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Cruising Article – 2011-07-11

Roman intrigue in Naples, Italy

Mediterranean cruise destinations

The area around the Italian city of Naples has been a hub of activity for thousands of years, dating from the time of the Roman Empire up through the present. During a Mediterranean cruise, you will love going on a shore excursion and experiencing all that this spectacular destination has to offer.

One of Naples' most famous ancient attractions is Pompeii, a Roman city best known for being buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79 AD. This historic metropolis has since been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and during a visit here, you can see the ruins of the city preserved in their original state by the volcanic ash that covered it. Meanwhile, you can see another locale affected by the eruption of Vesuvius when you make a trip to Herculaneum. Rediscovered in 1709, this ancient city is a great place to see Roman villas. Vesuvius itself has also been named a national park, and you can explore its rocky flanks by hiking along its many walking paths and summit trails.

If you would rather learn about ancient history while still enjoying the comforts of air conditioning, head to the National Archaeological Museum. This building, which was initially built as a university in the 17th century, now holds countless artifacts, including a series of gorgeous carved gemstones that have to be seen to be believed.

While it is famed for its historical artifacts, the region around Naples is also known for its amazing scenery. On a drive down the Amalfi Coast, you can experience seemingly endless miles of stunning beach views, seaside cliffs, lemon groves and more. One of the best places to experience this area's famous crags is the town of Positano, where you will be able to shop in elegant boutiques and sip coffee in sophisticated cafes as you take in the sights.

You won't want to miss the food in the town of Sorrento, as the locale is famous around the country for its delectable seafood. Sorrento is also a top destination for limoncello, a tangy lemon liquor native to Italy. Off the coast of the Sorrento Peninsula is the Isle of Capri, a world-renowned getaway that draws elite jetsetters with its ocean vistas.