The Ve­su­vian Area

Amidst ar­chae­o­log­i­cal won­ders, enogas­tro­nomic de­lights and lo­cal arts and crafts, Where Naples takes you in dis­cov­ery of the area ly­ing at the foot of Mount Ve­su­vius

Where Naples Coast & Islands - - Contents -

Amidst ar­chae­o­log­i­cal won­ders, enogas­tro­nomic de­lights and lo­cal arts and crafts

The vol­cano’s crater is re­flected in the sea and tow­ers ma­jes­ti­cally over the Bay of Naples. It makes for a truly im­pres­sive sight be­fore the eye alights on thick woods, rolling hills and golden vine­yards. Apart from the le­gends, paint­ings and po­etry, the Ve­su­vian area is a place brim­ming over with sur­prises: from Her­cu­la­neum to Torre del Greco, from Torre An­nun­zi­ata to Pom­peii right up to Castel­lam­mare di Stabia, each place has its own spe­cific iden­tity.


From Naples, by trav­el­ling along the old via Reg­gia di Por­tici, also known as the Golden Mile, you will reach Her­cu­la­neum. Un­like Pom­peii, which fol­low­ing the tragic erup­tion of 79 A. D. was buried un­der a rain of ash and lapilli, Her­cu­la­neum was com­pletely sub­merged by a layer of lava mixed with mud. A much smaller residential city than Pom­peii, its ex­ca­va­tions are less dis­per­sive and bet­ter pre­served. While in the area, we sug­gest a visit to the Casa dell’Al­bergo. Spread out over two thou­sand square me­tres, it stands in a panoramic po­si­tion over­look­ing the sea and is the largest find un­earthed un­til now in Her­cu­la­neum. Other land­mark at­trac­tions in­clude the Ther­mal Baths with their beau­ti­ful mo­saic floors, the Casa del Bi­cen­te­nario, fea­tur­ing paint­ings on a red back­ground and, nat­u­rally, the Villa dei Papiri, ( Villa of Pa­pyri) part of which is still sub­merged and un­ex­plored: a col­lec­tion of more than 1,700 papyrus rolls were found here.


Lo­cated on the road to Pom­peii, Torre del Greco is famed for its time- hon­oured tra­di­tion of coral fish­ing. In fact, dur­ing the 16th cen­tury, it boasted a fleet of as many as 400 coral fish­ing ves­sels which nav­i­gated all the Mediter­ranean routes, from Africa to Sar­dinia, right up to Cor­sica. The city was also dev­as­tated sev­eral times by vol­canic erup­tions, the most dis­as­trous of which oc­curred in 1794.


As of the 1st cen­tury B. C., Oplon­tis, now known as Torre An­nun­zi­ata, was an el­e­gant residential sub­urb of nearby Pom­peii., home to the lux­u­ri­ous Villa Pop­pea ( also de­stroyed by the erup­tion of 79 A. D.) which sci­en­tists be­lieve was the prop­erty of Pop­pea Sabina, the sec­ond wife of Em­peror Nero. Although it was first dis­cov­ered in the 18th cen­tury, the site was not ex­ca­vated un­til 1964. The city is also renowned for its pasta in­dus­tries.

Foro, Pom­peii

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