page contents

THE PALACE OF KNOSSOS



If you are planning a holiday on the Mediterranean island of Crete then visiting the Palace of Knossos has got to be right up there on your list of top ten things to do. Not only it is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete, it is oldest city so far discovered in Europe and therefore considered to be the birth place of European civilization.

The Palace of Knossos was the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture, and was excavated by British Archaeologist Arthur Evans in the earliest years of the 20th century.

He discovered that the bronze age Palace had actually been built on top of the remains of a previous palace that had been destroyed by powerful earthquakes.

The palace appears as a maze of workrooms, living spaces, and storerooms, and is the inspiration of the Minotaur and the labyrinth in Greek mythology. The Minotaur was a creature with the head of a bull on the body of a man who inhabited the center of the Cretan Labyrinth,

The legend of the Minotaur

After King Minos ascended to the throne of Crete, his sovereignty was challenged by his brothers to rule. To assert his position, King Minos prayed to the god Poseidon to send him a snow-white bull as a sign of support.

He was to sacrifice the bull as a show honor to Poseidon, but Minos was so captured by its beauty that he decided to keep it for himself instead. Hoping that Poseidon wouldn't realize he sacrificed one of his own bulls but his plan failed.

As a punishment, Aphrodite made Minos' wife - PasiphaĆ« fall deeply in love with the bull. PasiphaĆ« had the craftsman Daedalus make a hollow wooden cow, and climbed inside it in order to mate with the white bull. She bore a child from the bull which was the monstrous Minotaur. PasiphaĆ« nursed him in his infancy, but he as he grew older he became increasingly ferocious.

Because he was the unnatural offspring of man and beast, the Minotaur had no natural source of food and so devoured men for sustenance. After getting advice from the oracle at Delphi, King Midas had Daedalus construct a gigantic labyrinth to hold the Minotaur.


WHO WAS ALEXANDER THE GREAT?



Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, single-handedly changed the nature of the ancient world in little more than a decade. His achievements were so great that he became the inspiration for later conquerors such as Hannibal the Carthaginian, the Romans Pompey and Caesar, and more recently, Napoleon.

Alexander was born in Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia in July 356 BC. His parents were Philip II of Macedon and his wife Olympias. 

Alexander the Great image care of notesofman.wordpress.com
Alexander was educated by the philosopher Aristotle, and he spent his childhood watching his father transforming Macedonia into a great military power, winning victory after victory on the battlefields throughout the Balkans. 

In 340, when Philip assembled a large Macedonian army and invaded Thrace, he left his 16 years old son with the power to rule Macedonia in his absence as regent, which shows that even at such young age Alexander was recognized as quite capable.  

But as the Macedonian army advanced deep into Thrace, the Thracian tribe of Maedi bordering north-eastern Macedonia rebelled and posed a danger to the country.  Alexander assembled an army, led it against the rebels, and with swift action defeated the Maedi, captured their stronghold, and renamed it after himself to Alexandropolis.  Two years later in 338 BC, Philip gave his son a commanding post among the senior generals as the Macedonian army invaded Greece.

 His father Philip was assassinated in 336 BC and Alexander inherited a powerful yet volatile kingdom. Once he ascended on the Macedonian throne, Alexander quickly disposed of all of his domestic enemies by ordering their execution. He quickly reasserted Macedonian power within Greece and then set out to conquer the massive Persian Empire.

Map of Alexander the Great's Empire
Against overwhelming odds, he led his army to victories across the Persian territories of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt without suffering a single defeat. His greatest victory was at the Battle of Gaugamela, in what is now northern Iraq, in 331 BC. The young king of Macedonia, leader of the Greeks, overlord of Asia Minor and pharaoh of Egypt became 'great king' of Persia at the age of 25.

Over the next eight years, in his capacity as king, commander, politician, scholar and explorer, Alexander led his army a further 11,000 miles, founding over 70 cities and creating an empire that stretched across three continents and covered around two million square miles. The entire area from Greece in the west, north to the Danube, south into Egypt and as far to the east as the Indian Punjab, was linked together in a vast international network of trade and commerce. This was united by a common Greek language and culture, while the king himself adopted foreign customs in order to rule his millions of ethnically diverse subjects.

Alexander was acknowledged as a military genius who always led by example, although his belief in his own indestructibility meant he was often reckless with his own life and those of his soldiers. The fact that his army only refused to follow him once in 13 years of a reign during which there was constant fighting, indicates the loyalty he inspired.

Shortly before beginning of the planned Arabian campaign, he contracted a high fever after attending a private party at his friend's Medius of Larisa.  

