Submarine Archaeology in Baia
The archaeological venue of the submerged part of Baia is bigger than the one remained on the dry land. Everyone can access this seapark because it’s not very deep. In these waters you can find parts of the ancient roman city of Baia, the one that sunk behind the level of the sea because of the bradyseism. This immersion is very beautiful and impressive due to the mosaics and colonnades you can see there. The ruins of an ancient patrician villa of the roman period have been found inside this archaeological submarine park. This villa belonged to the Pisoni’s family and that’s why is called Pisoni’s villa. Inside you can see ruins of the colonnades and the passages that surronded a great garden. You can also see a fontain and a thermal pool. Inside the park you can also see a villa that has a vestibule entry, marbles, pieces of frescos and a mosaic which is still in good conditions.
During the visit, the tourists can see the ruins of some old shops and thermal installations that still work. If you are not confident with snorkeling, you can comfortably look at all these archeological ruins seating into a boat that has all windows placed behind the level of the sea.
[Egicom05 by Naples Eyes]Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
Sibilla Cave in Cuma
In the archaeological area of Cuma (see other tips about the place: Roman Crypt, Temple of Jupiter, Temple of Apollo). Discovered and dug by the archaeologist Maiuri from 1932, who recognised in this quadrangoular plant space the place where the Sibilla, received the believers and foretold their future.
The monument fascinates and arouses fear for the atmosphere of mystery that surrounds it. Ancient and modern searches, recognized in the cave of the Sibilla, a military gallery of communication between the lake of Averno and that of Lucrino.
Virgilio in the I a.C did a suggestive poetic description of it: the Sibilla, according to an ancient legend, was a fascinating woman, whose exceptional beauty made falling in love the god Apollo; after the refusals of the Sibilla, he decided to give her a gift, saying her: "Ask me anything! ". She took in her hands a handful of grains of sand and asked him to be able to live as many years as the grains in her hand. But she forgot to ask for the eternal youth.
Sibilla went to Cuma where she prophesied for many centuries, up to when she understood the punishment that the desire had inflicted her: the longevity, accompanied by the damages of the old age, reduced her like a mere shell of a woman.
[Egicom05 - by Amaltea]Related to:
- Historical Travel
Santa Restituta Church and excavations
Accessible from the Duomo's left nave is the Basilica of Santa Restituta, founded in the 4th century on the site of a former Temple of Apollo and rebuilt after the 1688 earthquake. It has ceiling paintings by Luca Giordano (1632 - 1705). To the back of the right nave is the Baptistery of San Giovanni in Fonte (fifth century). When you enter in it, watch the ceiling: you can admire a star shining blue sky mosaics that will take your breath away. These mosaics, are among the most precious ones, certainly more beautiful than the ones you can see in Rome and Ravenne.
On the left side of the Basilica you can access a little known but superb archeological area, dating from the Early Greek settlements to the High Middle Age. Upon descending the short stairway, you are left free to explore this hidden world. Since Santa Restituta escaves are not well known, it can happen that you are the only visitor and you will feel like an archeologist who has just discovered a new site: romans structures (opus reticolatum) dating from the first years of the Empire, remains of Greek walls, basis of masonry columns, mosaic pavement dating to the end of the 5th century which cover other more ancient mosaics datable to the 4th century. These older pavements are 14 centimeter lower and decorated with a series of circles and other motives (in the picture the two layers of mosaic pavement).Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
San Severo Chapel and Crypt
It’ a small private chapel, located in the heart of Naple’s historical centre, built at the end of 16th century, Eccentric Prince Raimondo de Sangro is associated with the chapel. The prince was an alchemist and man of science who lived in the 18th century; his personality is transfused in many artistic, architectural and scientific elements of the Chapel. Here you can admire sculptural masterpieces of the 17th and 18th centuries, including the “Disinganno” by Queirolo, the “Pudicizia” by Corradini, but the most famous is the “Cristo Velato” (Veiled Christ) by Sammartino, who created this alabaster figure beneath a marble veil: it’s a work of breathtaking technical virtuosity.
In the crypt, under the Chapel, there are the mysterious anatomical machines, two perfect replicas of human circulatory system, with the entire system of blood veins and arteries and with some organs, perfectly preserved. According to a legend the anatomical machines are the result of a gruesome experiment that the prince made on two of his servants, a man and a woman (who was pregnant): he gave them a poison which transformed their blood in marble.
PRICE: 5 euros
OPENING HOURS: 10,00-20,00 (You can enter until 20 minutes before the closing)
During Christmas period:
24-25-26-31 December h. 10,00-13,30
1 Jenuary closed
6 Jenuary h.10,00-13,00
[Egicom05 - by Elisir]Related to:
- Arts and Culture
A cultural tour in the metro
The new Metro of Naples is an efficient and modern system of transportation. But it’s much more than this. It opens a new road in the world of metropolitan infrastructures: the wide, luminous full of atmosphere “milieu” contribute to render more agreable the public transit. The participation of illustrious architects to the plan of the stations (from Gae Aulenti to Alexander Mendini to Domenico Orlacchio), and the introduction (inside and outside the stations) of many artistic elements, sculptures, works of modern art are the best example of art coupling and urban planning. Each station has contributed to radically transform the surrounding "milieu". In the picture a private building (2, Salvator Rosa street) transformed after the Metro Station opening.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
The volcano Solfatara lies from almost 4000 years in the center of Campi Flegrei. It continues to offer the show of an active volcanic area. Once you reach the crater, you can see raising exhalations sulfurees similar to clouds of vapour; the wall at the base shows a typical red-brown coloration, given by the substances contained in the fumaroles.
