Pompeii and Herculaneum: Archaeological excavations (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The visit to the Roman city crystallized by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79dc together with the nearby cities of Stabia, Herculaneum and Oplontis allows the unique experience to explore, know and imagine the life in an important Roman center made up of streets, palaces, villas, shops and public places such as the forum or the theater as catapulted back by a time machine.
From April 1 to October 31: Every day 9am – 7pm with last admission at 5.30pm
From November 1 to March 31: Every day 9am – 5pm with last admission at 3.30pm
Closing days: December 25, January 1 and May 1(unless otherwise communicated)
€ 16.00 (+ online presale costs)
Admission at 2.00 euros for European Union citizens aged between 18 and 25.
How to arrive:
From the ‘Circumvesuviana railway’ at Garibaldi place (connected with the railway central station) direction Sorrento track n.3 – stop at ‘Pompei scavi’ (30 minutes) or ‘Ercolano scavi’ (50 minutes).
Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Pompei
The Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii, now a papal basilica, rich in ex-votos, which is one of the most popular Italian destinations “by grace received”; it houses the seventeenth-century painting of Luca Giordano’s school, depicting the Madonna of Pompeii.
A pilgrimage occurs on the occasion of the two supplications to Our Lady, on May 8 and October 7.
It is one of the two active volcanoes, or rather quiescent, dating back to the last eruption 78 years ago, in continental Europe and one of the most studied and dangerous in the world due to the high population of the surrounding areas and its explosive characteristics.
In fact, the Vesuvius area has a high population density and the number of potentially endangered residents is around 700,000. With a height, in 2010, of 1281 m, the volcano rises within a partial caldera of about 4 km in diameter. The caldera is the remaining part of a previous volcanic building, the current Somma Mountain, after the great eruption of 79 caused the collapse of the south flank in correspondence with which the current cone with its cratere.
For this reason the entire volcanic complex, called Somma-Vesuvius, is classified as a “fence volcano”, and the name Vesuvius commonly refers to the internal cone, or Big Cone. The eruption of Vesuvius in 79 is the main eruptive event that occurred on Vesuvius in historical times. The eruption, which profoundly changed the morphology of the volcano and the surrounding territories, caused the destruction of the cities of Herculaneum, Pompeii, Oplontis and Stabia, whose ruins, buried under layers of pumice, were brought to light starting from from the 18th century.
After the eruption of 1929, the last eruption took place between 16 and 29 March 1944, and again destroyed the town of Massa of Somma and Saint Sebastiano, sprinkled with ashes Octavian and the whole South of Italy, and was made famous by the newsreels of the Anglo-American army which at the time occupied Naples.
After a great eruption (such as that of 1631, 1872 or 1906) all the magma was ejected and the duct, emptied, causes the summit to collapse. Vesuvius then enters a period of rest (quiescence) which lasts on average between 3 and 7 years, during which the crater only emits gas. Subsequently, small explosions of ash on the bottom of the crater begin to build a cone of slag, the size of which can increase depending on the pressure that begins to build up in the magma chamber, and which initiate a persistent activity that can last for a while. minimum of 7 to a maximum of 30 years. In this period, the accumulated slag forms a real platform that will end up completely occupying the crater itself, often generating small external flows, which however are small in volume and cause little damage (example of this activity are the formation of hills ” Margherita ”and“ Umberto ”, or the eruptions of 1805 or 1929). When the accumulated pressure reaches its limit, the cone begins to fracture, and the final eruption begins, which lasts a maximum of two / four weeks. After a first abundant overflow of lava, there is a period of slowing of the activity followed by a final explosive phase, relatively short, but much more violent (and dangerous) than the previous one, during which one or more gigantic eruptive clouds are generated which they sweep away the end of the cone.
This violent phase can last a couple of days at most, and marks the end of the eruption and the cycle. The crater, emptied, collapses on itself, and Vesuvius falls into the period of quiescence that marks the beginning of a new cycle.
The period of greatest activity occurred during the second half of the 18th century with cycles lasting an average of 10-15 years, while the period of least activity occurred between 1872 and 1944 with two cycles lasting 34 and 38 years. After the eruption of 1944, Vesuvius fell into a state of quiescence.