As soon as he drank from the cup he “shrieked aloud as if smitten by a violent blow”. The fever became stronger with each following day to the point that he was unable to move and speak. 

 The Macedonians were allowed to file past their leader for the last time before he finally succumbed to the illness on June 7, 323 BC in the Macedonian month of Daesius. 

Alexander the Great, the Macedonian king and the great conqueror of Persian Empire, died at the age of 33 without designating a successor to the Macedonian Empire. 

Based on an article from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/alexander_the_great.shtml and http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/AncientMacedonia/AlexandertheGreat.html
Image care of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_the_Empire_of_Alexander_the_Great_(1893).jpg

VILLA ADRIANA



Villa Adriana at Tibur - now known as Tivoli, is so-called because it is named after Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus Augustus - the Emperor of Rome from 117 to 138. 

Built almost 2000 years ago, Hadrian's Villa  was created with the purpose of being Hadrian's retreat from Rome, and in its day was the greatest Roman example of an Alexandrian garden - a recreation of an ancient and sacred landscape. During the later years of his reign, Hadrian actually governed the empire from this villa.


Unfortunately, most of what was here is now largely lost, partly due to the ruins being plundered by the Cardinal d'Este who had much of the marble removed to build his own palace at Villa d'Este.

While the gardens haven't survived, there was enough evidence in what remained of the original layout to inspire the great renaissance gardens. 

The renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the period roughly from the 14th to the 17th century.

It began in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spread to the rest of Europe.

Built around the same time as his famous wall which separated Roman England from the wild lands of Scotland, Villa Adriana was destined to be his Palace, his Court, and the military headquarters for Rome's vast empire.


The Emperor Hadrian travelled more widely than any other Emperor, and his gardens were directly inspired by ancient Greek and Egyptian architecture and mythology.

After Hadrians death, the villa was used by his various successors. However, during the decline of the Roman Empire the villa fell into disuse and was partially ruined. 

For centuries these ruins at Villa Adriana were ignored, and it wasn't until the beginning of the Renaissance - when people began to take an interest in classical Greek and Roman culture, architecture and literature - that they realised that something special was hidden here.

Gradually, the statues, columns and water features found at Villa Adriana became highly valued both as prized possessions, and examples of high art. 

Unfortunately, as soon as they became valuable enough, they were often removed/stolen/excavated or sold on the open market or more likely, behind closed doors.


As such, elements of Roman art and archaeology were included in the designs of the new renaissance gardens - the very latest fashion of the wealthy European aristocracy. 

So prized were these Roman antiquities that it wasn't uncommon for privately funded expeditions to be sent out to Italy from across Europe to secure what they could for their wealthy benefactors.

To the renaissance man, the most exciting part of this sprawling site was the gorgeous Canopus. 

The statues that line the huge, colonnaded pool are borrowed designs from the caryatids found in the Parthenon, Athens, and they culminate in a large banqueting hall complete with an impressive, domed opening.

The canopus was important to great renaissance artists and architects, and were visited by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michaelangelo. 

Why? Because they were looking for both inspiration and measurement. 

More specifically, they believed that the architecture here held the secrets to the 'magic' formula that would enable them to create perfect proportions in art and architecture.


POMPEII


Pompeii is one of the worlds most fascinating and historical UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It was founded around the 7th–6th century BC by the Osci or Oscans, a people of central Italy, on what was an important crossroad between Cumae, Nola and Stabiae.


Deserted streets of Pompeii
Situated about about 8 kilometres away from Mount Vesuvius, it covers a total area of 163 acres, and in its day was a major city in the Italian region of Campania. 

Pompeii is currently found some distance inland, but in ancient times it would have been very near to the coast.

Pompeii first came into existence as little more than a group of small farms, but by its heyday, approximately 2000 years ago, Pompeii had grown into a thriving market town.

Its wealthiest citizens owned beautiful, multi-story homes which were luxuriously decorated in the very latest fashions.

Every grand house in Pompeii was built with an atrium - a paved courtyard. Its roof drained rainwater into a central pool known as an impluvium, which overflowed into a buried cistern. This also provided the house with drinking water.


Roman impluvium with grate leading to buried cistern
However, not everyone in Pompeii lived in a large house. As the city grew, poorer families rented tiny flats in apartment blocks known as cenacula. 

Few of the apartment had kitchen and so families often had to resort to eating street food from the many food bars found along the road side. 

During this period the bustling streets would echoed to the sound of foreign voices as Greek merchant ships used the port as a popular and profitable trading post.

