The fashionable Isle of Capri is a short distance from the Sorrento coast and perhaps the most famous of all the islands that lie off this shore.
Capri is reached by ferry and on arrival you can get to the town centre either by coach or funicular... continue reading
Dotted with small, picturesque settlements clinging giddily to steep, rocky cliffs on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, the Sorrento and Amalfi Coastal Drives are spectacular coastal roads offering fantastic panoramic views across the Napoli and Salerno bays... continue reading
A city with 2.800 years of history on her shoulders, not just commons senses, a melting pot of civilizations, from the Greeks to the Romans, from Spanish to French, a stunning city which will give you long lasting memories... continue reading
It would be hard to decide where to start from to visit Napoli, a city which an history dated 8th century b.C., a city which went through time always being featured as a leading character, a city which witnessed alternating the Greeks, the Romans, middle east populations, the Normanni, The Svevi, Hispanics, French and Austrians each of which left deep and still visible traces.
It just takes to climb to San Martino hill to admire the magnificent Certosa or Castel Sant’Elmo but, above all, to appreciate the whole city lying by your feet whit still visible the Decumani which, belonging to the first Greek settlement, cross the city from west with the Vesuvio as background, the Vesuvio which several times changed the region’s fate whose 79 a.C. buried both Pompei and Ercolano.
The waterfront, now puzzled by the marinas marking the marine vocation of the city, is one of the nicest stroll/promenade (?) in the city, it is the road along which some of the luxury hotels sit and, it’s characterized by Castel dell’Ovo which lies on a small piece of land tied to the ground by a thin connection, land which is where Parthenope history started about 2.800 years ago and where the Roman Empire fell in 476 a.C. with the exile of Romolo Augustolo; in front of it there is the Pizzofalcone hill which along with Ischia, back then called Pithecusa was the originating core of Parthenope then becoming Palepoli, old city, when the city expanded towards east and surrounded by boundary walls whose some of the many protecting doors still stand, the new city took the name of Paleopolis.
Within the boundary walls it still visible and partly intact the maze of alleys orthogonally layered and split by the three big arteries better known as Decumani whose orientation runs from west to east and 19 smaller ones called Cardini whose orientation is from north to south.
The Decumani sure need a little bit of a description since they are one of the city’s trademarks:
- the superior is now partly identified with Via Anticaglia whose path has been partly altered along time;
- the major one starts off of Piazza Bellini where, below ground level, there still are perfectly visible the Greek walls, right behind there is Porta Alba, one of the city’s wall boundary access doors, the Decumano Maggiore now is known as Via Tribunali because it ends by Castel Capuano, this located near Porta Capuana, another of the protecting doors whose name comes off the road which back in time connected to the ancient city of Capua, north of Napoli, Castel Capuano was build starting mid 12th century, along time it has been widely manipulated till it became, as of viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo, along Angio viceroyalty during 16th century, house of the city court till present days;
- the inferior, better known as Spaccanapoli, very well recognisable from the height of San Martino hill and still core of the city with its several museums, churches, shops and the many alleys teemed by people at every time of the day.
Among the many churches they sure deserve at least a mention the Gesù Nuovo one sumptuously decorated in baroque style as well as the Santa Chiara one whose gothic style along with the richly decorated closer sure are worth a visit.
The area along which the Decumani and Cardini lie is better known as “Centro Storico” is so rich of museums, churches and monuments that it would be a hard work to list them all and the risk of letting something out being too high to even attempt but a mention is sure due to the Cappella di Sansevero whose “Cristo Velato” as well as the “Anatomical Machines”, these being the results of alchemic studies performed by Principe Raimondo di Sangro, are stunning examples of the personalities Napoli has been hosting along its Millenial history; the world wide famous San Gregorio Armeno alley whose crib art is a must for those who love this kind of art; by the top of San Gregorio, where it crosses the Decumano Maggiore, in Piazza San Geetano, there is the San Lorenzo church by whose substructure there is a time machine which takes visitors 2.500 years back in time through what was back then known as “Agora” by the Greeks and then turned into the “Foro” by the Romans, going down through the ground level of the church for about thirty feet there is the old Roman walk, perfectly stored and back then being head office (?) of shops.
Still, by the same square there is the entry to Napoli Sotterranea, a living museum, the Greeks by 3rd century b.C. used them as quarries to retrieve the tufo stone used to build the boundary walls as well as their houses, the Romans then used the tunnels to build their fantastic aqueducts till recent times when they were used as refuges for the neapolitan population during WW2.
The centro storico is teemed with life, young ones filling the many bars, tourists wandering enchanted by art and architecture and captured by smell of pizza every few meters and sight of local cakes such as babà rum, sfogliatelle and rococò, Napoli, a city which delights each and every sense!