Things to see and do - Caserta Vecchia
Campania around Naples :
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Campania around Naples
Campania around NaplesBy car, 380 km, 3 days
If you’re looking to leave the supercharged atmosphere of Naples to enjoy the deep tranquility of Campania, inland as well as by the sea, then follow our advice ... A tour of dreams!Customise this route and add it to My travel book
This enormous rectangular building jointed around four interior courtyards interconnected by a magnificent vestibule was commissioned for Luigi Vanvitelli by Charles III of Bourbon. The main stairway leads to sumptuous royal apartments furnished in neoclassical style. You can see the 18C apartment, with its walls covered in frescoes (J.P. Hackert) representing the four seasons and the Queen's apartment, which is quite charming, decorated in a rocaille style.
A coastline lapped by clear waters, beautiful villas set among luxuriant greenery, perched villages and fishing communities tucked away in little bays... The Amalfi Coast is renowned far and wide, bringing visitors in their droves to explore this coastline, each bend of which reveals a new marvel. Between Sorrento and Salerno, experience the Dolce Vita along Italy's most beautiful stretch of coast, rightly listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.
This historic centre is made up of the Via Capuano and Via Genova. The Via dei Mercanti runs parallel to them. Here you will discover a dazzling white labyrinth of façades of differing kinds as well as balconies, flowery recesses, narrow streets, small staircases, arched passageways and small squares decorated with fountains. Perfect for a charming stroll.
Established in 9C, then enlarged in 10 and 13C, the cathedral is a good example of the town's attraction to oriental splendour. The façade (rebuilt in 19C) stands at the top of an imposing stairway and attracts attention with its varied geometrical designs in multicoloured stone. The campanile, on the left, is all that remains of the original church. A beautiful 11 C bronze door from Constantinople leads to a Baroque interior where you can admire some antique columns.
This all-white building from 1268 blends Romanesque austerity with Arab fantasy and leads the way to the diocesan museum set up in the basilica of the Crucifix, an ancient 9C Cathedral which has today reverted to its Romanesque forms, accommodating, among other artworks, a fresco of a Madonna and Child, painted with incredible softness.
Via San Giovanni del Toro leads to an 11C church of the same name and a wonderful belvedere.
A pastiche villa in the eclectic 19C style so dear to the Bloomsbury Set, with a false Gothic cloister and a large vaulted room. Not to mention an extraordinary garden laid out like a belvedere, a true balcony overlooking the sea in a vertigo-inducing way. This is a divine house that E.W. Beckett (later Lord Grimthorpe) had built... visitors will be seized by the urge to abandon all luggage and never leave this place imbued with such beauty.
There is a 12C campanile, a bronze door (1179) signed by Barisanus de Trani, a magnificent pulpit covered in mosaics of motifs and fantastic animals (1272), an ambo decorated with green mosaics depicting Jonas swallowed and then spat out by the whale, a crypt containing a museum with mosaics, sculptures and a silver head-reliquary (St Barbara kindly provided the relics): surely all this is worth a look?
Between two tunnels, the Vallone di Furore is the most striking section of this coastline on account of its sheer rocky faces and the hammering of the waves roaring in, which on stormy days can be thunderously fierce. Modest fishermen's houses cling defiantly to the slopes; several paths cross the area, including the famous Sentiero degli Dei from Positano to Monte Sant'Angelo, offering fine coastal views from Praiano to Capri.
The view from the headland of Punta del Capo di Sorrente offers a superb view of Sorrento, the sea, and the surrounding hillsides covered with olive groves, vines, orange and lemon trees. At Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi, perched on a crest which dominates both the Gulf of Salerno and the Bay of Naples, the Belevedere del Deserto affords a splendid panorama.
Founded en 1306, this Carthusian monastery is today made up mainly of Baroque building: from the Foresteria cloister, a cedar doorway gives access to the showy church which has two admirable 16C chancels. Around the great cloister are the monks' cells. A large 18C staircase, majestic and theatrical inspired works by Luigi Vanvitelli.