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Amalfi Coast

There is nothing new in the fact that the coast of the Campania region (Italy) are, as far as holidays are concerned, one of the best stages for cruises. Traffic is certainly the heaviest, but by choosing accurately dates and times and avoiding week ends, one can enjoy one of the world's best scenery.

The Isle of Capri and Amalfi present some of the most spectacular coastlines of the whole Mediterranean. Stunning and famously chic, Isle of Capri is the true jewel of the Gulf. This beautiful island has a mythical appeal which has attracted everyone from Roman Emperor's, to movie stars and supermodels. Who has not heard of the Blue Grotto or the incredible cliffs, the Faraglioni, 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 easily 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 famous little square where the entire Capri lifestyle is on permanent show.

The closest to the main land, and the less known to sailing wanderer, is Procida island which by no means is less attractive then the others, better known, islands. Completely built with yellow tuff rock and with orange trees scattered everywhere, Procida convey 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 a thick vegetation and a lookout tower stands at its top. The cove formed by the two islands make for an excellent anchorage; alternatively one can call at Chiaolella harbor.

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 it's 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 useful containers and in the third century B.C. suffered of 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 harbor that was christened by the royal yacht "Delfino" escorting more than one hundred boats and giving to Ischia the safest port one can seek. Above all, the call at Ischia is worth for a visit to the renown thermal baths, last remainder of the island's volcanic origin, and where with a water temperature of 65 degrees C one is washed as well as properly purified and healthily refitted.

South of Naples is the famous buried city of Pompeii and the less well know Herculaneum. These cities, buried by the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius, have remarkable antique preserves. The observation of amphitheaters, triumphal arches, villas, bridges and tombs of the Roman Imperial Age, are all possible on this fasinating day on shore.

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 together with the stunning nature