Now a suburb
If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the area west of Naples in the Campania region of southwestern Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The area tends to be less “touristy” than many other parts of Italy including eastern Campania, namely Sorrento and the Isle of Capri described in companion articles in this series. Be sure to visit Naples described in another companion article.
Solfatara is a semiextinct volcano that last erupted in 1198. Its name comes from the Latin sulpha terra for land of sulphur so you know what to expect. Solfatara is not very pretty, unless you like to look at boiling mud.
Pozzuoli is a fishing town that has become a suburb of Naples. It was once the home of wealthy Romans; famous residents include St. Paul and Sophia Loren. Pozzuoli was damaged by volcanic eruptions during the Middle Ages and again in the 1970s. You’ll want to see the Anfiteatro Flavio (Flavius Amphitheater), Italy’s third largest, that held 40,000 spectators.
Baia was perhaps the greatest Ancient Roman resort of them all. All the big shots including Caesar, Nero, and Tiberius had a home away from home in Baia. Cleopatra was there on a visit when Julius Caesar met his untimely end.
Cumae may have been the first Greek colony on the Italian mainland, founded in the Eighth Century B. C. You’ll want to see Sibyl’s Cave considered the most romantic classical site in all Italy. This cave, almost five hundred feet (one hundred thirty one meters) long, was carved out of solid rock.
The island of Ischia was probably inhabited for thousands of years. The Aragonese Castle is Ischia’s most heavily visited monument. Actually it was built on a rock near the so-called mainland about 2500 years ago. In 1441 the castle was linked to the island by a stone bridge. The nearby beach is fine and its waters may heal your ailments.
Something about volcanic soil makes food tasty and plentiful and gives wine a special zest. Try to taste the mozzarella cheese, made from the milk of water buffalo. See our companion article I Love Touring Italy – Campania West Of Naples for a sample menu and more information on Campania wines plus an in-depth examination of the area’s tourist attractions. Ischia wine comes from the entire island of Ischia and is made from a variety of local grapes in a variety of styles.
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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