Places to visit: Thanks to its favourable position it will be very easy to reach the most famous touristic places by hydrofoil (Capri, Naples, Ischia, Procida, Positano, Amalfi) or by train (Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum).
Positano seems to be standing, leaning against the jagged mountain rock face, with many multicoloured houses that seem to be built in a single cluster, all on top of each other. The town is very unique and incredibly attractive, capable of attracting attention to many visitors. It is the kingdom of many flights of little steps, of narrow passageways enlivened and coloured by wonderful shops, lively bars and cafes, and restaurants that specialise in seafood.
The "Amalfi Drive" is said to be one of the most spectacular roads in Europe and from Sorrento the winding cliff top road offers breathtaking panoramic views from every bend. Amalfi, now a thriving holiday resort, was once a powerful and prosperous marine republic, and homeland of Flavio Gioia, the inventor of the compass. The beautiful cathedral, with its ornate façade, stands at the top of steps leading up from the main square, and houses the remains of the patron saint of Amalfi, Saint Andrew.
No visit to Capri is complete without at least a few hours spent on the Mediterranean sea surrounding the island.
Whether you choose to join an organised tour, or rent a private boat with captain, taking to the turquoise waters is the only way to explore some of the most beautiful parts of the island. In fact, many of the most enchanting stretches of the Capri coastline are completely inaccessible by land. By boat visitors are able to reach those secluded bays which are just perfect for swimming or sun bathing - far from the crowds crammed onto the tiny pebble beaches.
A leisurely tour around the island will last roughly two and a half hours, including time for a quick dip in the sea. For those with more time at their disposal, full day excursions can easily be arranged.
Caserta is known as the "Versailles of Naples" after the Royal Palace built here by the Bourbon King, Charles III, in the 18th century. The enchanting palace overlooking the huge square is one of the most sumptuous buildings of its kind in Italy. It has over 1,200 rooms and is full of paintings and rich decorations. The magnificent gardens are 3 km long and their crowning glory is a 75 metre high waterfall, which can be clearly seen from the palace.
Pompei holds an intense fascination for visitors today. Following the eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius in the year 79 AD, Pompei lay buried and forgotten for hundreds of years and the excavations begun in the 18th Century are still being carried out today. You can see the past prosperity of the town in the Roman villas, bathhouses and temples which have been unearthed. Even an amphitheatre has been found.
Mt Vesuvius is the only active volcano in Continental Europe, the most populated and it is also the most extensively studued volcano on the Earth.
The current shape of the volcano is the result of the continual alternation between "explosive" type eruption, which have produced pyroclastic deposits.
The city of Naples was probably founded by the Greeks around the eighth century BC, just kilometres from the older town of Partenope; this ‘new town’ or ‘Neapolis’ has been absorbing the influences of its settlers and invaders ever since. Romulus Augustulus, last emperor of the Roman Empire, was imprisoned here after being overthrown in 476. In the sixth century, Naples was conquered by the Byzantines, and it was one of the last duchies to fall to the all-conquering Normans in 1039, as they founded the Kingdom of Sicily. In 1266 Naples and the kingdom of Sicily were given by Pope Clement IV to Charles of Anjou, who moved the capital from Palermo to Naples. In 1284 the kingdom was split in two, and stayed that way till 1816, when they would form the kingdom of Two Sicilies.