How to arrive:
To visit the Cone
Jan – Feb – Nov – Dec
9am – 3pm
March – October
9am – 4pm
Apr – May – June – Sept
9am – 5pm
July – August 9am – 6pm
Tickect: 10 euro
The Royal Palace of Caserta is a royal residence, historically belonging to the Bourbons of the Two Sicilies, located in Caserta. Commissioned by Charles of Bourbon, the laying of the first stone, which started the construction work, took place on January 20, 1752, based on a project by Luigi Vanvitelli: this was followed by his son Carlo and other architects. The palace was completed in 1845. Together with the Carolino aqueduct and the Saint Leucio viewpoint, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997.
It is also one of the Italian state museums, which, in 2016, was granted special autonomy by the Ministry of Culture.
The royal palace has an area of 47,000 meters, its length is 247 meters, a width of 190 and a height of 41; it has a rectangular shape with four internal courtyards with rounded corners of 45 degrees, each with a length of 74 meters by a width of 52; at the meeting point between the two arms, where, in the original project, a dome was to rise, there is a lantern. There are five floors: ground, mezzanine, noble floor, second floor and attic, as well as an underground floor, lit through loopholes, which housed cellars, kitchens and workshops. Internally there are 1.200 rooms, 34 stairs, while the windows are 1742.
After passing the central entrance door, you enter the internal gallery, also called the ‘Telescope’, as it allows a perspective view of the park with the fountains, up to the artificial waterfall of Mount Briano. The rooms of the royal apartments, located on the main floor, were decorated between the 18th and 19th centuries: in particular, those embellished in the 18th century have a Rococo decoration, while those of the 19th century in Empire style. The Hall of the Halberdiers was designed by Luigi Vanvitelli and completed by his son Carlo: the vault is frescoed with the arms of the Bourbon House supported by virtue, by Domenico Mondo from 1789, and the sketch of which is kept at the Louvre Museum. Royal Palace of Caserta was designed by Luigi Vanvitelli and completed by his son Carlo, to whom several botanists collaborated: as an inspirational model the architects referred to the Palace of Versailles and the Royal Palace of the Granja de San Ildefonso.
Divided into an Italian garden and an English garden, the park covers an area of 120 hectares and is almost three kilometers long.
It is decorated with various statuary complexes such as that of Aeolus, that of Adonis that follow the path of the garden towards the hill.
The fountain of Diana and Actaeon has a height of 78 meters and access to its top is via two side stairways that end in an artificial cave, placed at a height of 204 meters; originally, the water from the Carolino aqueduct came to the cave, which was later replaced by recycling pumps. From the top of the waterfall you can enjoy a view not only of the park and the palace, but also of the Campi Flegrei and Ischia.
The English garden was wanted by Queen Maria Carolina on the advice of her sister Marie Antoinette and the English minister in Naples Lord William Hamilton, following in the wake of the Enlightenment fashion that was spreading in those years in Europe. In 1785 the royals approached the first contacts with the English gardener and botanist John Andrew Graefer: after accepting the proposal and moving to Caserta, the works began in 1786, subsidized with the personal patrimony of Maria Carolina; of its kind it was one of the first English gardens to be created in Italy.
The Royal Palace of Caserta was used as a setting for scenes from various films such as for two episodes of the Star Wars saga, namely Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: Episode 2 – The Attack of the Gifts, but also for Mission: lmpossible 3, Angels and demons, Women and brigands, Ferdinand I ° king of Naples, Il pap’occhio, Sing Sing, They called them … brigands !, Ferdinand and Carolina, Let’s hope I manage and John Paul II.
How to arrive:
• by car from the A30 motorway – the Caserta Sud-Marcianise exit. From here, continue towards the SS87 up to Vittorio Veneto Avenue, which will lead to the entrance to the Royal Palace.
• Train: in about 30 minutes from Central Station of Naples
Monday-Sunday: 8.30am – 7.30pm
Closed on Tuesday
The visit must be booked
Historical Apartments, Park and Garden Ticket:
Islands of the Gulf of Naples (Capri, Ischia, Procida)
Less famous than Ischia and Capri, Procida is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Naples that stands out for its typically Mediterranean beauty made up of pastel-colored houses, fishing boats and small villages perched in the hills. The island began to become famous in the late 1950s thanks to the book “Arturo’s Island” written by Elsa Morante and to cinematographic masterpieces such as Il postino with Massimo Troisi and, later, The talent of Mr. Ripley with Matt Damon.
