Tag Archives: Sorrento

5 Oct 2016
Sorrento, Italy:
What Volcano?

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Campania is one of the most beautiful, dramatic, and dangerous regions in coastal Italy. It stretches from Naples south to Sorrento and down the coast to Amalfi and Positano.

And visible from almost everywhere, the hulking presence of Mount Vesuvius: one of the world’s most threatening volcanoes.

VESUVIUS TODAY

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In between Naples and Sorrento are Pompeii and Herculaneum, two of the Roman settlements covered by the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79.

I went for guests on a return visit to Pompeii,  a place I have visited more times than I can remember and from which I always learn. Here are some photos from today.

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A SORRENTO ALBUM

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A POMPEII ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

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Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

30 April 2016
Sorrento, Italy:
No Bad Choices

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Do we stay in Sorrento?

Do we venture out of town to navigate the Amalfi Coast?

Do we explore some of the most intriguing places on earth, the ruins of Pompeii or the smaller and less-visited ruins of Herculaneum or Oplontis?

Do we head further north to the big city of Naples?

Or do we hop on a ferry and go west to the charming island of Capri?

There are no bad choices in Sorrento, which is why we come back time and time again. We were most recently here on April 9; you can read my blog entry for that day for more comments.

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Il Sedille Dominova, the Seat of Dominova, dates from the 14th century,  built as a gathering place for nobles for administration

ON THE STREETS OF SORRENTO

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ON THE STREETS OF POMPEII

Below, a section of the formal city of Pompeii with the cause of its destruction–Mount Vesuvius–looking over its shoulder.

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Below, a two-story apartment from Herculaneum, another settlement destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79.

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

9 April 2016
Sorrento, Italy: What Volcano?

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Sorrento is an ancient town,  established by the Greeks, elaborated upon by the Romans,  and now devoted to the Tourists.

It remains a place of color and charm.

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The backdrop to all of coastal Campania just sits there…tick, tick, tick.

Mount Vesuvius is the still-active volcano that buried the great Roman city of Pompeii as well as other villages like Herculaneum in the region.

This is one of the most attractive spots in all of Italy, and it is quite possible to forget about Vesuvius. Chances are it won’t erupt today. But it’s due.

Because of the dense population of the coast from Naples south to Sorrento, Vesuvius is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

Pompeii was destroyed in the year 79.

The volcano has erupted dozens of times since. On occasion, eruptions from Vesuvius have blanketed nearly all of southern Europe. In 472 and 1631, Vesuvian ash fell on Constantinople (Istanbul), more than 750 miles away.

The most recent significant eruption came near the end of World War II, in 1944. Tick, tick, tick.

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Above, a street in Sorrento.

Below, a street in Pompeii, with Vesuvius in the background.

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Below, the famous Via Krupp on the lovely island of Capri, offshore of Sorrento.

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We will be back in Sorrento on April 30 and I will have additional comments in my blog on that day.

Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

1 June 2015
 Sorrento, Italy: Beauty and the Beast

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Campania is one of the most beautiful, dramatic, and dangerous regions in all of coastal Italy.

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Silver Spirit at anchor off of Sorrento,  with Mount Vesuvius in the background

On the mainland, it stretches from Naples south to Sorrento and down the Amalfi Coast.

The wide Gulf of Naples is framed by three major islands: the most famous is Capri just west of Sorrento. Offshore of Naples is Procida, and further out Ischia.

And from almost everywhere you can see the hulking threat of Mount Vesuvius: one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

ON TOP OF OLD VESUVIUS

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Photos by Corey Sandler

Directly connected, of course, are the famed ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, mute witness to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 C.E.

There is no dock for ships at Sorrento, and so we put down our anchor outside the harbor.

Why do I say this place is so dangerous? Because the beast, Vesuvius, is most certainly not extinct. It has erupted numerous times before and after the major event in the year 79. In recorded history it has lost its head roughly every 80 years or so.

Over the centuries, most of its eruptions have been sudden and explosive.

It is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last century. (The two other volcanoes in Italy are on islands: Etna on Sicily and Stromboli which is an island by itself.)

Campania has a population of about 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy after Lombardy (in and around Milan.)

When was the last time it erupted?

In an almost-forgotten event in World War II, Vesuvius erupted in 1944 as American troops and other Allied forces moved north up Italy.

That would be a bit more than 80 years ago…

A POMPEII ALBUM

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CAPRI

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OPLONTIS AND NERO’S WIFE

We have been to Sorrento so many times that the street vendors call us by name.

Sorrento, Naples,  Capri,  Paestum, Pompeii, Herculaneum. Been there,  done that,  enjoyed it very much thank you.

