Neapolis, Ancient Greek for ‘new city’, lying in the shadow of Vesuvius

Ancient Neapolis, modern Naples, is one of Italy’s first cities, its third largest and most densely populated. Founded by ancient Greek immigrants, the region is one of the earliest settlements in the western Mediterranean, with evidence of writing appearing on the island of Ischia almost three thousand years ago.  The settlement developed into a major city in Roman times and became immortalised by the eruption of Vesuvius, burying the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in its path.

Literature & History:

  • Iron Age Greek settlement of Pithecusae on island of Ischia; setting of book 6 of Virgil’s Aeneid
  • Visit to sibyl of Cumae and underworld;  site of last stand of Spartacus, in forests of Vesuvius
  • Site of eruption of Vesuvius, preserved in a letter by Pliny the Younger

Pompeii and Vesuvius

Herculaneum mosaics


  • Pompeii & Herculaneum
  • Islands of Ischia and Capri
  • Naples City Centre- museums art galleries and castles
  • Piazza del Plebiscito
  • San Carlo Opera House
  • Pozzuoli
  • Cumae
  • Baia
  • Misenum
  • Bacoli

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