Do not miss a visit to the famous village of Terra Murata, the historic core of the island, and to the small island of Vivara, a protected natural oasis connected to Procida by an old bridge. As Procida is not very extensive, the island can be easily explored on foot or alternatively, by taking buses or a comfortable taxi. Marina Corricella, one of the island’s tourist centers, is the oldest fishing village in Procida and overlooks the sea, offering beautiful sunsets. The village, very suggestive and romantic, has acquired notoriety after being the film set of the film “Il Postino” with Massimo Troisi and Maria Grazia Cucinotta, but it is worth a visit for its beautiful port from the seventeenth century and its characteristic center. Walking along its narrow streets you can admire colorful houses, fishermen’s nets, craft shops and inns serving traditional local dishes.
Terra Murata is located almost 90 meters above sea level and is therefore the highest point on the island. The name of the village derives from the fact that in the 1500s the population took refuge in this central area of the island to protect themselves from pirate raids and here built an imposing defensive system made up of walls and towers. Walking through this village, among its intricate streets with colorful houses juxtaposed to each other, means taking a step back in time. In Terra Murata on a cliff overlooking the sea is the majestic D’Avalos Palace, a building built in the 1500s by the D’Avalos family. The complex from 1830 to 1988 served as a penitentiary where exponents of the Fascist period were also imprisoned.
On the slopes of the hill that hosts Terra Murata is Casale Vascello, an ancient fortified village that can only be reached on foot and which represents a well-preserved example of ancient farmhouses. This nucleus of houses, built to protect themselves from pirate raids, seems to date back to the sixteenth century and has houses leaning against each other to prevent the passage of enemies and a common central courtyard where the events of the village took place. The houses (still inhabited) are characterized by the presence of the vefio, a particular local architecture which consists in the presence of a terrace or a balcony covered by an arched vault. Access to the village, on the other hand, takes place only through two narrow entrances which at the time of the Saracen raids were closed to prevent access to enemies.
The cult and the Mysteries of Procida
Religious events related to the Easter Holy Week are very popular on the island; very suggestive, among these, the Procession of the Apostles on Holy Thursday and the Procession of the Mysteries on Holy Friday
The Procida Mysteries procession is an ancient tradition, whose origins are to be found in the procession of the “Turchini’s brotherhood”, founded in 1629 by the Jesuits, when also in Naples the Solidad brotherhood organized a procession with the mysteries of the Sacred Passion. The young men of the island, dressed in the classic “robe” of a “brother” (white habit surmounted by the “mozzetta”, or cloak, of turquoise color), carry wagons, plastic representations (called “mysteries”). of a religious nature for a route that winds through the historic center, from the oldest walled land village to the marina grande port. There are also references to the history of ancient Rome in a mixing of tradition and liturgy; an example are the typical sounds that start the procession, used years ago as an accompaniment for those sentenced to death.
A town famous for its hospitality, its views of the coast and Naples, since the 18th century it has represented a fundamental stage for young Europeans engaged in the Grand Tour.
Linked to craft traditions, among which the inlaid woodworking stands out, which has its origins in the 300 and 400 and to the culinary ones such as the production of the famous liqueur based on Sorrento IGP lemons, the city and its coast offer the opportunity to experience history, art, culture and beauty surrounded by citrus groves, hills and sea.
How to arrive:
– Circumvesuviana train from Garibaldi Place (1h 10min – cost: 4 euros) – Sorrento station
– From the A3 Naples – Pompeii – Sorrento motorway, take the Castellammare di Stabia exit and follow the signs for “Sorrento”
The Saint Elmo Castel: allows a 360 ° view of the city of Naples.
Castel dell’Ovo: built on an islet in the Gulf of Naples, it is completely surrounded by the sea and offers a suggestive view of Posillipo with the island of Capri
Castelnuovo or Maschio Angioino: a castle – fortress in the heart of the city