An Excursion along the Amalfi Coast is like a trip along Heaven's Road. The Crystal Blue sea, Towns that seem to crawl up the side of steep mountains, roads that are hovering high above the water, the sunshine that illuminates the rocks from dawn to dusk, the small, magical Islands of Li Galli a few hundred meters away from the mainland, the trendy shops of Positano, the Cathedral of Amalfi, the breathtaking views from the Gardens of Ravello are all inviting reasons to visit the Amalfi Coast. Not forgetting the great food, served in the many Restaurants, that you can find in the area like; Home-made Pasta, just caught, Fresh fish, and High quality meat� In all, a true journey along Heaven's Road!
Our Tour Guides know how to search for, discover, and possibly arrange for you to meet your long lost, Italian relatives! We have had amazing results!
If you have family roots in the Naples/strong> area, Amalfi Coast or the Campania region, it may be a really good idea to take an emotional trip, in the discovery of your true origins.
Our tour leaves from naples/sorrento and is 8 hours long. We will take you to the place your Family originated, This tour will be a wonderful taste of Italy, and hopefully, you will want to comeback many times more.
Do you have any Italian origins and have thought of discovering your roots, searching for your Ancestors in actual Italy?
Carving their own niche in the skyline of Capri, sculpted by the wind and sea, and home to rare plants and wildlife, stand Stella (Star), Faraglione di Mezzo (in between) and Scopolo. These three rocky stacks, rising from the azure Tyrrhenian Sea, are collectively known as the Faraglioni.
Backdrop to holiday snapshots and postcards over the world, in modern times, the Faraglioni have stimulated visitors and writers imagination throughout the ages as far back as antiquity, and were the setting for many myths. Stella, the stack still connected to the mainland, is known for its spectacular fans of spray from waves on choppy days. The windblown sea swirls into the Faraglione's underwater hollow, before erupting, showering down onto the rocks.
Quieter days at the Faraglioni are also charged with magical charm. Sunlight glancing on the surface of the water, mingles with light cast up from spaces in the rock below, creating fascinating shifting shades of iridescent blue around the rocks. Scopolo, the Faraglione furthest from land, is famous for its unique blue lizards, found nowhere else on Earth.
The ultimate touch of mystique surrounding the Faraglioni is the relationship between the depth of the sea immediately surrounding the rocks, the strong currents flowing there, and the way the spray, splashing round the Faraglioni is shot through with light, creating an array of sparkling colors.
Weather veiled in morning mist, surrounded in mystic colors and fine spray, or the splendors of sunset, the Faraglioni remain mysterious and fascinating.
Situated on a terrace overlooking the splendid Amalfi coastline, Sorrento is imbued with charm and echoes of the ancient past. Its position is perfect, affording a stunning panorama of the bay of Naples, but its list of attributes is replete. Parks, villas, orange, lemon and olive groves, picturesque narrow streets and resplendent weather, have ensured a steady stream of visitors to the town throughout the year and over the centuries. The town does suffer irregular building projects, but even this has not greatly overshadowed its rustic sea side town appeal.
The name of the town has its origins in antiquity and derives from a Greek word meaning "Flowing" due to the form of the town which appears to flow over the limestone tuff on which the town stands, defining the edge of the cliffs.
Curving along the coastline, erosion has carved the rock-face over the centuries into the majestic crags which climb to the skyline, forming the world renowned beauty of the Amalfi coast. Its legendary origins derive from the word Siren or Mermaids, mythical feminine creatures with celestial voices and hideous aspect, whose hands and songs lured unsuspecting sailors to the terror of the rocks, breaking their ships and wreaking romantic and tragic havoc.
In the Middle Ages Sorrento fell into the hands of the Goths and the Byzantines, but resisted and repelled the advances of the Lombards of Benevento despite a siege. Due to Sorrento's proximity to the sea however, it was often raided and sacked in the 1500's by Pirates and sailors from the Harbor Town of Pisa, which led to the construction of the numerous watch towers along the coast.
Sorrento's charm lies in part in its sun drenched rustic simplicity. Quaint artisan workshops packed together onto a maze of medieval alleys, with the inevitable mix of locals and tourists bustling through the centre. The long shadows cast across uneven cobbled streets from overhanging balconies and terraces which almost meet overhead. Just enough space remains for washing to be strung out to dry Italian style from above, spanning the street in the Italian afternoon sun.
Opposite the San Carlo is the grandest interior in southern Italy, the Galleria Umberto I. This great glass-roofed arcade, perhaps the largest in the world, was begun in 1887, nine years after the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.
