Everything looks so calm
If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the unique area east of Naples in the Campania region of southwestern Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The ancient cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii are in essence giant, sometimes open-air museums that display in utmost detail life in the Roman Empire. You should also see Mount Vesuvius. Make sure to read our companion articles on the other areas of Campania.
Caserta’s relatively new palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site with twelve hundred rooms, perhaps the largest Eighteenth Century building in all Europe. It was Allied High Command headquarters during World War II. Don’t miss its staircase, said to outdo the one at Versailles, and the royal apartments. The grounds are so long that you can take a minibus from the palace to the end of the property. The palace appeared in the first three episodes of Star Wars movies.
Herculaneum was destroyed in 79 A. D. when Mount Vesuvius erupted. The intense heat killed people almost instantaneously but did little damage to the buildings. The ruins were not uncovered until the Eighteenth Century. Much of the ancient city remains to be unearthed, largely because it lies under the modern city of Ercolano.
What a climb to reach the top of Mount Vesuvius, but the view is beautiful. Mount Vesuvius has erupted often, most recently in 1944 when it destroyed several neighboring villages and 88 American B-25 bombers. The most destructive eruption was in 79 A. D. when it eradicated the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii killing an estimated 10 to 25 thousand in Pompeii alone.
Pompeii is a major tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Get to Pompeii early to take full advantage of the day ticket. A three-day ticket allows you to visit five archeological sites. Pompeii was home to a lot of erotic art, some displayed in the Secret Cabinet in the Naples National Archaeological Museum. In Pompeii many exhibitions are not suitable for children.
Campania tomatoes are served every which way, including on pizza and spaghetti. Taste the mozzarella cheese made from the milk of water buffalo. See our companion article I Love Touring Italy – Campania East Of Naples for a sample menu and more information on Campania wines plus an in-depth examination of local tourist attractions. From a small plot within Pompeii’s walls vineyards comes the Villa dei Misteri wine made from historic red grape varieties.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.Click to access the original, longer article on this Italian tourist location.
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