In 89 BC, the city of Pompeii was approached by the Roman army as a show of authority, but the residents of Pompeii refused to let them past the city walls and subsequently rebelled. 

Of course they were easily defeated and as a warning to others Rome made Pompeii a colony and then converted it into a settlement for retired soldiers.


Vesuvius erupting
The city was hit by a major earthquake in 62 AD. Many of the city's wealthiest people left and the town was still in a state of disrepair for years afterwards. 

Tremors were part of normal life for the years after the earthquake. 

However, life as the Pompeiians knew it was about to come to an end when Mount Vesuvius erupted on the morning of the 24th August 79 AD.



Pompeii was buried under twelve different layers of volcanic material to a maximum depth of 25 meters.

After these thick layers of ash covered the town, Pompeii was abandoned and eventually its name and location was forgotten. 

The first time any part of Pompeii was unearthed was in 1599, when the digging of an underground channel to divert the river Sarno ran into ancient walls covered with paintings and inscriptions.

The architect Domenico Fontana was called in and he unearthed a few more frescoes, but he covered them over again, and nothing more came of the discovery. 

A wall inscription had mentioned a decurio Pompeii  - 'the town councillor of Pompeii' - but the fact that it indicated the name of an ancient Roman city hitherto unknown was missed.

Luckily, it was rediscovered almost 150 years later in 1748 by the Spanish engineer, Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre. 
Plater casts of the fallen citizens of Pompeii

The now excavated town offers a snapshot of Roman life in the 1st century, frozen at the moment it was buried.

The objects that lay beneath the city have been well preserved for thousands of years because of the lack of air and moisture. 

These artefacts provide an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Roman period.

Uniquely, and perhaps rather grizzly, bodies of the Pompeii citizens were found during the excavations.

At the time plaster was used to fill in the voids between the ash layers that once held the human bodies. This now allows us to see the exact position the person was in when they died.

 Don't mistake these human shapes for simple plaster castes because they are not. Within the casings are the skeletal remains still exist!

Look carefully and you can see the evidence for yourself.

Pompeii attracts more than 2.5 million tourists a year and is Italy's second most visited attraction after the Colosseum in Rome.


For related articles click onto:
How to get to Herculaneum from Sorrento
How to get to Sorrento from Naples International Airport?
How to get to Villa d'Este from Rome
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Christopher Columbus?
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Julius Caesar?
ITALY: Rome Pictures
ITALY: What is Pompeii?
ITALY: Where is Pompei?
ROMAN BRITAIN: Who was Gnaeus Julius Agricola?
ROME: The Colosseum
ROME: The Gladiator School
ROME: The Pantheon
ROME: The Pyramid of Cestius
ROME: Villa d'Este
ROME: What was a Gladiator?
ROMAN HISTORY: What did the Romans Eat?
Where is Pompei?
Where is Sorrento?
Based on an article from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompeii
Images care of http://bookponderings.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/ponderin-past-inpompeii.html and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/9853142/Pompeii-begins-90-million-facelift.html

HOW TO GET TO VILLA ADRIANA FROM ROME



When in Rome, the urge to immerse yourself in its history can be overwhelming. And while the draw of visiting one of the world most beautiful World Heratige Sites can prove to be irresistible, the practicalities of getting to Villa Adriana are somewhat different.

If you are travelling from Rome using public transport - and most people will be, be prepared to get a little out of your comfort zone - especially if you speak little or no Italian. Also, be prepared to absorb some truly stunning scenery.

EYE SPY - Keep an eye out for the absolutely stunning waterfall that pours out of the middle of the Tivoli hill top! You will begin to see it after coming out of the first tunnel.

To start your journey, you first travel to Tivoli, and while you are there DO NOT miss the opportunity of views the truly awesome renaissance gardens at Villa D'Este. You have to virtually walk past it anyway.

HOW TO GET TO TIVOLI

Tivoli train station
Tivoli  is a good 36 miles away from the centre of Rome, so getting there by way of Rome's ‘easy-to-use’ Metro is out of the question – you are going to have to catch a train.

Of course, the easiest way to get to the train station is by using the metro. To begin with, make your way to the Terminus station as you will need to catch a tube travelling on the Linnea A line towards REBBIBIA. Get off at TIBERTINA station and make your way to a ticket booth to pick up tickets for the overland train to TIVOLI

You can pick up return tickets at this point although you can always get some more at Tivoli train station. Two return tickets to Tivoli from Tibernia will cost 9 Euro. I know this seems far too cheap, but that was what I was charged last week - the ticket seller may have under charged me by mistake.

