Mediterranean Spotlight: Naples, Italy
by Roy Witman © 2008
From the exceptional architecture to the world-
class cuisine to the astonishing natural beauty, Naples
is a city that should be on everyone's “one day” list.
History and culture combine with a regal past to
delight visitors with a violent past that has led to a
Can you imagine a volcanic eruption of such force
and size that it covers your entire town? In 79 AD,
that's precisely what the citizens of Pompeii faced as
Mt. Vesuvius gave forth her fury and literally buried the
town, causing the entire population to perish,
Now, centuries later, thanks to diligent
archeological expeditions, the ruins of Pompeii can be
toured by visitors to the Naples area. Much like a
ghost town of the Old West, you can walk through the
empty streets, taking in the distinct sense of bareness.
The world's largest Roman amphitheater is an
amazing sight and should be the starting point of your
Located on the coast of the Bay of Naples, Mt.
Vesuvius has not erupted since 1944. Even with over
60 years of dormancy, it is still considered one of the
most dangerous volcanoes in the world. With a
population of over 3,000,000 living in close proximity
and the volcano's tendency toward violent eruptions in
the past, concern is held for those who live
Often described as a humpback mountain,
Vesuvius has an obvious cone and distinctive crater
that are easily identified by land or air.
Castel Nuovo (“the new castle”) was
commissioned by Charles I in 1279 in conjunction with
the moving of the capital of Naples from Palermo. One
of the city's most famous landmarks, Castel Nuovo is
currently the seat of city government. However, its
courtyard fills every June with couples in love who
wish to take their wedding vows. Points of interest
include the Armory with its glassed floor which reveals
the remains of a Roman villa and a medieval
necropolis, the Hall of Barrons and the dungeon.
An island accessible via ferry, Capri is a popular
stop for visitors to Naples. As you step onto the island,
the scents of natively grown lemons and basil will
likely overtake you. Clean and fresh, Capri is a
delightful retreat you'll want to visit again and
One of the most popular attractions is The Blue
Grotto (Grotta Azzurra) - a must-see. As daylight
enters through an underwater opening located
immediately below the entrance to the cave, the light
is filtered by the water. The red tones are absorbed,
leaving only the blue ones to pass into the cave. The
result is an astonishing aura of blues that simply
One of the best ways to see Naples and other
cities within Italy is via cruise ship. Whether you
choose to sail aboard the most famous ocean liners in
the world - the Queen Mary 2, the Queen Victoria and
the Queen Elizabeth 2 - or other cruise vessels, you'll
find the adventure and wonder for you and your family
go far beyond what you might expect.
Read more about the Cunard Cruise Lines.
Read more about European Cruises.
Read more about Mediterranean Cruises.