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Naples (Pompei, Amalfi Coast), Italy (5/3/18)

We docked in Naples while on the Breeze in late October 2012. We both felt that the excursion we took was one of the best ever! We visited Pompeii, Sorrento and drove the Amalfi Coast to Positano and beyond. The scenery was breathtaking as you can see in the pictures below. I didn't setup that tour, but I think the tour leader used RomeInLimo. There were 8 of us in a van. I highly recommend this tour or a similar one with Carnival. For this visit, Linda and I both figured we would spend some time in Naples. Well, that was until we viewed Rick Steves' video about Florence. Now we plan to go back to the Amalfi Coast, bypassing Pompeii and adding the towns of Amalfi and Ravello. Or, we might take a tour to Capri.

Since we didn't visit Naples, I thought I should do a bit of research. What I found was impressive, but still not sure I want to spend our time in a big city. Naples is the capital of the Italian region Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy, after Rome and Milan. In 2015, around 975,260 people lived within the city limits, while the Metropolitan City of Naples had a population of 3,115,320. Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Initially know as Parthenope, the city was refounded as Neápolis in the sixth century BC and became a lynchpin of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society and eventually becoming a cultural center of the Roman Republic. Naples remained influential after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, in union with Sicily, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.

Naples' historic city centre is the largest in Europe, covering 4,200 acres and enclosing 27 centuries of history, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Naples has long been a major cultural center with a global sphere of influence, particularly during the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras. In the immediate vicinity of Naples are numerous culturally and historically significant sites, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Culinarily, Naples is synonymous with pizza, which originated in the city. Neapolitan music has furthermore been highly influential, credited with the invention of the romantic guitar and the mandolin, as well as notable contributions to opera and folk standards. Popular characters and historical figures who have come to symbolise the city include Januarius, the patron saint of Naples, the comic figure Pulcinella, and the Sirens from the Greek epic poem the Odyssey. According to CNN, the metro stop "Toledo" is the most beautiful in Europe and it won also the LEAF Award '2013 as "Public building of the year". Naples is the Italian city with the highest number of accredited stars from the Michelin Guide.

The picture below shows scenes from two areas alongs the Amalfi Coast. The first is taken from the overlook approaching Amalfi, while the second is from Villa Rufolo in Ravello. Both pictures have the same mountain in the background.

Naples Pic

Most ships berth at Stazione Marittima, which is centrally located just below Castel Nuovo and ideal if you plan to take the hydrofoil to Capri, Ischia or Sorrento. You can walk right into town from there and be at Piazza del Plebiscito in a few minutes.

On busy days, ships also dock at Molo Pisacane to the east of Stazione Marittima, and shuttle buses are available to transfer passengers to Galleria del Mare inside the Stazione Marittima.

Naples (Pompei, Amalfi Coast) Port Page - Cruise Critic port page for the port of Florence.

Things to do in Naples - Tripadvisor's Things to do in Naples, with ranked lists of attractions and activities.

Amalfi Coast Attraction & Activities - Tripadvisor's Things to do in Amalfi Coast, with ranked lists of attractions and activities.

WhatsInPort - Great info about the port including a webcam (some ports), printable map and ships in port: no ships includes the Horizon were listed.

Frommer's Naples - a well respected travel guide, has their take on Naples, with lots of links to explore.

Frommer's Amalfi Coast - a well respected travel guide, has their take on The Amalfi Coast, with lots of links to explore. This guide is a bit different as you need to explore each city along the Amalfi Coast.

Lonely Planet's Naples - Lonely Planet's coverage of Naples.

Lonely Planet's Amalfi Coast - Lonely Planet's coverage of The Amalfi Coast.

Tours by Locals Naples & Amalfi Coast - Experience the beautiful Amalfi coast with a knowledgeable local guide. Experience Naples through the eyes of a local private guide! Browse our tour 'suggestions' - each can be customized just for you.

Viator's Naples Tour Offerings - Viator is a consolidator, meaning that they source tour companies and resell them. What is nice is that you can pay in USD with your credit card before you leave home. I've used them in a few places and was very pleased. If you can find the company they are using to book directly, you can save a bit.

Naples Port Guide - Tom Sheridan has created a series of Port Guides for ports around the world. They are in PDF format; thus, can be loaded on your tablet, or printed, to have handy. Tom's website is tomsportguides.com, where he gives travel tips and explains how to best use his guides.

Visit Naples Italy- The official website of the Naples, Italy.

10 Top Photo Ops - Where to find the best views of Italy. I found this very interesting as we plan to visit all of these spots, or at least we will be in each of those areas.

Rick Steves' Naples and Pompeii - a 26-min, hi-def video that covers Naples and Pompeii. The city seems so crowded that we are bypassing it, but it does have some interesting sites.

Rick Steves' Amalfi Coast - a 26-min, hi-def video that covers The Amalfi Coast and Capri.

Tour Sharing Spreadsheet - Check here to see what private tours are being offered for Naples, Pompei and the Amalfi Coast).

More to come...

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