The journey to Tivoli will take about an hour, but once you get out into the country the scenery is beautiful.

If you walk pass this then you are heading in the right direction
When you reach Tivoli station, avoid the temptation to follow the road that leads down to the right. 

Instead walk a short distance down and cut through to a path on the left that will lead you down to a modern 3 span bridge that stretches across the river. 

Cross the bridge to reach the town then follow the plentiful and well posted signs to Villa D’Este. 

To walk from Tivoli station to Villa D'Este will take between 10 and 15 minutes. 

It is very easy and will save you from trying to find somewhere that sells a bus ticket - as well as avoiding the risk of getting on the wrong bus (or the right bus but going in the wrong direction).

You will know that you are heading in the right direction as soon as you walk past the fortified castle. A bit further along and you eventually come across a square/municipal park with an old clock tower set behind it.


Keep an eye out for this bus
From this point you now have two choices:

1. Follow the signs to Villa D'Este

2. Get the bus to Villa Adriana.

To get to Villa Adriana from here you will need to get bus tickets from the nearest tobacconist. 

We got ours from the Pizza shop from across the street. 

WARNING! You must get yourself return tickets otherwise you will not be able to get the bus back - and the drivers will NOT let you on without a ticket. You can try bribing them if the is no one on the bus to witness, but it is your risk. Bus tickets are 1 Euro each so that is two tickets, two Euros each. This is so, so much easier than trying to sort out tickets down at Villa Adriana.


Short cut over bridge
Facing the main road as it leads down the hill, the bus stop is on the right hand side. You need the number 4 Bus - it will the the blue and while one (may also have a bit off yellow on it too.

The bus will take you all the way to Villa Adriana and - if you ask the driver nicely - will drop you of outside the main entrance. 

The ticket booth for Villa Adriana will be on the left.

When you are ready to come back, be aware that the bus is unlikely to stop and collect you at the main entrance. 

You will need to walk up the road out of Villa Adriana to the next bus stop that is about 300 metres on the left. 

Wait for the next blue and white bus and check with the driver that he is going to Tivoli train station. 

Get off when you see the three span bridge.

Enjoy your day.

For related articles click onto:
How to get to Herculaneum from Sorrento
How to get to Naples Archaeological Museum from Sorrento
How to get to Pompeii from Sorrento
How to get to Sorrento from Naples International Airport?
How to get to Villa d'Este from Rome
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Christopher Columbus?
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Julius Caesar?
ITALY: Rome Pictures
ITALY: What is Pompeii?
ITALY: Where is Pompei?
ROMAN BRITAIN: Who was Gnaeus Julius Agricola?
ROME: The Colosseum
ROME: The Gladiator School
ROME: The Pantheon
ROME: The Pyramid of Cestius
ROME: Villa d'Este
ROME: What was a Gladiator?
ROMAN HISTORY: What did the Romans Eat?
Where is Sorrento?
Photo care of http://it-alli-a.blogspot.com/ and http://www.roninrome.com/

HOW TO GET TO POMPEII FROM SORRENTO


Travelling from Sorrento to anywhere is a relatively easy affair as Sorrento train station is a terminus for the Circumvesuviana Regional Railway System - known locally as Vesuviana.

Sorrento train station
All trains - wherever they have come from - which pass through the station 'POMPEII SCAVI' as part of their journey can only continue towards Sorrento train station as this section of the line does not fork off to any other destinations.

Make sure that before you start you journey that you are wearing sensible shoes and some of the pavements are extremely uneven.

Furthermore, do not underestimate how hot it will get with the sun beating down and reflecting off the stone streets and buildings.

With this in mind make sure that you take plenty of water and wear plenty of suncream. During the heat of the day and especially during the summer, don't forget sunglasses and a suitable sun hat. 


Pompei Scavi train station
Trust me,  3 hours walking round the ruins is going to be tiring even if it isn't hot.

So how to you get to Pompeii from Sorrento?

As mentioned before, this is very straight forward - so long as you aim for the correct station.

This is because some confusion can arise regarding the stations names. Why? Because there are two Stations at Pompeii.

The first is 'POMPEI', while the second is 'POMPEI SCAVI'.

The station you want is 'POMPEII SCAVI' - Scavi meaning 'ruins'.


Circumvesuviana train
You can purchase your tickets in the small newsagents found to the right of Sorrento station. It currently costs 2,20 Euros one way.

I will suggest that you buy return tickets here in order to save faffing about at the other end. You will be far too hot and tired from 3 or 4 hours of walking around in the baking hot sun to stand in more queues.

As I said earlier, you can get on any train at this station as they will all pass through Pompeii Scavi.

