Saturday, 10 September 2011

Luni – a small person’s view

Number One Son has his own take into museums and archaeological sites. Museums are not necessarily interesting but they may have fascinating additional features, such as large rooms and wide corridors to run through or steps and different bits meant to help wheelchair users to climb over. In the Roman town Luna at Luni near Carrara that managed the marble trade from the famous quarries the clanking metal ramp that was part of the wheelchair access was much more captivating than the reconstruction of a Roman kitchen in the museum. Similarly, the narrow space in a doorway in an additional exhibition building, sadly closed due to the limited number of personnel, besides the imposing ruins of the main excavated temple made him giggle and smile since he could squeeze himself between the door frames whereas the ruins themselves did not mesmerise him one bit.

It became apparent that his little bag of crispy snacks (healthy, of course) was much more important than a possibility to wander in this famous heritage area. One must admit that most of the area is relatively flat and the ruins, while worth visiting, are not like in Herculaneum. Most structures have preserved to the height of perhaps one metre and the distances feel vast across relative emptiness – this was a large town with urban magnitude after all. We also had slightly unfortunate timing since the morning visit to the amphitheatre organised by the guards was just over when we arrived to the museum, and there was no way we could spend the hours with the little one before the afternoon visit. However, that kind of standing features with a connection to blood, tears and sweat will probably feel exciting when his is slightly older, enjoying his knights and cowboys phase.

No matter how much we parents appreciated to see the town forever associated with the best building and sculpturing materials of the Roman Empire, widely on display in Rome and most key museums around the world, the highlight of the junior’s day was a moment of play in the play area by the cafeteria at the car park. The column drum he climbed onto became only second.

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