"To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice..." - Elizabeth Gilbert
|(The majestic Mount Vesuvius)|
From the Neapolis founded by Greek settlers in 470 B.C. to the city of today, Naples has retained the imprint of the successive cultures that emerged in Europe and the Mediterranean basin. This makes it a unique site, with a wealth of outstanding monuments such as the Church of Santa Chiara and the Castel Nuovo.
|(Naples with Mt Vesuvius in the background)|
As one of Europe’s most densely populated areas, Naples is a real working city, with the sight of ramshackle pastel houses with washing strung over the narrow roads more common than impressive palaces or monuments. However, Naples and its surrounding areas offer some amazing highlights for visitors. Pompeii or Herculaneum, former Roman resorts buried by Vesuvius in 79AD offer a unique insight into Roman life. Plus Naples is also the starting point for one of the most amazing coast lines in Europe. The journey South to Amalfi, along hair-pin bend twisting roads offers beautiful, if not hair-raising views, with imperial mountains dominated by Mount Vesuvius leading down to cliff side villages perilously perching over an azure sea dotted with brightly coloured pleasure boats and fishing vessels.
|(Twisting hair-pin roads serving the city)|
Naples may not have the wealth and splendour of more Northern cities, but its people make up for it with a wealth of high spirits, and the streets are always filled with their passionate voices - until the silent hours between midday and 2 pm when the whole town seems to take a much needed 40 winks out of the sunshine. Naples is the home of wafer thin pizzas with the classic Neapolitan topping of locally produced mozzarella, tomatoes, anchovies, garlic and basil. Southern Italians have one of the world’s most healthy diets, with locally harvested seafood, olive oil, wine and fresh green vegetables on every menu.
|(A city tour hop-on hop-off bus)|
Dejection near Naples
The sun is warm, the sky is clear,
The waves are dancing fast and bright,
Blue isles and snowy mountains wear
The purple noon's transparent might,
The breath of the moist air is light,
Around its unexpanded buds;
Like many a voice of one delight,
The winds', the birds', the ocean floods',
The City's voice itself, is soft like Solitude's.
(P B Shelley)