The trains are a bit dirty and generally covered in graffiti, but considering how cheap the tickets are I don't see how anyone can really complain.


You are best off sitting on the left hand side of the train as this will expose you to the best views of the Bay of Naples. 

However a large part of the journey will be in complete darkness as you travel though tunnels cut out of the volcanic rock. 


Street stalls on the road to Pompeii
The journey takes about 35-40 minutes.

Be aware of poorly trained musicians who will be travelling along with you, pestering for money.

If you allow them to, they will damage your finances as well as your hearing!

You leave the station using the underpass. A point of interest is that there is a toilet in the underpass which costs 1 Euro - something you may well need after your journey, especially as most people exiting with you will refuse to pay it and instead hold on to it a bit longer.

There are of course toilets at the entrance to the Pompeii ruins, but remember that most of the passengers who were on the train are now walking next to you and they all want to be first in line at the next 'free' toilet opportunity.

Once you have reached the station exit turn right, and walk along the street stall until you reach the entrance to the ruins a couple of minutes up the road. 


The entrance to Pompeii ruins
Then prepare yourself for a long wait in the queue for a ticket.

When travelling back you will need to return to Pompeii Scavi station. Remember to validate your return tickets in the push box by the doors leading out to the platform.

If you forget and are asked to produce them invalidated to a ticket inspector then expect to pay a fine.

You will pick up your train from platform one to Sorrento, which is on the other side of the platform. 

If there are any seats spare then try and sit on the right hand side for the return journey to make the most of the view


For related articles click onto:
How to get to Herculaneum from Sorrento
How to get to Naples Archaeological Museum from Sorrento
Steel yourself for the queues at the Pompeii ticket office
How to get to Pompeii from Sorrento
How to get to Sorrento from Naples International Airport?
How to get to Villa d'Este from Rome
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Christopher Columbus?
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Julius Caesar?
ITALY: Rome Pictures
ITALY: What is Pompeii?
ITALY: Where is Pompei?
ROMAN BRITAIN: Who was Gnaeus Julius Agricola?
ROME: The Colosseum
ROME: The Gladiator School
ROME: The Pantheon
ROME: The Pyramid of Cestius
ROME: Villa d'Este
ROME: What was a Gladiator?
ROMAN HISTORY: What did the Romans Eat?
Sorrento Lemons
Where is Pompei?
Where is Sorrento?
Where is Sorrento?
Images care of http://www.projectnapoliservice.it/index.php?myurl=it-napoli-pompei&language=2


HOW TO GET TO HERCULANEUM FROM SORRENTO



Travelling from Sorrento to anywhere is a relatively easy affair as Sorrento train station is a terminus for the Circumvesuviana Regional Railway System - known locally as Vesuviana.


Sorrento train station
All trains leaving Sorrento - wherever they end up going - will pass through the station 'ERCOLANO SCAVI' - the station you will be required to disembark at as part of your journey to Herculaneum.

However, this is not the case on your journey back. 

Make sure that when you reach Ercolano scavi station you take the Platform marked 'Pompei - Sorrento'.

Get this wrong and you could end up at miles and hours away at the terminus of Poggiomarino or Sarno.


So, how to you get to Herculaneum from Sorrento?

You can purchase your tickets in the small newsagents found to the right of Sorrento station. 


This really is the entrance to the Erocano Scavi train station
It currently costs 2,20 Euros one way.

I will suggest that you buy return tickets here in order to save faffing about at the other end. 

You will be far too hot and tired from 2 or 3 hours of walking around in the baking hot sun surrounded by raucous groups of school children to stand in more queues.

As mentioned before, this is very straight forward. 

Any train leaving Sorrento will pass through ERCOLANO SCAVI, just make sure you don't jump the gun and get off at 'ERCOLANO MIGLIO D'ORO' by mistake.

The trains are a bit dirty and generally covered in graffiti, but considering how cheap the tickets are I don't see how anyone can really complain.


Leave the station and walk down this main road
You are best off sitting on the left hand side of the train as this will expose you to the best views of the Bay of Naples  coastline, however a large part of the journey will be in complete darkness as you travel though tunnels cut out of the volcanic rock. 

The journey takes about 50-60 minutes.


Be aware of poorly trained musicians who will be travelling along with you, pestering for money. 

If you allow them to, they will damage your finances as well as your hearing!

Once you have arrived and left the station all you simply do is walk down hill along the main road towards the sea. 

After all, Herculaneum was originally a sea side port.