After the south-oriental slope, there is a small masonry, wrapped by the vapours of the fumarola called Bocca Grande: it’s an old Volcanological Observatory set up by the Borbone Royal family. Today it’s one of the stations of overseeing and measurement of the temperature, as well as of the chemical composition of the gaseous emanations.
According to ancient legends, the Solfatara has been theater of enterprises of Centaurs, Giants and Cyclopses, that disembarked together with the first Greek navigators. According to Omero, some travelling companions of Ulisse, sent in patrol, met king Antifate's daughter that led them to the king; immediately the Giants showed hostility toward foreigners and there was a great battle among the gods and the Giants. The place of the battle was all fire and flames: from here the name Flegrea (ardent earth); the sea, the mountains and the same cracks of the earth brought engraved the signs of that clash; so the gods decided that, from that moment, to remember this battle, those earths continued to burn for all through the years.
Today everything is still surrounded by a fascinating atmosphere. The visitor entering the Solfatara has the perception of beeing inside a boiling crater that almost seems on the point to explode.
The site also involves for its geophysical particularity that doesn't have equal in the world.
[Egicom 05 - by Amaltea]Related to:
- National/State Park
Chiesa Santa Chiara
In the south east corner of the Piazza del Gesù you’ll see the tall campanile of the Chiesa Santa Chiara. We didn’t go into the large church (as with the Gesù Nuovo Sunday Mass was being said) but did visit the cloisters of the next door monastery – a visit I would highly recommend. Not only is this a beautifully peaceful spot in this manic city, but the decoration is stunning – both the painted friezes on the walls and even more so the 18th century majolica covered columns, seats and dividing walls. Every scene is different, and while the main paintings show largely religious scenes (bible stories, saints etc.), many of the images in the tilework are of domestic and rural life – see photo 2 for an example.
You’ll also find an excellent 18th century example of the nativity scenes for which Naples is famous; this one is from a collection of many made in Naples during the kingdom of Ferdinand IV, the Bourbon king. See photo 4 (although it didn’t come out as well as I’d have liked) and check out my Local Customs tip for more on these crib scenes.
There is also a well-presented museum with archaeological objects and information on the history of the church. Outside in the courtyard, when we visited was an excellent exhibition of photographs about faith, with beautiful images from all over the world.
Entry costs €5 and is well worth it. If you can’t get here though, the website below is very informative (in four languages) and nicely designed.Related to:
Built in the Gothic style at the end of the 13th century upon the wish of Carlo II d'Angio, the cathedral sits on the site of the old cathedral Stafania. It has been subjected to numerous restoration works in the subsequent centuries, and the facade has been restructured significantly during the restoration work carried out following the earthquake of 1349. The three portals of Antonio Baboccio have survived from the original structure. Under the second arcade on the left side of the central nave there is a baptismal font which is made of an Egyptian basalt basin decorated with Bacchic masks and on the upper parts from 1618 there is multi-coloured marble. The 18th century organs and the episcopal throne are under the last two arcades of the central nave.
Information by Wcities
Open Hours: 9a-noon M-Su, 4:30p-7p M-SaRelated to:
Il Museo Archeologico Nazionale
The Farnese collection is the largest art collection in Italy. This includes precious paintings by Titian and other great masters, antique sculptures and great renaissance pieces from Barbo and Fulvio Orsini and the Medici collection. The collection is enriched by the largest archeological collection in history, consisting of the precious remains of towns buried by Vesuvius during the eruption of 79 A.D. It also has pieces from Etruscan and Roman civilisation from cities such as Capua, Nola, Pozzuoli, Baia, Miseno, Capri and many more. The Egyptian collection is now in the Farnese complex of Terme di Caracalla with materials from the Iside temple in Pompei and the protohistoric and prehistoric sections.
Admission: EUR 6.Related to:
- Museum Visits
Cento Camerelle (Hundred little rooms)
This archeological site is a complex waterworks of the orator Ortensio Ortalo’s villa. In the popular imagination the “Cento Camerelle” are called also “Jails of Nero” where he shut up their enemies. Cento Camerelle were built in the republic age and implied in the imperial one and it is composed by two floor. The upper level is situated about 3 metres lower than the present trampling floor. Going downstairs for 6m more, you can visit the inferior floor where there are a complex system of cuniculi (photo) which are not completely explored yet and their plaiting seems a real labyrinth. To left there is a passage where you can see a wonderful view. All the structure has been dig in yellow sandstone and covered by cocciopesto which is a protective material, and so maybe it were used as a cistern. With Augusto and the birth of Miseno harbour, Cento Camerelle were transformed in a storage for wine or oil amphorae and then for materials of Miseno fleet.
