the gulf of naples

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SORRENTO About the origin of Sorrento the historian Diodoro Siculo, relating to a legend, asserted that the town was founded by Liparos, son of Ausone, who was the king of the Ausoni and son of Ulysses and of the witch Circe. According to this legend, the origin of the town dates back to an ancient Italic population, that of the Ausoni, which accounted for one of the most ancient ethnic groups. However the town in pre-Roman age was subjected to a certain influence on the part of the Greek culture, whose traces can be easily found in its urbanistic settlement, the remains of the Parsano Gate, Marina Grande Gate, let alone the presence at the headland of the peninsula called Punta Campanella, of the Athenaion. All these elements could lead us to think of a Greek presence in the period between 474 and 420 b.C., when Sorrento was conquered by the Samniti. Following this Sorrento entered under the Roman's sphere of influence, against which it rebelled in the course of the social war when after joining the 'nucerina alliance' it was reconquered, together with Stabia, by Papius Multius in 90 b.C. and then the following year it was reduced once again to a state of submission by Silla. After the peace Silla sent a colony of veterans there. The Sorrentine peninsula boasts a secular tradition in the art of marquetry. From the first half of 800, talented Sorrentine artisans were the first to acquire such technique, which spread extensively all over the Neapolitan territory. Thanks to the fame which Sorrento enjoyed as a holiday resort, many important people from the world of politics and international culture fame, had the opportunity to appreciate the skill of our master cabinet-makers, enough to be engaged by Francesco I of Bourbon for the restoration of furniture in the Royal Palace.


A source of pride for the city of Sorrento is the art of “marquetry”, an ancient art that processes fine woods – skilfully worked by craftsmen that are real artists - into objects unique in th world.


Naples Vesuvius Capri Sorrento Pompeii GULF OF NAPLES


Mt. Vesuvius is the only active volcano in the continental Europe. It is a typical example of a volcano in a volcano, made by an outer broken cone, Mt. Somma (1133 metres). In it there is a smaller cone, the Mt. Vesuvius (1281 metres), divided by a lowering named Valle del Gigante (Giants Valley), a part of the ancient caldron where, in a later period, the Gran Cono (Great Cone) or Mt. Vesuvius arose. Mt. Vesuvius is a characteristic polygenic mixed volcano, meaning that it is constituted by lava of different chemical composition and formed either by casting of lava or pyroclastic deposits. The high embankments are formed by piles of lavic scoriae, which precipitated in incandescent state and spread towards the low slopes, proving precious for the vegetation thanks to their fertile material, rich in silicon and potassium. After the 79 A.D. eruption, that destroyed Pompeii, the Vesuvius erupted several times, the latest one in 1944. At present it is still. Proceeding along the rim of the crater, one can observe the whole extent of the southern part of the volcano and, during days with good visibility, it is possible to see the entire gulf of Naples, from the Sorrento peninsula to Cape Miseno, Procida and Ischia. It is also possible to note the large number of buildings which have been built on the vulnerable flanks of the mountain.  




The isle of Capri has two towns: Capri and Anacapri.  It is sourrounded e bathed from the Tyrrhenian sea, 35 km far away from the Neapolitan coasts and connected to the Sorrento peninsula from a submarine rocks extension along 5 Km. With its limestone cliff covers a territory of 10,36 Kmq, whose rocky coast is moslty high and offers many grottoes. In Capri the weather is moderated and humid, therefore the many species of plants and above all Mediterranean spot.


Capri is a sea of emotions,  a dream, a million charming secrets to discover. During a tour of the island you can go shopping in the most elegant and exclusive boutiques, you can swim in one of the most beautiful sea, you can go for natural or cultural trails. In Capri there are some classical archaeological ruins: Villa Augusto and the Villa Jovis, or famous venues like “La Piazzetta”. It’s also possible to visit the Charterhouse of Saint Giacomo or the Augustan Park with a nice terrace on the sea. The landscape offers some beauties like the Natural Arch washed away by the waves of the sea, the Grotto of Matromania also called Punta Tragara which offers a wonderful view on the Faraglioni rocks and the very famous Blue Grotto.


No doubt the Blue Grotto is the greatest tourist attraction on the isle of Capri, but is above all a magic place. The three big ochre rocks coming out from the sea called “Faraglioni” are the emblem of the island.


The Matermania Grotto is an impressive natural cavern transformed during the Roman period into a luxurious Nymphaeum This bold arch is what remains of a large grotto that penetraded the mountain.


Even today, what remains of Villa Jovis, the most outstanding of all the Tiberian villas, continues to evoke the strange personality of its author. The most important of the island’s twelve imperial villas, was built in the first century AD and covers an area of 7000 square metres.


A short and easy itinerary takes you through the centre of Capri, the famous boutiques and the augustan gardens, where another imperial villa should arise.


The Athenaion, the big sanctuary, where the worshipping of Athens was celebrated, according to the legend, was founded by Ulysses and, in a first moment, consecrated to the worship of the Sirens. This sanctuary look at the enchanting sea protected area of Punta Campanella, nearby the headland that divides the Gulf of Naples from the Gulf of Salerno. The area is surrounded by a landscape with high biodiversity, where barren sides alternate with deep valleys.


Naples, city of art, is opened to amphitheater shape on the sea and is delimited from the Vesuvio, Mounts of the coast and the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida and from Miseno Head. Placed in the center of the Mediterranean, principal city of the Campania Region and of the Southern Italy, Naples today covers a 117,27 surface of Km2 with a population of approximately 1.020.120 inhabitants.




The first colonization of the territory goes back to the IX a.C., nearly 3000 years ago, when "anatolici and achei merchants and travellers reached the Gulf to go towards the centres of minerals trade in the northern Tyrrhenian sea" where they founded “Partenope”, today’s Dell’Ovo Castle. After, Partenope was abandoned and called " Palepolis“, mening “old city”. In 475 A.D. thanks to the inhabitants of Cuma, was found “Neapolis”,the new city, in the eastern part of the old one. Neapolis was build following a plan called “Ioppomadeo” or “per strigas”: a net of orthogonal roads that are still visible in the modern city.


It is in the piazzas and historic streets that you can get to know the dynamism and culture of Naples, its literary cafes, and its art and music. And from its promontories you discover unforgettable views over the city's monuments and the enchanting Bay of Naples. Then there are the green areas of the city, walks along the seafront, exclusive and original shopping and the flavours of the excellent Partenopean cuisine.


Cloister of Santa Chiara Flora, National Archaeological Museum “Danae” Tiziano, Capodimonte Museum


Dell’ Ovo Castle Maschio Angioino Castle Sant’ Elmo Castle Royal Palace


With its excavated area, extending for approximately 44 ha, and the preservation state of its buildings, due to the particular burial (under a blanket of 6 meter of ash and rock) caused by the eruption of the Vesuvius in 79 AD, Pompeii can be considered the only archaelogical site which gives the real image of roman city. And the image is similar to cities, not preserved, of the same period.

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