Walked past this roundabout? Then you are going in the right direction
The walk takes about 15 minutes in total, do not wander off down any side streets as eventually you will find that the entrance was directly in front of you all along.

The entrance itself is an impressive brick and white plaster gate - similar to a triumphant arch.

Once you have made you way to the ticket office, follow the path towards the Audio Guide Kiosk. 

From there, rather than follow the crowds trough the main entrance, turn left into a long tunnel that takes you to what was once the towns beach front properties.

From here you get a real insight as to how deep Herculaneum was buried and how much work was involved in excavating it. 


Entrance gate to Herculaneum ruins
Look carefully and you can still see the pick axe marks made by the early work teams.

Remember to wear appropriate footwear and take plenty of water and sun cream.

For related articles click onto:
How to get to Herculaneum from Sorrento
How to get to Naples Archaeological Museum from Sorrento
How to get to Pompeii from Sorrento
How to get to Sorrento from Naples International Airport?
ROMAN BRITAIN: Who was Gnaeus Julius Agricola?
Sorrento Lemons
Where is Pompei?
Where is Sorrento?
Where is Sorrento?
Images care of http://www.projectnapoliservice.it/index.php?myurl=it-napoli-pompei&language=2 and http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/media/17379/Cross-section-of-some-18-metres-of-ash-and-other



HOW TO GET TO THE NAPLES NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM FROM SORRENTO




If you are checking 'Trip Advisor' or looking at Google maps to see how to get to the Naples National Archaeological Museum then everything will look pretty straight forward.

There is a metro station right next to the museum, so how hard can it be?

Napoli Garibaldi train station
Well it turns out that physically getting yourself to the Naples National Archaeological Museum is a bit of a mission.

Especially when the directions on 'trip adviser' tell you to get off at the wrong train station.

If you are travelling from Sorrento then you take the circumvesuviana train from Sorrento train station that terminates at Napoli.

But don't get off at Napoli station or you will be in for a 15 minute walk back to the station you really want which is Napoli Garibaldi.

Why? Because that is the station that connects to the metro line.

Once you arrive at Napoli Garibaldi you can purchase return tickets to Cavour. This is just one stop on from Naples Garibaldi.

It is on Line 2 and you pick it up from platform 4. make sure you confirm the platform in case it has changed since writing this article.

It is when you get to Cavour that things get tricky as this station is also linked to another metro station called 'Museo'.

Now you will read that you leave the station at Cavour, and the Naples National Archaeological Museum will be 100 yards on the left.

Well you can stop right there because it doesn't.

There is a warren of stairs, travelators and  escalators that need to be overcome before you are anywhere near the correct exit, and guess what - there are no signs to help you!

What you do is this.

You remain inside the metro station and make your way towards 'Ai treni Linea 2' until you find a tobacconist shop sited at the end of a corridor.

Once you have found the tobacconist there will be a 'hidden' corridor leading off to the left that you were unable to see before until you reached the tobacconist.

From this point there will be two sets of travelators leading you into the distance.

Get on them to the end where you will find a sign for 'Museo Nazionale' and an arrow that leads you to set of enclosed stairs that go up about three flights.

This then opens up to what looks like another station entrance, but filled with Roman statues and archaeological affects.

Have a look around if you wish - but these are all copies.

Instead you will need to find the exit and then you turn left and walk 100 meters to a flight of steps that finally lead you to the main entrance of Naples National Archaeological Museum.

Well done, enjoy your visit although you may find that sections of the museum are closed if not enough staff turned in that day, or that some of the better exhibits are on loan to other museums.

Although there won't be any signs for this either, if you are over 18 don't miss out on the 'Secret Room'.

There will be staff on the door, but unless you are Italian you won't know what is in there until you get in there so be aware if you are walking around with children.

Napels Archaeological Museum - finally!
For related articles click onto:
How to get to Herculaneum from Sorrento
How to get to Pompeii from Sorrento
How to get to Naples Archaeological Museum from Sorrento
How to get to Sorrento from Naples International Airport?
How to get to Villa d'Este from Rome
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Christopher Columbus?
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Julius Caesar?
ITALY: Rome Pictures
ITALY: What is Pompeii?
ITALY: Where is Pompei?
ROMAN BRITAIN: Who was Gnaeus Julius Agricola?
ROME: The Colosseum
ROME: The Gladiator School
ROME: The Pantheon
ROME: The Pyramid of Cestius
ROME: Villa d'Este
ROME: What was a Gladiator?
ROMAN HISTORY: What did the Romans Eat?
Sorrento Lemons
Where is Sorrento?
Where is Sorrento?












WHERE IS SORRENTO?



