Capri of the Artists and Writers, Painters and Poets. Capri Archeological, Capri Architectural, Capri Historical. Truly an island of enchantment that has inspired men from Augustus and Tiberius Caesar to Graham Greene and many more. Capri has drawn people to create and to decide to abandon all they knew before in order to live here. This unique walk shows you the still existent natural beauty of Capri that so few of its several million visitors a year seldom if ever see.
Napoli is miraculously stratified allowing us to see 3,500 years of its history from Greece (Magna Grecia) to current. We begin in the vast and colorful markets and continue on to the historic center and the classic Napoletan scenes and narrow ancient streets. Laundry hanging from lines all indicative of a Napoli's vibrant life as in a Sofia Loren movie. From here to elegant Napoli and its boutiques, outdoor restaurants, fashionable people and remarkable architecture. Here too the Royal Palace, classic Vesuvian panoramas. San Carlo Opera House, the Galleria Umberto I. After lunch under a pergola of bougainvillea, we are off to Pompei in this amazing time capsule of history once the playground of Roman and Greek aristocracy.
Napoli is a city of dramatic contrasts and dynamic energy flowing in the streets and byways of its vital system of arteries and capilleries. Dig deep and centuries of Roman habitation emerge. Dig deeper and Greek mausoleums present themselves intact ,waiting the millenia to be visited again.
We visit Napoli above and Napoli below. For" all that was built above came from below". Below being the vast quarries of soft, yellow Tufo. The volcanic stone that both Greeks and Romans excavated to build with. We visit the Macellums and the Agora .The marketplaces in the Forum area which were the center of ancient Neapolis (New City). The buried and now excavated streets walked on thousand of years ago.
Our visit to the Archaeological Museum compliments these ancient sites with its stunning collection of artifacts from all the known excavations in this land of extraordinary living both ancient and modern.
79 C.E. and with the eruption of Vesuvius 18 towns were destroyed permanently. Pompei and Herculaneum the best known as a result of the excavations begun in 1720 and to this day. Herculaneum was the summer place for wealthy Greek and Roman families. Sumptuous lifestyles reflected in the vast and luxurious villas found and the supporting services which maintained this lifestyle.Theaters, Sports Arenas, Port facilities ,Temples,Eating and Drinking establishments. The high-life of 2000 years ago.
Pompei is larger in size than Herculaneum with some 75% excavated compared to Herculaneums 25%. Pompei shows us the true breadth of daily commercial and social life with its Public Baths and Social Hierarchy visible in the housing and accommodations of the time. Both sites afford us a comprehensive insight into the past which is contained in so much of our present.
Three independent Roman Villas excavated in the most sought after real estate of 2000 years ago. Seafront locations, vast acreage for living and agricultural activities (grapes,wine production, olive oil, fruits and vegetables of every variety) and the finest decorative and architectural disciplines available.
Oplonti the former home and palace of the Emperor Neros second wife Poppea. Wonderful frescoes to be seen and rooms of huge dimensions with areas for quiet relaxation and more than an olympic size swimming pool.
Villa Arianna it too seaside with the ultimate in Patrician living at the time. Private baths (tepidarium, calidarium, frigidarium). Pool and steps down to the sea and their waiting pleasure yacht.
Villa San Marco with its Tuscan Atrium is perhaps the most representative of the extravagant life-style so sought after by the wealthiest families of their time. Each room designed for comfort and pleasure. The Peristyles and open gardens for relaxation and contemplation of the surrounding beauty and tranquillity. The greenest of mountains on one side , the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius on the other. With no hint of the tragedy that befell them all.
CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL TOURS
The Mediterranean cultures from the inception of habitation to the more classical forms of Etruscan, Greek and Roman civilizations have left their indelible mark on Italy and the South of Italy in particular. Phonecians, Oscans, Saanites, Greeks (Magna Grecia), Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Angiovinian French, Svevian Germans, Aragonese Spanish, The Spanish Bourbons, Austrians and Napolean have all at times conquered this once “Kingdom of the Two Sicilies” for its beauty and its strategic position.
We will walk through remarkable extant examples of these civilizations and their influence on contemporary life as we explore and excite the senses.
From Pompei to Paestum, Cumae, Baia, Herculaneum, The Stabian Villas or Velia a little further south, you will find our tour to any of these age-old archeological sites both fascinating and fun.
The remarkable Greek Temples of 2,700 years ago when this land was known as Magna Grecia (Greater Greece) continue to create excitement and wonder at their great beauty and a universal sense of the sacred. Known as Posidonia in the Greek times and then Paestum as we know it today in the Roman Period they were used as Christian places of devotion as well.
Our visit includes a stop at the Museum across the way to see the spectacular frescoes and paintings excavated and protected as well as the famous "Diver" sarcophagus not to be missed.
Arriving in Amalfi we experience an in depth visit to its mysteries and byways. Amalfi the first of the Maritime Republics (Genova, Venezia, Pisa, Amalfi) its history inexorably linked to the sea and commerce with Byzantium and the Arab Federation of a thousand years ago, with its ship building Arsenals still visible today. Once a Republic and Duchy of vast proportions it is still reflected in its splendid architecture and traditional way of life. The Cathedral houses the remains of St. Andrew brought by the Crusaders of the XI th Century.
At Ravello all the beauty and tranquillity of this patrician way of life of the 12th century presents itself. Here Boccaccio was a guest as well as Petrach of the Rufolo Family and writes of them in the Decameron, speaking of Landolfo Rufolo. Here too the inspiration for Richard Wagner to complete his "Parsifal". Andrè Gide, Truman Capote, E. M. Forester, Saint Francis of Assisi and Jaqueline Kennedy all marvelled at its elegance and subtle landscapes.
From here to Villa Cimbrone and its dramatic panoramas stretching out to the sea and the Monti Lattari. A visit to the Belvedere and Cathedral.