The wide arc of land around the Pozzuoli Bay has been known for centuries as the Campi Flegrei (The Phlegraean fields) or Burning Fields, because of the constant volcanic activity. Mud still bubbles from the clay bed of the solfatara and in places the ground is still hot, you can easily boil an egg if you place it under the soil.
Over time some of the Phlegraean craters became lakes. Lake Averno thought to be the entrance of hell and owes its name (a-ornon in Greek: without birds) to the once suffocating vapours.
At the end of the 1st century BC, its almost sacred character declined after the construction of Porto Giulio, a systems of channels that connected the sea and the lakes, ships first reached the outer port in Lake Lucrino and then the inner basin of Lake Averno, connected to Cumae by the tunnel through Monte Grillo. The port was abandoned when silted up and trade was transferred to Miseno.
Founded in the 8th century BC by Greeks stationed on Ischia, Cumae is one of the oldest colonies of Magna Grecia. The founders of this colony came from Eubea, a Greek Island of the Aegean sea.
Villa Eubea and Vinaria, a cult to food and wine in the ancestral site
Buried Greek towns and Roman ruins, reveal the region’s ancient history, the burning fields and their volcanic soil bringing up the flavors on this land that gives in return high mineral wine and delicious fruit and vegetables.
Next, we will explore the rest of this amazing territory going from Pozzuoli to Baia and Bacoli stopping by more wineries, restaurants by the bay and archeological sites. See you tomorrow, thank you for reading.
(c) 2013 Montserrat Franco, all pictures by me taken with IPhone 4S and Sony Cybershot.
The remains of Pompeii were discovered by accident in the 1590’s when architect Domenico Fontana was excavating the canal to bring the waters from river Sarno to Torre Anunziata but it was not until the 1750’s that the site was seen as an archaeological treasure and one of the most important and well preserved examples of Roman civilization. Follow me on this amazing trip around the streets, houses and wineries of Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Vesuvius National Park.
In 90-89 BC the people of Campania became Roman citizens. Naples (Neapolis) or the new city came in to contact with the growing power of Rome. In AD 79 the erupting Vesuvius buried a number of ancient Roman cities including Pompeii.
Thanks to the many discoveries we can have an idea of the life in the Roman houses of Pompeii, constructed generally around two open courts; the atrium; an Italic feature and the colonnaded garden of Greek origin. But not only the architecture and the art in their walls, Pompeii reveals much more in the bodies of people unearthed along with their everyday objects.
Lacryma Christi and the ancient wine making in the Vesuvius
A Paleo Christian legend says that Christ cried over the Vesuvius and His Holy tears blessed the vineyards giving name to this excellent wine. Other legend distorted from the pagan mythology says that Jesus visited a hermit converting his bad beverage in to amazing wine. Today we can see many frescoes with wine rituals from the houses in Pompeii that have survived the ashes after the eruption of the Volcano.
The town’s quiet existence was brought to an abrupt halt in AD 79 during the eruption of the Vesuvius that buried Pompeii with deep lava and mud. The site of ancient Herculaneum is well below the level of the modern town. The area is still being excavated.
(c) 2013 Montserrat Franco. All pictures by me taken with IPhone 4, 4S and Sony Cybershot. You are more than welcome to share them mentioning the font.
Italy keeps inspiring most of us over and over, it is everything from the Arts to the Music, from the Architecture to the Fashion, from the History to the wine and food.
Naples is one of the cities that fascinates me with incredible characteristics and the magnificent views of the Vesuvius, wherever your position is, you will be able to have that postcard illusion. Here you need to take your time, to eat and drink like a local, don’t bring your watch, time here seems like it never goes by, it is the perfect way to feel that “La Dolce Vita” style.
Borgo Marinaro, Marecchiaro and Santa Lucia
One of the romantic walks around Naples is by the Lungomare in the Santa Lucia neighborhood, with plenty of restaurants to choose from surrounded by colorful sun kissed boats lining around the “Borgo Marinaro” (the fishermen’s quarter). Naples inspired also the most romantic Italian songs (canzonettas) and it’s here in this quarter where they were born. In Naples everything is about love, food and the simple life, just experience it for yourself.
The Lungomare was frequented by Sophia Loren and Salvador Dali and you can still have the same taste and get your inner diva and glamour do the rest, just put on some huge sunglasses with a little black dress and enjoy a glass of Falanghina wine which is the perfect pair with any of the local seafood dishes.
The legend around the Castel dell”Ovo and the particular name first appears in the XIV century and it talks about a magic egg that was hidden in the castle. Today the castle with his particular tufa walls is home of art exhibitions and retrospectives that can be visited by the public.
After lunch at the Borgo Marinaro or Santa Lucia a short walk to the chic Chiaia neighborhood it’s a must for the designers stores and the majestic architecture.
Naples can be a city with many contradictions, narrowed claustrophobic streets full of Vespas and chaotic traffic or wide avenues with the most glamorous shops and ladies covered in fur and designer handbags. While in Chiaia experience both sides, take a look at the Fascist era architecture and monuments and don’t forget it’s time for an aperitif, our version of Happy Hour, Italian Style, somewhere around 5 to 7 pm. Chiaia gives many options when it comes to aperitif, the difference is that with one drink most bars offer a full buffet of appetizers and nibbles, all self service but with moderation, remember soon will be time for dinner.
Well, I think has been a long day and you need some rest because tomorrow you will be visiting more wonderful monuments, eating amazing food and tasting excellent wines, what a wonderful life!!!
(c) 2013 Montserrat Franco. All pictures by me taken with an IPhone 4, 4S and Sony Cybershot