind it one bit. I quickly fell in love with the city, and liked how I was able to see the daily life of the city, sans tourists, if I went on a photo walk before 8 a.m. When I got to the Church of the Gesù Nuovo, the flower vendors were still not set up, and the church staff was still arriving.
I walked around the mid-18th century Baroque space, looking up, marveling at the ceilings and molding. I photographed the wealth of the Kingdom of Naples, a century before it became woven into the country of Italy. The light entering from the windows near the ceiling was cast golden from the gold plates on the ceiling and the rich brown hue of the wooden walls. It was architectural richness that I cannot easily see in my birthplace on the western side of the Atlantic.
Then I looked down, and I was taken to a scene that was so familiar, and yet not.
A pair of running shoes and legs wearing slim-fitting jeans. I was jetted back to the present day. And the scene was more intriguing than the picture perfect ceilings and molding.
It was familiar, yet it wasn't. Even while growing up Catholic, I'd never seen such a classic scene of kneeling confession. And to think that this man may have stopped by confession on his way to work in the morning. I'd never known anyone to do that.
This is the wonderful thing about travel. You see the familiar and the foreign. And there is beauty in it all.