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Southern Italy Tour of Scenic & Historic Sights


Capri, Naples, Sorrento, & Alberobello

Scenic Mediterranean Coasts & amazing caves

Museums, shops, & trulli

Reggia of Caserta residence

Reggia of Caserta residence with 1,200 rooms.

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Southern Italy pages: Rome to Rome

We were on a Globus escorted tour that included Rome and Southern Italy. An overview of the tour is given in the Introduction. The tour started in Romewhere visits included the Coliseum, Vatican, and the Spanish Steps. We then went south to Naples, Sorrento, and the Isle of Capri. The sights seen are described here in the page for Southern Italy (mainland). We also toured Pompeii. Although Pompeii is part of Southern Italy, it is important enough to deserve a separate page. From Naples we took an overnight boat to Sicily where sights visited included Palermo, Taormina, and Mount Etna. From Sicily we went back to Southern Italy (mainland) where we saw the Caves of Castellana and Alberobello. That part of the tour is described here. The tour ended in Rome. Contact Us for more information.

 

Reggia of Caserta

The Reggia of Casertas, pictured above, is a magnificent palace that is massive in size with 1,200 rooms. It is located 16 miles (25 kilometers) northeast of Naples. It is built after the Versailles in France, and is where Bourbon royals lived in the eighteenth century. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. There are four interconnecting courtyards, and the rooms are elegantly decorated with very attractive paintings, one of which is shown below, gorgeous statues, and fine furniture, as seen in the picture below. An attractive staircase is famous. Beautiful gardens near the palace are two miles long. During World War II General Eisenhower used the palace as the Allied High Command.

Painting in Reggia of Caserta.

A painting in Reggia of Caserta.


Furniture in Reggia of Caserta.

A room with furniture in Reggia of Caserta.

Isle of Capri

The Isle of Capri is located across the Bay of Naples. It takes about forty-five minutes to get there by hydrofoil from Naples. The rugged features of the island are striking and very beautiful. Capri with Naples in the background are pictured below.

Capri.

Capri with Naples in the distance.

Now a popular retreat for the rich and famous, Capri was once a popular retreat for ancient Roman emperors. The town of Anacapri is on top of limestone cliffs high above the sea offering great views. Note the circuitous path to the top of Capri shown in the picture below. Near the top right of the picture people can be seen walking, and their size gives an idea of the distances covered in the picture.

Capri steep path.

A circuitous path to the top of Capri.

One of the important attractions on the island is the Villa San Michele in Anacapri. This had been the home of Axel Munthe (1857-1949), a Swedish doctor and philanthropist. In the rooms of the villa you can see the doctor's collection of antiquities and treasures including mosaics and statues. Some rooms contain his personal things. Of particular interest is the Egyptian Sphinx Parapet, pictured below, which faces Sorrento but was placed so that you cannot see its face. If you touch the hindquarters of the Sphinx with your left hand while making a wish it is supposed to come true. Adjacent to the Villa are some paths that lead through beautiful flower gardens.

Ancient Egyptian Sphinx Parapet.

The ancient Egyptian Sphinx Parapet in the Villa San Michele in Capri.

National Archaeological Museum in Naples

The National Archaeological Museum in Naples contains some of the world's greatest Greco-Roman treasures. It has an extensive showing of objects found in Pompeii and other locations destroyed by the 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Included are a number of impressive and important sculptures. There are many beautiful and interesting mosaics, frescoes, and paintings. A painting and a mosaic are illustrated below. Some of the ancient artwork has scenes that are very erotic, which will shock some people. Other examples of erotic scenes are found on the walls of baths, brothels, and private houses in Pompeii.

Pompeii painting in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.

A Pompeii painting in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.


Pompeii mosaic in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.

A Pompeii mosaic in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.

Sorrento

Sorrento is an attractive town to walk around with narrow alleyways and gorgeous views of the sea and rocky cliffs. You can shop for very fine furniture here made in local factories and which can be shipped to the USA.

Caves of Castellana

Mother Nature created a great display of stalagmites and stalactites in the Caves of Castellana. This is a large network of caves with interesting and beautiful formations. The caverns are very large. This can be appreciated by looking at the picture below on the left. People are standing near the bottom right corner of the picture, but the people are hard to see because they are very small compared to the size of the cavern. A picture of a rock formation in the cave is also seen below. Picture taking is only allowed in the first cavern, which has light entering from an opening at the top of the cave, as can be seen in the top picture below.

Large cavern in the Caves of Castellana.

A large cavern in the Caves of Castellana. People are standing near the lower right.


Formations in the Caves of Castellana.

Formations in the Caves of Castellana.

Alberobello

Alberobello is a place that is famous for the trulli, which have whitewashed dry stone circular structures with pinnacled conical roofs, as seen in the figures below. The shape is like that of a beehive. The trulli, which are not found anywhere else in the world, originated as early as the thirteenth century. These houses and other buildings are built of local limestone without any mortar. A hole at the top allows smoke to escape. There are numerous trulli in Alberobello, which create a strange and fascinating scene for people that have not seen them before, especially on narrow streets lined with shops that are trulli. This is a very interesting place.

A trulli in Alberobello.

A trulli in Alberobello.

Trulli in Alberobello.

Shops (trulli) in Alberobello.

Southern Italy pages: Rome to Rome

We were on a Globus escorted tour that included Rome and Southern Italy. An overview of the tour is given in the Introduction. The tour started in Romewhere visits included the Coliseum, Vatican, and the Spanish Steps. We then went south to Naples, Sorrento, and the Isle of Capri. The sights seen are described here in the page for Southern Italy (mainland). We also toured Pompeii. Although Pompeii is part of Southern Italy, it is important enough to deserve a separate page. From Naples we took an overnight boat to Sicily where sights visited included Palermo, Taormina, and Mount Etna. From Sicily we went back to Southern Italy (mainland) where we saw the Caves of Castellana and Alberobello. That part of the tour is described here. The tour ended in Rome. Contact Us for more information.

Photos by Sunny Breeding. We sell images and prints.