Following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79 A.D. Pompeii lay buried and forgotten for hundreds of years. The Town is high on the list of Wonders of the World and the excavations begun in the 18th century are still being carried out today.
For so small an island, about 4 miles long and 2 miles wide, Capri has had much said, sung and written about it. Visit Capri town which is very chic with shops, hotels and restaurants lying along winding streets. The main square Piazza Umberto I has a pretty white church and several open-air cafes where you can sit and watch the world drift by. Leading off the square are medieval looking alleyways and arcades full of shops selling the handicrafts of the island, clothing, jewellery made from coral and gold, shoes and ceramics. Admire the colourful gardens of Augustus overlooking the famed Faraglioni Rocks and Marina Piccola where Gracie Fields once lived.
Herculaneum was destroyed along with Pompeii in 79 A.D. and rediscovered in 1709. It was a residential town without Pompeii’s commercial importance, surrounded by the villas of the wealthy Romans. When the catastrophe of 79 A.D. occurred Herculaneum was submerged under a torrent of mud and lava that hardened into a soft tufa ( a Kind of course rock )that preserved many of the timber features and household objects which can be seen today. A large portion of the old Herculaneum is still buried under the modern town and even today excavations are going on to discover what treasures lie buried under the rock, to the extent that some families are being rehoused so work can continue.
Italy's third-largest city is one of its oldest, most artistic and most delicious. Naples' centro storico (historic centre) is a Unesco World Heritage Site, its archaeological treasures are among the world's most impressive, and its swag of vainglorious palaces, castles and churches make Rome look positively provincial. Then there's the food. Blessed with rich volcanic soils, a bountiful sea, and centuries of culinary know-how, the Naples region is one of Italy's epicurean heavyweights, serving up the country's best pizza, pasta and coffee, and many of its most celebrated seafood dishes, street snacks and sweet treats.
Deemed by Unesco to be an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape, the Amalfi Coast is a beguiling combination of great beauty and gripping drama: coastal mountains plunge into the sea in a stunning vertical scene of precipitous crags, picturesque towns and lush forests. Among the glittering string of coastal gems, legendary Positano and Amalfi sparkle the brightest, while mountaintop Ravello has the glossy fame of its grandiose villas and Wagnerian connection. Amalfi Coast gateway Sorrento is a handsome and venerable cliff-top resort that has miraculously survived the onslaught of package tourism.
Aside from its sheer beauty, the region is home to some superb restaurants and hotels. It is also one of Italy’s top spots for hiking, with well-marked trails providing a great means of getting away from the coastal clamour.
Breathtaking views, history, traditions, and modern comforts, are all represented in Amalfitan life today, giving its visitors the chance to spend a relaxing, and exciting holiday at the same time. Amalfi's origin dates back to the first century A.C. when the Roman aristocracy built luxurious villas in this area. Soon Amalfi, and its surrounding towns, became refined and well developed communities. Amalfi prospered mainly because of the wealthy commerce opportunities with many other populations around the Mediterranean Sea. Amalfi owned a powerful fleet of ships, and had strong marine traditions, and laws (Tabula de Amalpha). Today, Amalfi still maintains its fishing traditions, and has a number of fully functional, traditional, fishing boats.
With its views, culture, food, and much more, Amalfi is surely able to surprise you!
Positano is the coast’s most picturesque and photogenic town, with vertinigous houses tumbling down to the sea in a cascade of sun-bleached peach, pink and terracotta colours. No less colourful are its steep streets and steps lined with wisteria-draped hotels, smart restaurants and fashionable boutiques.Look beyond the facades and the fashion, however, and you will find reassuring signs of everyday reality: crumbling stucco, streaked paintwork and even, on occasion, a faint whiff of drains.