The arcade is cross-shaped, with a pretty mosaic of the zodiac on the floor at the centre, and its arching dome is 184ft tall. The Neapolitans do not seem to like it as much as they once did: even at high noon, you are likely to find its vast spaces deserted but for a few small clouds of forceful, grey-suited men arguing politics around the entrances.
The Vesuvius -
Until the earthquake of AD 62 and the eruption of AD 79 which buried Herculaneum and Pompeii, Vesuvius seemed extinct; its slopes were clothed with famous vines and woods.
By 1139, seven eruptions had been recorded. Then came a period of calm during which the slopes of the mountains were cultivated. On 16 December 1631 Vesuvius had a terrible awakening, destroying all the settlements at its foot: 3000 people perished.
The eruption of 1794 devastated Torre del Greco. The volcano had minor eruptions in 1858, 1871, 1872, from 1895 to 1899, 1900, 1903, 1904, a major eruption in 1906, 1929, and one in 1944 altering the shape of the crater. Since then, apart from brief activity linked with the 1980 earthquake, Vesuvius has emitted only a plume of smoke. A good road leads to a junction in the midst of lava flows. Take the left fork (car park a few kilometres futher on).
The path is an easy but most impressive climb up the volcano, scattered with cinders and lapilli. From the summit there is an immense panorama over the Bay of Naples with the Sorrento Peninsula in the south and Cape Miseno in the north. Beyond is the Gulf of Gaeta.
The crater affords an unforgettable sight for its sheer size and the sense of desolation on the slopes of the jagged walls, for the great yawning crater, which takes on a pink color in the sun, and for the spouting steam-jets.
On the morning of August 24th in 79 AD, when Pompeii people -unaware the time was about to stop- directed their gaze to the sky, they saw an ominous, dark, pine-shaped cloud hanging over the Vesuvius. At 10 in the morning, gases pressing from inside the volcano exploded, bursting the consolidated lava obstructing the crater and pulverized it: the power of the volcano covered Pompeii in lapilli (solidified fragment of lava) and a torrent of thick ashes obscured the sun.
A violent earthquake and deadly gas fumes buried the city under more than 6 meters of ashes and lapilli. At least 2,000 of the approximately 10,000 inhabitants were killed; some poisoned by gases while attempting to flee, others in their own homes, crushed by roofs collapsing under the weight of the volcanic material.
People in Pompeii could not imagine their daily life was going to be frozen in time, preserved thanks to the material spewed out of Vesuvius and the entire city was going to be rediscovered, centuries later, telling the story of the day when a volcano stopped the time.
The city was almost completely forgotten until the end of 16th Century, when Domenico Fontana, an italian architect, overseeing the construction of a canal for the Sarno River, found inscriptions and buildings decorated with frescos. Fontana, however, did not realize he had just discovered the remains of ancient Pompeii.
Today, the city is almost entirely visible bringing back visitors to the fateful day in 79 AD. The city looks like its life was interrupted just moments ago. Political campaign slogans on the walls, home furnitures, shops, everything looks alive, as it was at the moment of the eruption.
The city is transected by the majestic Via dell’Abbondanza, the central axis that corresponds to the lower decumanus. Starting at the Forum and continuing to the Porta Sarno, it is named after the beautiful fountain decorated by a bas-relief portraying “Abundance” as a woman holding a cornucopia. The street is 600 meters long and still today is a living and vibrant portrait of the city’s most important commercial street. Inscriptions painted on the plaster can also be found there, as the most eloquent record of city life.
The first style was used in some houses consists of stucco reliefs, mostly red or black, but also purple, yellow-green pigments imitating marble.
The Second style consists of frames and decorations along with painted foliage to create a “trompe l’oeil” effect, giving the illusion of shadow and depth; false colonnades and doorways are depicted opening onto perspectival paintings representing gardens in the foreground. It was a very popular style with customers of the age. Still lives portraying fowls, fruit and vegetables were also very popular.
The Third Style is a "decorative style" and completely overturned perspective and three-dimensionality which characterized the previous style. It used flat, dark colors resembling curtains and tapestry and painted scenes in small floating panels in the middle.
The Fourth Style is distinguishable by its fictional architectures using perspective illusion, and has strong theatrical features. It mixes decorative motifs from the previous styles, such as imitation of marble, trompe-l'oeil, chandeliers, winged figures and foliage. It was used to decorate most of the villas in Pompeii when the city was rebuilt after the catastrophic earthquake on February 5th in 62 AD.