You would have surely heard of Pompeii, Mt. Vesuvius, Naples and the delights of the Amalfi coast, but where should you stay if you wanted to see everything that this stunning area of southern Italy has to offer?


Naples - historic, but a bit grimy
Well, the city of Naples is an obvious one. A good central position, easy train links, the magnificent Naples National Archaeological Museum, and of course the hallowed ground from where the Pizza was first conceived - God bless the Italians for Pizza!

The issue I have with Naples is that despite the magnificent architecture, and glorious history, it is very urban, and I mean urban as in grimy, busy, polluted and over populated.

So as a 'holiday' destination I would only place it in a box marked 'Day Trip'. So if not Naples, then where?

The obvious choice would be Sorrento, situated on the southern end of the glorious bay of Napels, with the added treat of having the magnificent Mt Vesuvius in full view.

Renown for its ancient and beautiful walled city, lemon production and that 'piece de resistance -  Limoncello, I doubt that you could find a more picturesque town that is so perfectly sanitised for well heeled tourists.

The streets of Sorrento - see, much nicer!
It may not be as close to the main tourist attractions as Naples, but it does have the terminus train station for the circumvesuviana line which can take to direct to Naples, and the ancient Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculanium.

While you can get on any train at Sorrento station to reach these destinations, the same can't be said for getting back. So make sure you check at the ticket desk or platform signs before making your return journey.

For related articles click onto:
How to get to Herculaneum from Sorrento
How to get to Pompeii from Sorrento
How to get to Naples Archaeological Museum from Sorrento
How to get to Sorrento from Naples International Airport?
How to get to Villa d'Este from Rome
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Christopher Columbus?
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Julius Caesar?
ITALY: Rome Pictures
ITALY: What is Pompeii?
ITALY: Where is Pompei?
ROMAN BRITAIN: Who was Gnaeus Julius Agricola?
ROME: The Colosseum
ROME: The Gladiator School
ROME: The Pantheon
ROME: The Pyramid of Cestius
ROME: Villa d'Este
ROME: What was a Gladiator?
ROMAN HISTORY: What did the Romans Eat?
Sorrento Lemons
Where is Pompei?
Where is Sorrento?
Where is Sorrento?
Images care of http://laurenhuddleston.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/amalfi-coast-sorrento-capri-positano-pompeii/

HOW TO GET TO SORRENTO FROM NAPLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Sorrento train station

If you are flying into Naples airport and expecting an easy journey down to Sorrento then you can think again. You have probably done your research and found that Sorrento has its own central station so getting there should be relatively easy - until you find out that, unlike most other major European airports, Naples airport is completely unconnected to a main line station, a local station, or even a metro line that can take you to a station. So what do you do?

Your choices are three fold. If you are dripping in cash then obviously take a taxi from outside the airport.

Otherwise you can either take the local bus to Naples central station and from there take a train to Sorrento, or take the coach directly - minus Pompeii and a few miscellaneous stops for the locals.

The bus and coach stops are found directly outside the main entrance to the Airport, however once you have  been through passport control and picked up your luggage you may well find that you have exited the building through some random side entrance.

If this is the case, then the first thing you must do is orientate yourself and walk back towards the main Airport entrance.

The coach and bus stops are directly in front of it.

The sensible option, at least in my opinion, is to take the coach. You will be able to recognize it as it will have the Curreri Viaggi logo on it.

If you are still not sure, then using a clear, loud voice - and making a point to speak slowly - you can always project the words 'SORRENTO YES?' towards the driver who should nod his head and/or say the word 'Yes' back to you in an Italian accent.

If he says no then you are on the wrong coach - maybe even an unloading lorry!

Once you have found the right coach you will be expected to load your bags on yourself - check with the driver first to see which side of the coach he wants them put.


Now you will need to pay the driver for the ticket before you find a seat. He will chase after you if you get on without paying.

The cost of the ticket is 10 Euros one way, and the journey to Sorrento will take about an hour and a half depending on the stops.

Be aware that if you miss your coach then you may need to wait another couple of hours before the next one turns up.

The time table is currently 9.00am, 11.00am, 1.00pm, 2.30pm, 4.30pm and then the last coach at 7.30pm.

Don't forget to change your watch to local time or you will spent the entire day missing coaches.


One more thing. Even though the coaches will have some rudimentary air conditioning system installed, if you are travelling any time outside of winter season then make sure you take time out to change in to shorts and lightweight footwear before you board the bus.


If you don't then your feet are at risk of cooking themselves inside your shoes. This is not a joke, you have been warned!

