The Isle of Capri and Amalfi present some of the most spectacular coastlines of the whole Mediterranean. Stunning and famously chic, the Isle of Capri is the true jewel of the Gulf. This beautiful island has a mythical appeal that has attracted everyone from Roman Emperor to movie stars and supermodels. However, who has not heard of the Blue Grotto or the incredible cliffs, the Faraglioni, the last remnants of what once was a unique and immense grotto?
Other highlights of this remarkable island are Villa Jovis and the Solaro mountain, 589 meters high and quickly climbed with a seat lift, from where one can enjoy the entire Gulf's view. The locally famous cable car will take you from Marina Grande to the equally renowned little square, where the Capri as a whole lifestyle is on permanent show.
The closest to the mainland, and the less known to sailing wanderers, is Procida island, which is less attractive than the other, better known, islands. Entirely built with yellow tuff rock and orange trees scattered everywhere, Procida conveys the unspoiled glamour of the old sea towns. Circumnavigating Procida, shelter can be found at the Vivara islet connected to the shore by an artificial isthmus. The islet, which seats a natural park, is covered by thick vegetation and a lookout tower stands at its top. The cove formed by the two islands makes for an excellent anchorage; alternatively, one can call it Chiaolella harbour.
Other islands in the Campania area around Naples include Ischia. Ischia is a pine-studded, volcanic island surrounded by sparkling waters. The island is renowned for its beautiful beaches, therapeutic hot springs and red and white wine-producing vineyards. Inhabited since the pre-roman times, the island was famous for its clay used to carve vases and proper containers and in the third century, B.C. suffered from a volcanic eruption which left a salt lake in place of the volcano mouth. The lake was to remain separated from the sea until the last century when king Ferdinand the Second ordered to dig an opening, obtaining a natural harbour christened by the royal yacht "Delfino" escorting more than one hundred boats and giving Ischia the safest port, one can seek. Above all, the call at Ischia is worth a visit to the renowned thermal baths, the last remnants of the island's volcanic origin, where a water temperature of 65 degrees Cone is washed and adequately purified and healthily refitted.
South of Naples is the famous buried city of Pompeii, and the less well know Herculaneum. These cities, planted by the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius, have remarkable antique preserves. The observation of amphitheatres, triumphal arches, villas, bridges and tombs of the Roman Imperial Age are all possible on this fascinating day onshore.
The maritime heritage of the Amalfitan Republic, a superpower in its day, is still apparent in Amalfi today. Local craftsmen and artisans keep the old traditions alive, making fine handmade papers and colourful ceramics. The Amalfi Coast is a World Heritage Site, and deservedly so: Numerous churches - including Amalfi Cathedral - and villas from the city's golden age still dot the coast, blending with the stunning nature.