History and sailing: how to combine the two passions with a tour in Campania
Travelling by sailboat offers a unique opportunity to visit places from a different perspective. Sometimes, however, it is not enough to get to know our territory from every angle.
In addition to the relaxation and luxury of your sailing holiday, we offer tours to discover the wonders of archaeology. An ancient world still alive awaits you, breathing the air of the battles that have been fought, on spaces that are crossroads of peoples and cultures that today offer us an open-air museum.
Mooring in the Port of Augustus means having access to places that time has consecrated. Admire the streets of ancient Rome remained intact in the cobblestones of Pompeii and Herculaneum, in the houses, in the shops, see the temples of Paestum, catch the glimpse that made Goethe fall in love with those places and admire the splendour of the archaeological parks of Baia and Gaiola, with its ports, villas and sunken statues.
Our Sail and History tour includes truly unique destinations. Here are some not to be missed!
Everyone heard about the most famous archaeological site in the world, but you can grasp its the inestimable historical-cultural value only by visiting it.
The origins of Pompeii are as old as the history of Rome. It quickly became a crossing point between North and South and a major trade and travel hub and, consequently, a targeted prey for its powerful neighbors.
Thanks to the healthy climate and the pleasant landscape, the city and its surroundings became a pleasant holiday destination for wealthy Romans. Among them was Cicero himself, who owned a plot of land in Pompeii.
The houses of the place also became famous for their valuable and unique decoration, so much so that between the 2nd century BC. and 79 A.D. the city developed a style that ended up being widely imitated even in Rome.
We remember the famous frescoes with red pigments and the “trompe l’oeil” effect that gave the illusion of shadow and depth that can still be admired today after the catastrophic earthquake of February 5, 62 AD. That morning, the gases pressed from inside Vesuvius exploded, blowing up the consolidated lava obstructing the crater and pulverizing it. A violent earthquake and deadly gas fumes buried the city under more than 6 meters of ash and lapilli.
The inhabitants of Pompeii could not imagine that their daily life would have been frozen in time, preserved thanks to the material gushed from Vesuvius and the whole city would have been rediscovered, centuries later, telling the story of the day when a volcano stopped the Time.
Located a few kilometers away from the more famous city of Pompeii, Herculaneum offers an archaeological area of great historical interest. Since 1997 it has been included in the list of Unesco World Heritage archaeological sites.
The city was severely damaged by the earthquake of ’62 and then buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in ’79 with a blanket of more than twenty meters of ashes and lapilli.
The ancient city of Herculaneum was born on a promontory overlooking the sea: in ancient times it was surrounded by walls and had an orthogonal layout similar to that of Pompeii but with narrower streets and arcades that descended towards the sea.
Villas, public, recreational and religious buildings and finally houses. The latter have smaller dimensions than those of the Pompeii excavations, but are equally elegantly frescoed and embellished with porticoes and columns, being formerly chosen as a holiday resort. The names of the houses are mainly related to objects found inside them, among the most well-known we would like to point out: the Casa del Telaio, the Casa del Tramezza, the Casa dell’Atrio and the Casa del Mosaico.
Among the villas we should also mention the Villa dei Papiri, one of the most representative and famous spots. Located outside the city walls, discovered and explored in 1750, it takes its name from the discovery of about 1700 papyri belonging to the villa’s library. The garden and atrium retain floor mosaics and remains of decorations of particular beauty.
To the south-east of the Gulf of Salerno, one of the best preserved archaeological sites in Italy awaits you, Paestum, a city located on the Tyrrhenian among the main centers of the ancient Magna Graecia. Partially brought to light, it is entirely a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Around the 9th century, this once great city was breathing its last breath, a victim of economic decline and Arab marauders. As people abandoned it for safer settlements in the hills, Paestum was engulfed by the dense forests of this subtropical corner of Italy.
Bordered by walls, it presents in the central part a public area, the Agora of the city, the Forum, the Amphitheater, the Basilica (the sacred area with secondary buildings and the main temple), and finally the three Doric temples, which gave eternal glory to the archaeological site: the Temple of Neptune, the largest and best preserved, the Temple of Hera and the Temple of Athena.
The center of the site is the Roman forum, with extensive foundations of various public and private buildings. To the north-west of the forum is a small Roman amphitheater, of which only the southern half is visible.
In 1930 a road was built through the site, burying the northern half. It is said by locals that the responsible civil engineer was tried, convicted and sentenced to jail for what was described as the rampant destruction of a historic site.
Did you want to combine sailing and archeology? Choose our tour that matches the passion for the sea and for sailing with your interest in archeology, through an itinerary that includes sailing – like the ancient sailors – along the coasts of Campania, with landing in the ports close to the main archaeological sites in this area!