Naples and Vesuvius excursion
This excursion is an effective instrument to focus on the internal charm of Naples: an exuberant city, antique and modern, aristocratic and popular, full of monuments and local markets, museums and confectioner’s shops, villas and squares.
The historical centre (the largest in the world) is divided in two by Spaccanapoli, the most famous of three Decumani which cross San Gregorio Armeno, reign of shepherds and Christmas cribs and which with its shops colours corners of an antique Naples, never having left its shell of close-net lanes.
Going forward along these lanes, real hidden treasures are revealed: The Chapel of Sansevero with sculptural masterpieces from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries including the famous Veiled Christ; San Domenico Maggiore Square and Piazza del Gesù, where all its scenic power dominates the large Church of Gesù Nuovo. Opposite is the Monastery of Saint Chiara built in Gothic style and re-done in Baroque form with its splendid majolica-tiled cloister.
Very interesting the visits of the National Archaeological Museum, the most important in Europe, and of the Royal Palace of Capodimonte. To be a part of Naples means also abandoning oneself to the daily beauties, made of viewpoints overlooking the sea, small local markets and stalls, hidden gardens, sellers of water, chocolate manufacturers and confectioner’s shops for tasty stops, fish, fruit and vegetable markets. The citizens’ parlour is the Galleria Umberto I covered by a metal-plated dome and with a polychrome marble floor. Piazza del Plebiscito and Palazzo Reale are remarkable, in addition to the large and mighty castles, far from the pomp and elegance, such as: Castel Nuovo or Maschio Angioino in Piazza Municipio, Castel dell’Ovo outstretched over the sea, Castel Capuano and Castel Sant’Elmo which dominates the city from above the Vomero. Going towards the sea from Santa Lucia to Mergellina and Posillipo a spectacular view of Capri, Ischia and the Sorrentine Coast with the impressive Vesuvius in the distance can be enjoyed.
To reach the top of the volcano you travel along a road crossing groups of houses, outcrops o f lava, seams of ashes, and cultivations of fruit trees, vegetables and flowers, favoured by the fertility of the volcanic soil; higher up the brooms and the characteristic lava and rope, domestic pine and oak woods, and then more lava flow until you reach quote 1000 metres in a wide area where you leave the car and continue on foot towards the crater from where an impressive view of the entire gulf and the inside of the crater deep 200 metres can be enjoyed.
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