Having hot feet can be a serious condition to sensitive souls.
See what I did there?
For related articles click onto:
How to get to Herculaneum from Sorrento
How to get to Pompeii from Sorrento
How to get to Naples Archaeological Museum from Sorrento
How to get to Sorrento from Naples International Airport?
How to get to Villa d'Este from Rome
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Christopher Columbus?
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Julius Caesar?
ITALY: Rome Pictures
ITALY: What is Pompeii?
ITALY: Where is Pompei?
ROMAN BRITAIN: Who was Gnaeus Julius Agricola?
ROME: The Colosseum
ROME: The Gladiator School
ROME: The Pantheon
ROME: The Pyramid of Cestius
ROME: Villa d'Este
ROME: What was a Gladiator?
ROMAN HISTORY: What did the Romans Eat?
Sorrento Lemons
Where is Sorrento?
Where is Sorrento?

ROMAN BRITAIN: Who was Gnaeus Julius Agricola?

Statue of Gnaeus Julius Agricolam displayed in the Roman baths
 at the City of Bath
Agricola was a Roman statesman and soldier who, as governor of Britain, conquered large areas of northern England, Scotland and Wales. 

His life is well known to us today because his son-in-law, the historian Tacitus, wrote a detailed biography of him which still survives.

Gnaeus Julius Agricola was born on 13 July 40 AD in southern France - then part of the Roman Empire - into a high-ranking family. 

He began his career as a military tribune in Britain and may have participated in the crushing of Boudicca's uprising in 61 AD.

During the civil war of 69 AD, Agricola supported Vespasian in his successful attempt to become emperor. 

In recognition for his support, Agricola was appointed to command a Roman legion in Britain.

 He then served as governor of Aquitania (south-east France) for three years, and after a period in Rome, in 78 AD he was made governor of Britain.

Arriving in mid-summer of 77AD, Agricola found that the Ordovices of north Wales had virtually destroyed the Roman cavalry stationed in their territory. 

He immediately moved against them and defeated them.

He then moved north to the island of Mona (Anglesey), where he established a good reputation as an administrator as well as a commander by reforming the widely corrupt corn levy. 

He introduced Romanising measures, encouraging communities to build towns on the Roman model and educating the sons of the native nobility in the Roman manner.

He also expanded Roman rule north into Caledonia (modern Scotland). In the summer of 79AD Agricola raised a fleet and encircled the tribes beyond the Forth, and the Caledonians rose in great numbers against him. They attacked the camp of the Legio IX Hispana at night, but Agricola sent in his cavalry and they were put to flight. The Romans responded by pushing further north.

In the summer of 83 Agricola faced the massed armies of the Caledonians, led by Calgacus, at the Battle of Mons Graupius. Tacitus estimates their numbers at more than 30,000. Agricola put his auxiliaries in the front line, keeping the legions in reserve, and relied on close-quarters fighting to make the Caledonians' unpointed slashing swords useless.

Even though the Caledonians were put to rout and therefore lost this battle, two thirds of their army managed to escape and hide in the Scottish Highlands or the "trackless wilds" as Tacitus calls them. Battle casualties were estimated by Tacitus to be about 10,000 on the Caledonian side and 360 on the Roman side.
Gnaeus Julius Agricola

Agricola was recalled from Britain in 85, after an unusually long tenure as governor. Tacitus claims that Domitian ordered his recall because Agricola's successes outshone the Emperor's own modest victories in Germany. The relationship between Agricola and the Emperor is unclear: on the one hand, Agricola was awarded triumphal decorations and a statue (the highest military honours apart from an actual triumph); on the other, Agricola never again held a civil or military post, in spite of his experience and renown.

He was offered the governorship of the province of Africa, but declined it, whether due to ill health or as Tacitus claims. the machinations of Domitian.

On 23 August 93 Agricola died on his family estates in Gallia Narbonensis aged fifty-three. Rumors circulated attributing the death to a poison administered by the Emperor Domitian, but no positive evidence for this was ever produced.


For related articles click onto:
How to get to Sorrento from Naples International Airport?
How to get to Villa d'Este from Rome
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Christopher Columbus?
ITALIAN HISTORY: Who was Julius Caesar?
ITALY: Rome Pictures
ITALY: What is Pompeii?
ITALY: Where is Pompei?
ROMAN BRITAIN: Who was Gnaeus Julius Agricola?
ROME: The Colosseum
ROME: The Gladiator School
ROME: The Pantheon
ROME: The Pyramid of Cestius
ROME: Villa d'Este
ROME: What was a Gladiator?
ROMAN HISTORY: What did the Romans Eat?