Free entrance. Open every day from 9.00 am to one hour before sunset.
[Egicom05 - Naples Eyes]Related to:
Vomero district: great views of the city
By the time we’d finished our wanderings on the lower levels of the city, the November sun was quite low in the sky, but we decided we just had time before dark to head up the hill to see if we could get a good view overlooking Naples from these heights. We took the funicular from Stazionne Toledo to Stazionne Fuga, and then tried to follow the small map we head with us in an effort to locate a good viewpoint. I’d read that great views could be had from the Castel Sant’ Elmo, but we’d left it too late in the day for that so wanted instead to find somewhere else nearby. Two friendly locals and one helpful policeman later, and we’d found it – a street running parallel to and just below the castle walls, Via Tito Angelini (I think).
The warm afternoon light made for good photos, and I enjoyed picking out some of the places we’d visited earlier in the day (you can see the campanile of Santa Chiara very clearlyin my 2nd photo). We only stayed a short while, but there were a couple of nice looking cafes had we wanted to linger.
Vomero is definitely one of the smarter neighbourhoods. We saw some lovely houses and apartment blocks, so I imagine it would be a great place to live in Naples, if you could afford it! There are also some good shops here, on Via Scarletti, though these were mostly closed when we were there as Sunday closing is still the norm in Italy.
Church of Santa Chiara was built in a Provencal – Gothic style. After that it was converted to the Baroque style and in the Second World War was destroyed during bombing. Later renovation restored its original shape. This church was very unusual for me because, its creation of the fine rustic garden and wonderful decorations with mythological and landscapes scenes. The columns and benches are very picturesque.Related to:
Del Gesu Church
The church of the New Jesus began in 1470 as a lay building and more precisely, as the home of Roberto Sanseverino, the prince of Salerno. The building is impressive and was built in an area at the edge of the city, at the beginning of the old inferior decuman gate. Following the so-called, "swearing in of the barons" which was plotted against the King Ferrante d'Aragona, the building was confiscated in 1497 due to the involvement of Antonello Sanseverino, the son of Roberto. In 1506 it was given to Prince Robert II of Sanseverino who was part of the new ruling house of Castille which had overturned the House of Aragon in 1506. We can still admire the sumptuous renaissance building of the Severini with its well preserved facade of piperno with diamond shapes. It was the work of Novello da S. Lucano even if it has been tampered with in some places. In 1552 the building was confiscated again following the involvement of the Sanseverini during anti-Spanish tensions. In 1584 the Jesuits acquired the building and transformed it into the present day church dedicated to the the Immaculate one, better known by the name, "New Jesus". The church is in the shape of a Greek cross with three naves. the collapse of the cupola and this was reconstructed by Arcangelo Guglielmelli. The church was restored again following Second world war damage. It is particulary worth seeing the large fresco by Franceso Solimena on the reverse of the facade, "the purge of Eliodoro from the temple"; also the Burrello chapel with the sculptures of Cosimo Fanzago and Michelangelo Naccherino, as well as the altar by Cosimo Fanzago.
Open Hours: 8a-12:30p, 4:30p-6:30p M-SuRelated to:
Some more city squares
We really enjoyed exploring, and sometimes relaxing in, the many piazzas of the Centro Storico. For instance we had a relaxing Sunday morning cappuccino in the Piazza San Domenica Maggiore, a great place for people watching. The large obelisk (known as a guglia) in the centre of the square commemorates a terrible plague in 1656, which killed half the population of the city. It was funded by the Dominicans, with contributions from the citizens. The Baroque monument is adorned with medallions of male and female saints of their Order, and at the very top stands a bronze statue of Saint Dominic.
In the 13th century Saint Thomas Aquinas lived and taught in the convent attached to the church of San Domenica Maggiore, on the north side of the piazza.
My other photo is of another of Naples’ three guglia, which are highly decorated obelisks intended to outshine those of Rome. This one is in the Piazza Gesù Nuovo, on the western fringes of the Centro Storico, and commemorates the Immaculate Conception.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Royal Country house of Lucrino Lake
In the Lucrino lake there is the "Royal Country House", Casina Vanvitelliana. King Ferdinando IV of Borbone, entrusted the architect Carlo Vanvitelli to build, on a little island already existing, this little home for the hunting and the fishing.
During the time, had illustrious guests as: Mozart, Gioacchino Rossini, the zar of Russia, Vittorio Emanuele III and others. Currently it is possible to reach the Casina through the park of the Fusaro and walking through a bridge, that connects it to the bank; it’s like a polygonal tent, structured on two levels, inside which it is possible to admire the rooms enriched by frescos and by Baroque decorations. This structure, also belonging to the extreme phase of the Baroque, is considered "song of the swan" of the rococò production. Select place also as scenery for the realization of movies, theatrical representations and tied up cultural demonstrations of the territory.
Park: every day 9.00/until to an hour before the sunset
The Casina: Saturday - Sunday 10.00/13.00
[Egicom05 - by Amaltea]Related to:
- Historical Travel
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