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naples

campania



EXCURSIONS IN/FROM NAPLES TO BOOK:


from AMALFI COAST
AC13. Sorrento/Pompeii/Naples Full day
AC15. Naples/Solfatara Full day

from SORRENTINE PENINSULA
SP13. Pompeii/Naples Full day
SP22. Naples 1/2 day

from NAPLES City or Harbor
NA01. Amalfi Coast in Full Full day
NA02. Positano/Amalfi/Pompeii Full day
NA03. Sorrento/Pompeii Full day
NA04. Sorrento/Herculaneum Full day
NA05. Sorrento/Vesuvio Full day
NA06. Pompeii/Herculaneum/Vesuvio Full day
NA07. Naples/Pompeii Full day
NA08. Naples/Herculaneum Full day
NA09. Naples/Caserta Full day
NA10. Naples/Sorrento Full day
NA11. Pompeii/Sorrento/Positano Full day
NA12. Paestum/Pompeii Full day
NA13. Paestum/Herculaneum Full day
NA14. Paestum/Vesuvio Full day
NA15. Vietri sul Mare/Salerno Full day
NA16. Naples/Salerno Full day

Naples

The first reference to Naples, Neapolis to the Greeks, is found in the Homeric legend of the sirens. In Roman times the city itself was considered a relaxed place of high culture. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD and Neapolis to the northeast escaped the fates of Pompeii and Herculaneum, thanks to a prevailing southwest wind. The city was covered with a thin layer of ash and was rocked by tremors. Naples is the third largest city of Italy and a sprawling one, with a centre that has many different focuses. The area between Piazza Garibaldi and Via Toledo, roughly corresponding to the hold Roman Neapolis (much of which is still unexcavated below the ground), makes up the old part of the city, the "centro storico", the main streets still following the path of the old Roman roads. But insularity of the centro storico is deceptive and in reality there is another, quite different side of Naples. Via Toledo, the main street of the city, edges the old centre from the Palazzo Reale up to the Archeological Museum and the heaths of Capodimonte. To the left rises the Vomero, with its fancy housing and museums, and the smug neighbourhoods of Chiaia, beyond which lies the long green boulevard of Villa Comunale. Naples is an airy waterfront city, with views, seafood eaten al fresco and peace and quiet. A city rich of monuments and a few of these are mentioned here below.

Things to see
The Museo Archeologico Nazionale

The Archeological Museum is the home of the Farnese Collection of antiques from Lazio and Campania and the best of the finds from the nearby Roman sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The ground floor of the museum concentrates on sculpture from the Farnese Collection, with holds Imperial-era figures like the Farnese Bull and Farnese Hercules from the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. The mezzanine floor at the back holds the museum's collection of mosaics, remarkably preserved works all giving a superb insight into ordinary Roman customs, beliefs and humour. Are all worth looking. Upstairs through the Salone della Meridiana, which holds a sparse but fine assortment of Roman figures, a series of rooms holds the Campanian wall paintings, which are the museum's other major draw after the mosaics lifted from the villas of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and rich in colour and invention. Beyond the mural are the actual finds from the Campanian cities - every day glass, silver, and ceramics, even petrified foodstuff.

Piazza Municipio, Piazza Plebiscito and Palazzo Reale
Piazza Municipio is a busy traffic junction that stretches from the ferry terminal to the Palazzo Municipale (Town Hall) at the top, dominated by the brooding hulk of the Castel Nuovo opposite - the "Maschio Angioino" - erected in 1282 by the Angevins and later converted as the royal residence of the Aragon monarchs. Just beyond the castle, on the left, the Teatro San Carlo is an unimpressive building from the outside, inside however, you can see why this theatre was the envy of Europe when it opened in 1737 in time for Charles of Bourbon's birthday, for whom it was built. It's still the largest opera house in Italy and one of the most distinguished in the world. Through Piazza Trieste e Trento you may find Piazza Plebiscito with a curve of columns modelled on Bernin's piazza for Saint Peter's in Rome. The Church of Francesco di Paola built on style of the Pantheon in Rome, is foot lit at night and it is most impressive. Opposite the Palazzo Reale built from 1600-1602 by Domenico Fontana to accommodate Philip II. Today hosts a museum and the National Library.

Chiostro di Santa Chiara
The Cloister of Santa Chiara is a true oasis in the heart of old Naples. The walls, benches and the octagonal columns are lined with brightly coloured land and seascapes depicted on majolica tiles. The thickest vines you can imagine wind their way up toward the overhead arbour. The Rococo architect Domenico Vaccaro finished these unusual cloister in 1742.

Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte
The Royal Palace of Capodimonte and its extensive grounds, was the royal residence of the Bourbon King Charles III, built in 1738 and now housing the picture gallery of Naples museum, the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte. The royal apartments on the first floor are smaller and more downbeat than those at Caserta and in many ways more enjoyable, not least because you can actually walk through the rooms freely. Upstairs the picture gallery holds a superb collection of Renaissance pain

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