Il Mezzogiorno - Naples & Southern Italy - September 2010

South of Naples

Photos by Walt & Gloria Fogler-Mancini


The town of Amalfi enjoys a mild climate and wonderful setting.  It was a powerful maritime republic rivaling Genoa before being subdued in 1131 by the Normans.  It is the largest town on the Costeria Amalfitana.  With its many picturesque streets, Amalfi is a very popular tourist destination. The mountains have confined its growth.

Amalfi’s cathedral dates from the 9th century and now includes two churches, the Chiostro del Paradiso, a bell tower from 1276, and a crypt.  It was originally built in an Arab-Sicilian style. 

The relics in the crypt are allegedly those of St. Andrew.  They were stolen in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade in the Venetian-led sack of Constantinople.

The Costeria Amalfitana is the south side of the mountainous Sorrentine peninsula.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and  has many notable destinations such as Positano and Ravello.

Looking east, the Bay of Naples, Capri,  and Mt. Vesuvius are north of the Sorrentine peninsula.

On the right (south) side of the photo, are the Amalfi Coast and the Gulf of Salerno.

Mount Vesuvius destroyed the Roman city of Pompeii in 79 AD.  It was one of many coastal villages on the bay south of Naples.  Its ruins were first discovered in 1592.  The first serious excavations were done by the Spanish in 1748 under the auspices of Charles III.  It immediately became a popular tourist destination as part of the “grand tour”.  It is a large site and different displays are open at different times.

The Museo Archeological Nazionalle in Naples has a remarkable collection of Pompeii’s paintings and mosaics.

Mount Vesuvius is now about 4200 feet high and ever present in pictures of Naples.  Before its 79 AD eruption, the summit of what was called Monte Somma was near 7500 feet.  The rock strata of the earlier mountain can now be seen inside Vesuvius’ crater.  There is little evidence of volcanic activity at this time.  The path to the crater now begins 660 feet below the summit. The views of the Bay of Naples and beyond are amazing.

The photographs were taken with Leica cameras, the M8, M9 and D-LUX 3.  All images are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission. We can be contacted via e-mail at   Our home page is

March 9, 2011                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      wgfm

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