Pompeii

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Pompeii Archaeological Park

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Pompeii is an amazing archeological site that showcases the day in the life of the Romans. On that fateful day in 79AD the town was covered by ash and lava from the eruption of the overshadowing volcano, Vesuvius.
Everything stopped at that moment and was preserved for 1500 thousand years when it was first rediscovered.

The ash and lava that spewed from the volcano tragically killed the citizens of Pompeii but due to the volcanic material which was soft, the city was wonderfully persevered.  Not only the buildings but also the interiors of the houses and shops were left just as they were on that day creating a great opportunity to experience the daily life in Roman Pompeii.    As you study the walls of the buildings you will find painted messages or advertising for an electoral campaign.  On other walls there are crude jokes directed at particular people.  On the shop walls and entrances you can find the service or product sold there and the name of the owner.  All this gives a fascinating insight into the culture and social fabric of the people of the city.

Things to see

On the outskirts of the town you can view working class and peasant houses and workshops.  You can still see furniture and tools and kitchenware inside the homes.  Also in this area are the brothels what are very clearly marked.

Pompeii was first discovered in the 16th century but it was not until 1738 that excavations began in a systematic way.
For over 250 years now Pompeii has had a steady stream of visitors.  In 1997 Pompeii was designated part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.  It is one of the top attractions in Italy drawing over 2.5 million visitors.

Naples

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Naples is located on the south-western coast of Italy, bracketed by the Sorrento Peninsula and Hill of Posillipo. The ominous Mount Vesuvius rises from the middle of the coast like a giant from an age past. Within the bay are the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida, all of which are very popular touristic destinations. Other popular attractions located on the coast are the famed ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both destroyed by the massive volcanic eruption of 79 AD.

The city is among the oldest uninterruptedly populated municipalities in the entire world. The Greek founded the first settlement during the Bronze Age, later the Roman took the power. After the fall of the Roman Empire the city maintained its importance. For this reason Naples was theatre of many political battles until the end of the 13th century when the city passed under the Spanish control and the Kingdom of Naples was founded. The Spanish ruled for centuries and they deeply influenced the culture of the city: the Neapolitan dialect, the food and the music are perfect examples of this influence. Only in 1861 the territory became part of the newly created Kingdom of Italy. During the Second World War Naples was heavily bombed; its suburbs were basically rebuilt after the war. Also the Port was remodeled, today it is the European’s most important one and in term of number of passengers is the second one in the world.

However Naples has so much to offer also if your interests do not lie only in history! The city is famous for its incredible dynamism, the mouth-watering food and the breath-taking view over the Gulf of Naples!

A culinary tour of the city will leave you speechless: start your day with an espresso, the Neapolitan coffee is considered the best of the Italian peninsula, then try a famous sfogliatella, a shell-shaped filled pastry, and ended your day with the best pizza in the world!

If you want to have a truly authentic Neapolitan experience you can’t miss a concert of traditional Canzone Napoletana. Songs like as ‘O sole mioTorna a SurrientoFuniculì funiculà have played a significant role in the development of the western European popular music.

The city has something for every taste, so if some shopping is part of your dream list in Naples you will have only the spoilt for choice! The stunning Galleria Umberto I for example is a beautiful mall located in the heart of central Naples perfect for a few relaxing hours of shopping.

Things to see

In 1995 the UNESCO declared the city’s historic center a World Heritage Site. Due to its 27 centuries of history many gorgeous monuments are embellishing the area.

The central Piazza del Plebiscito is the most important square of the city. It was constructed during the Napoleon’s period; the plaza unique atmosphere is created by the presence of the stunning Royal Palace, the Church of San Francesco da Paola and the beautiful Teatro di San Carlo, the oldest Italian opera house still in function.

Very famous are also the city’s castles: the Maschio Angioino, also known as Castel Nuovo, was constructed under Charles I the first king of Naples, it is probably one of the most famous building of Naples. It is called Castel Nuovo (the New Castle) because it replaced the Castel Dell’Ovo (Egg castle) built by the Norman.

The city is also well-known for its many museums: the Naples National Archeological Museum hosts one of the biggest Roman’s collections in the world. The Museo Capodimonte is worth a visit too; once a royal palace today the museum can count on a stunning painting’s collection with works of artists like Titian and Caravaggio. Part of the building is still furnished with original 18th century furniture and porcelain.

Sorrento

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Named after the nearby city of Sorrento, this beautiful peninsula divides the Gulf of Naples from the Gulf of Salerno, with the Amalfi Coast stretching out on the southern side. Meanwhile, the island of Capri rises from the sea just west of the tip. The Sorrento Peninsula is formed by the Monti Lattari, which are a mountain range extending from Monti Picentini, in the Apennine Mountains area, all the way to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Located on this peninsula are several cities and communes such as Sorrento, Vico Equense and Massalubrense.

Things to see

Aside from its wild and natural beauty, tourists visit the Sorrento Peninsula for its gastronomic specialties such as mozzarella from Agerola, provolone del Monaco, and of course, the lemon-based liqueur called Limoncello.

 

Limoncello

Limoncello is a lemon-based liqueur that is mainly produced in the South of Italy, particularly around Naples, Sorrento and along the Amalfi Coast. It is the second most popular liqueur, coming just behind Campari.