The Bay of Naples is a gulf of the south-western coast of Italy in the region of Campania. To the north is the city of Naples, to the east is the looming volcano Mt. Vesuvius, and to the south the vibrant city of Sorrento. Take a ferry out to sea and you’ll reach the beautiful island of Capri or explore the ruins of Pompeii, either way this is an interesting area to explore for it’s historical and scenic attractions.

Sorrento

Sorrento

Escape the noisy streets of Naples and other big cities in Italy. Sorrento is like a breath of fresh air, where you can breath, relax and enjoy your trip. The town caters well to tourists with fresh markets, fine dining, boutiques and wine bars. Citrus groves are a plenty in this area, so you can find great authentic Italian souvenirs like limoncello liqueurs. All situated on the seaside with a view of Capri in the distance and sheltered by mountains. It’s a great base for sight-seeing Pompeii and the island of Capri.

If you’re on a budget and want extraordinary views of the bay, head up hill to the campground Santa Fortunata where you can rent an inexpensive cabin for 2-6 people with a kitchen and porch overlooking the bay.

Other accommodations in Sorrento.

Capri

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Ferries leave Sorrento to Capri daily and arrive in 20 minutes.
Capri is known in Greek mythology as the isle of the sirens and was a popular Roman resort area. It still has the same qualities, it’s very touristy, especially in the summer months of July and August.

When you arrive, rent a moped for the full experience and a fun way to explore the island. There are various rental places on the island.

Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra)

Blue Grotto
Blue Grotto

A must-see, this is a cave with a small opening the opens and closes with the tide that only a small row-boat can fit in (if the timing is right).

Blue Grotto
Blue Grotto

You’ll get in the boat with a rower, lean back, hope you don’t hit your head, and before you know it you’re squeezed into the opening and in pitch dark. The only thing you’ll see is the bright blue water of the cave, that appears almost neon and is so unique that tourists keep coming back to see it. The cave was used as a bath since the Romans.

Villa Jovis The largest villa of Roman emperor Tiberius on the northeast of the island on the second highest peak called Monte Tiberio. The building spans 7000 metres squared and linked by stairways and corridors. At the end of the road there is the famous “Tiberius’s Leap”, where legend says disobedient servants and guests were hurled off the cliff upon Tiberius’ orders.

http://www.capri.net/en/s/villa-jovis-mount-tiberio

Monte Solaro The highest peak on the island offers stunning panoramic views at 589 meters above sea level. The easiest way to access the summit is by chairlift from Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri. From the peak you can visit the hermitage of Cetrella, consisting of a church and bell tower, a well as the ruins of Barbarossa’s castle.

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Mt. Vesuvius
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Mt. Vesuvius rim

If you’re a bit of a thrill-seeker, climb up the volcano best known for its eruption in AD 79 that buried the Roman city of Pompeii and destroyed Herculaneum. Today it’s considered the most dangerous volcano in the world because of it’s frequent explosive eruptions and for its densely populated volcanic region in the world.

So just hope you are not in the right place at the right time and enjoy the thrill of not knowing and the spectacular view from atop. You can drive up to 1000ft, either with your own car or a shuttle, then there it’s a 30 minute steep hike up to the crater.

Mt. Vesuvius crater
Mt. Vesuvius crater
Pompeii

Pompei

You undoubtedly know the city of Pompeii, the city that was buried by volcanic ash from Mt. Vesuvius. From Sorrento take the Circumvesuviana Railway to reach Pompeii. The best way to see the ruins is by walking with an audio tour of the ruins. Admission is $15 and plan on being there for at least 3 hours.

The residential homes from the time feature inner courtyard and atriums and many have well preserved frescos, such a the House of the Vetti. The exteriors of buildings have pictures and writing depicting the name of the owners and their professions, as well as many “jokes” (some explicit). The streets are narrow but what’s impressive is the aquaduct system used to transport water throughout the city.  Other notable buildings are the thermal baths, temples of Apollo, Jupiter and Isis.

The impressive amphitheatre in Pompeii held up to 12,000 spectators and was a favourite for gladiator games at the time. Unlike Rome’s Coliseum, it does not have an underground area.

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Maybe the most eerie part of Pompeii is seeing the well-preserved bodies of its former citizens, who tried to flee the volcanic ash in vain. Unlike the neighbouring city of Herculeum that was completely destroyed, Pompeii was mostly preserved by the falling ash that hardened into a cast over bodies and structures. Archaeologists have discovered approximately 1150 bodies since excavations of the city began.

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