On this trip we decided to do something a bit out of the ordinary,  a visit to one of the newest ancient sites of Campania: Oplontis, which includes the huge,  spectacular Villa of Poppea, which may have been the seaside resort of Nero’s wife Poppea. That’s not certain,  but whoever owned it was quite wealthy.

And whoever owned obviously never came back after it was buried under tens of metres of ejects from the eruption of Vesuvius.

Like Herculaneum,  it was hidden in plain sight beneath the fields and strrets of modern Italy,  in this case the town of Torre Annunziatta.

Here is some of what we saw:

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Text and images copyright 2015 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

 

4-5 October 2014
 Sorrento: Vesuvius, Pompeii, Capri…and Paestum

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Sorrento is a gem of one of the most beautiful, dramatic, and dangerous regions in all of coastal Italy: Campania. On the mainland, it stretches from the Amalfi Coast and then Sorrento north to Naples. In between are Pompeii and Herculaneum.

And from almost everywhere you can see the hulking threat of Mount Vesuvius: one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

The wide Gulf of Naples is framed by three major islands: the most famous is Capri just west of Sorrento. West of Naples is Procida and further out Ischia.

On this visit, I did something (pick your word) brave, adventureseom, stupid) and rented a car in Sorrento. We drove about two hours south, below Salerno to the fabulous Greek ruins at Paestum, from about 500 BC. Not to make less of the Acropolis and other better-know Greek sites, but Paestum is to me the most spectacul;ar of all.

And on a gorgeous Saturday in October there were only a few tourists at the site.You don’t have to endure a white-knuckle drifve-yourself tour: there is a train from Naples or you can hire a car and driver. Here’s some of what we saw:

PAESTUM

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Photos by Corey Sandler

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POMPEII

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AMALFI

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The best real estate value in Amalfi: a miniature village at the top end of town. Photo by Corey Sandler

Capri has been a resort since Roman times. Actually the Greeks were there earlier, and are believed to have given the island the name Kapros, meaning wild boar.

Natural wonders include limestone masses called Sea Stacks (Faraglioni) and the famed Blue Grotto.

Now, let’s consider the mainland of Campania: Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Naples.

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Positano from above, midway through our drive of two thousand turns from Sorrento. (I counted them.) Photo by Corey Sandler

Positano was a relatively poor fishing village during the first half of the 20th century. It began to attract large numbers of tourists in the 1950s.

John Steinbeck may have helped.

In an essay in Harper’s Bazaar, Steinbeck wrote: “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.”

Positano was featured in the film, “Under the Tuscan Sun” in 2003. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones somehow used the solace of the cafés of Positano to write the song “Midnight Rambler.”

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Huge lemons of the Amalfi Coast. Granita (real Italian ice) for lunch, Limoncello after dinner. Photo by Corey Sandler

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Fruits for passion? Red peppers at a roadside stand along the Amalfi Coast. Photo by Corey Sandler

Naples was founded in the 8th century BC, as a Greek colony, first called Parthenope and later Neápolis (New City). Neápolis became Naples.

The city was at its peak as the capital of the Kingdom of Naples, from 1282 until Italian unification in 1816.

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Inside the spectacular Naples Cathedral (parts dating from the 13th century), and the shadow of the church on the street outside. Photos by Corey Sandler

By the 1st century, Pompeii was one of a number of towns located around the base of Vesuvius. The area had a substantial population which grew prosperous farming the rich volcanic soil.

The 79 eruption, which is thought to have lasted about 19 hours, released about 1 cubic mile (4 cubic kilometers) of ash and rock over a wide area to the south and south-east of the crater, with about 10 feet (3 meters) falling on Pompeii.

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More treasures of Herculaneum at the Archeological Museum. Photo by Corey Sandler

It is not known how many people were killed, but the remains of about 1,150 bodies–or casts made of their impressions in the ash deposits–have been recovered in and around Pompeii. The total number could be between 10,000 and 25,000.

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The greatest treasures of Pompeii and Herculaneum are on display not at the ancient cities, but instead safely and handsomely displayed at the Naples National Archeological Museum. Photos by Corey Sandler

Most of those killed at Pompeii died from a combination of blast and debris, and suffocation through ash inhalation. About a third were found inside buildings, probably killed by the collapse of roofs.

By contrast, Herculaneum, which was much closer to the crater, was saved from tephra falls by the wind direction, but was buried under 75 feet (23 meters) of hot material deposited by pyroclastic surges.

The last major eruption took place in March 1944, in one of the almost-forgotten moments of World War II.

