Ruins of Pompei, Italy
Posted Nov 15, 2012
With a diverse culture, rich history, incredible food and some of the globe's most incredible vistas, there's a quality about Italy that makes it irresistible to travelers. And between the cities of Florence and Venice in the north, historic Rome in the center and the picturesque islands of the south, there's something for everyone.
While most people flock to the crowded streets of Rome to take in attractions like the Colosseum and Vatican City, adventurers looking to travel into the Italian countryside should consider heading toward the sea to explore the lands surrounding Naples. A day in this incredible locale on a Mediterranean cruise from Princess Cruises, and you may consider never returning home again. Here are some of the destinations you should be sure to check out when you dock in Naples.
Naples itself boasts impressive views of the Bay of Naples and the encompassing cliffs, but if you're looking to experience a slice of small town life in Italy, you may want to head outside the city limits to the village of Positano. Situated along the pristine Amalfi Coast, this seaside port descends in vertical levels down the side of a cliff toward the blue waters below. Mix in the vibrant flora and lemon groves that dot the coastline, and you have one of Italy's most scenic regions.
History buffs looking for a taste of Roman history can visit many of the remains of the ancient empire scattered throughout Positano, while those in need of modern attractions will be sure to love the quaint shopping and abundance of cafes. At the center of town stands the beautiful golden dome of the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta, which can be seen from just about any location in Positano.
Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius
One of the greatest tragedies in ancient history was the complete destruction of the Roman city of Pompeii, which was wiped out when nearby volcano Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. Prior to its demise, Pompeii had been one of the most beautiful and thriving centers in the Roman Empire - a city where art, commerce and architecture merged to form a vibrant city. While some residents fled the city, the remaining population was buried in volcanic ash, which amazingly preserved much of Pompeii.
Over recent centuries, excavators have discovered intact artwork, shops, food and people frozen in time - allowing tourists to actually walk through the exact cityscape of ancient Pompeii. Explorers can also venture north to the slopes of the now dormant Mt. Vesuvius to see the giant volcano that once caused so much destruction.
You'll find some of the most incredible beaches and seaside scenery in all of Italy on the island of Capri, and you should be sure to explore the small village of Anacapri. Here tourists can enjoy the salty air and beautiful weather from the Villa San Michele, a magnificent structure built on the ruins of Roman Emperor Tiberius' island palace. Anacapri is also located on high ground above its sister city of Capri, so you'll enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Mediterranean during your stay.
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