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Scenes of the town of Amalfi. It’s not easy, but it is possible to find back alleys free of tourist throngs. Photos by Corey Sandler

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All photos copyright 2014 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact me.

 

17-18 April 2014: Naples, Sorrento, Capri, and Pompeii

The Caves, the Road, and the Elephant in the Room

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Sorrento is a gem of one of the most beautiful, dramatic, and dangerous regions in all of coastal Italy: Campania. On the mainland, it stretches from the Amalfi Coast and then Sorrento north to Naples. In between are Pompeii and Herculaneum.

And from almost everywhere you can see the hulking threat of Mount Vesuvius: one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.[whohit]-Naples 17Apr-[/whohit]

As we sailed toward our planned anchorage at Sorrento, the Master of our ship read the tea leaves (and the meteorological charts) and decided to change our itinerary so that we could avoid possibly rough seas at Sorrento. Instead, we docked at Naples.

The wide Gulf of Naples is framed by three major islands: the most famous is Capri just west of Sorrento. West of Naples is Procida and further out Ischia.

B-Amalfi Coast 17Apr2014_DSC0774

The best real estate value in Amalfi: a miniature village at the top end of town. Photo by Corey Sandler

Capri has been a resort since Roman times. Actually the Greeks were there earlier, and are believed to have given the island the name Kapros, meaning wild boar.

Natural wonders include limestone masses called Sea Stacks (Faraglioni) and the famed Blue Grotto.

Now, let’s consider the mainland of Campania: Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Naples.

B-Amalfi Coast 17Apr2014_DSC0736

Positano from above, midway through our drive of two thousand turns from Sorrento. (I counted them.) Photo by Corey Sandler

Positano was a relatively poor fishing village during the first half of the 20th century. It began to attract large numbers of tourists in the 1950s.

John Steinbeck may have helped.

In an essay in Harper’s Bazaar, Steinbeck wrote: “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.”

Positano was featured in the film, “Under the Tuscan Sun” in 2003. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones somehow used the solace of the cafés of Positano to write the song “Midnight Rambler.”

B-Amalfi Coast 17Apr2014_DSC0743

Huge lemons of the Amalfi Coast. Granita (real Italian ice) for lunch, Limoncello after dinner. Photo by Corey Sandler

B-Amalfi Coast 17Apr2014_DSC0766

Fruits for passion? Red peppers at a roadside stand along the Amalfi Coast. Photo by Corey Sandler

Naples was founded in the 8th century BC, as a Greek colony, first called Parthenope and later Neápolis (New City). Neápolis became Naples.

The city was at its peak as the capital of the Kingdom of Naples, from 1282 until Italian unification in 1816.

B-Naples 18Apr2014_DSC0831 B-Naples 18Apr2014_DSC0815

Inside the spectacular Naples Cathedral (parts dating from the 13th century), and the shadow of the church on the street outside. Photos by Corey Sandler

By the 1st century, Pompeii was one of a number of towns located around the base of Vesuvius. The area had a substantial population which grew prosperous farming the rich volcanic soil.

The 79 eruption, which is thought to have lasted about 19 hours, released about 1 cubic mile (4 cubic kilometers) of ash and rock over a wide area to the south and south-east of the crater, with about 10 feet (3 meters) falling on Pompeii.

B-Naples 18Apr2014_DSC0880

More treasures of Herculaneum at the Archeological Museum. Photo by Corey Sandler

It is not known how many people were killed, but the remains of about 1,150 bodies–or casts made of their impressions in the ash deposits–have been recovered in and around Pompeii. The total number could be between 10,000 and 25,000.

B-Naples 18Apr2014_DSC0895 B-Naples 18Apr2014_DSC0897

The greatest treasures of Pompeii and Herculaneum are on display not at the ancient cities, but instead safely and handsomely displayed at the Naples National Archeological Museum. Photos by Corey Sandler

Most of those killed at Pompeii died from a combination of blast and debris, and suffocation through ash inhalation. About a third were found inside buildings, probably killed by the collapse of roofs.

By contrast, Herculaneum, which was much closer to the crater, was saved from tephra falls by the wind direction, but was buried under 75 feet (23 meters) of hot material deposited by pyroclastic surges.

The last major eruption took place in March 1944, in one of the almost-forgotten moments of World War II.

B-Amalfi Coast 17Apr2014_DSC0797 B-Amalfi Coast 17Apr2014_DSC0794 B-Amalfi Coast 17Apr2014_DSC0789 B-Amalfi Coast 17Apr2014_DSC0778

Scenes of the town of Amalfi. It’s not easy, but it is possible to find back alleys free of tourist throngs. Photos by Corey Sandler

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All photos copyright 2014 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact me.