Campanian Villas & Gardens
How Romans and Bourbon Elites lived in the Bay of Naples
The Bay of Naples is steeped in history, from Oscan tribes and Greek colonies from over 2750 years ago, to a gritty 21st century city under the shadow of Vesuvius. Scattered throughout time and throughout many locations in the bay area, and around Vesuvius, are so many sites and monuments that give testimony to this rich history. But among these are the remains of how the inhabitants cultivated open spaces for food and, just as importantly, for comfort and enjoyment just as Cicero would appreciate. This tour will seek out the gardens of the Oscans, Greeks and Romans in Pompeii and neighbouring sites at Oplontis and Boscoreale, now restored with examples of the same species identified by archaeologists from pollen and other plant remains. We will also visit the Amalfi coast, where the south facing aspect of the Sorrento peninsular allows the growing of rich tropical species in private gardens, and we will look at the larger, formal gardens of Royalty and nobility in Naples and Portici of the 18th and 19th centuries.
‘If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need’. - Cicero to his friend Varro, 46 BC
Deposit: £500 Single supplement: £115
Keeping you safe on your next tour
Day 1 - London – Naples - Cava de’ Tirreni
We fly into Naples and, by coach, head to the south end of the Bay of Naples. Our hotel is in the mountains of the Sorrento Peninsular, a quiet retreat away from the bustle of the cities and towns.
|Hotel||Hotel Scapolatiello, Cava de' Tirreni|
Day 2 - Pompeii
A whole day in Pompeii awaits. Even if you have visited before, there is the likelihood that you will see many new buildings, as so many have been opened over the last few years following conservation. It is not just the buildings but the private gardens of many houses, Menander, Venus in the Shell, Golden Cupids and more that have been restored with specimens of plants, shrubs and trees that we know were grown there in the Roman period.
|Hotel||Hotel Scapolatiello, Cava de' Tirreni|
|Meals included||Breakfast, Dinner|
Day 3 - Naples
Today we will head north into Naples, the grittiest of cities, to explore some of its historic open spaces and gardens. First, we go to the formal Orto Botanico, established by Joseph Napoleon in 1807, with a rich stock of trees and shrubs from all latitudes and several glasshouses with varying climatic conditions. We will also see the spectacular cloister of Santa Chiara, an oasis of calm in the centre of Naples. In the afternoon we head out to Capodimonte to visit the famous art galleries there and the grounds of this former Royal Palace.
Day 4 - Oplontis, Boscoreale & Portici
This day we visit the Villa at Oplontis – still with its fine array of wall paintings intact, including beautiful internal gardens between rooms. In contrast, we will also visit the rural villa – in effect a farm house – at Boscoreale to see and consider the countryside around Pompeii. A marvellous museum is alongside this villa, containing many of the carbonised remains of plants and produce destroyed in the towns around Vesuvius. We end the day with a visit to the Royal Bourbon Palace at Portici, where we visit the Orto Botanico, once part of a large royal estate.
Day 5 - Ravello & Salerno
This morning we head a short distance from our hotel to the Amalfi coast to view some 18th and 19th century gardens in at Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo in Ravello. Facing south, this coast allows for the growing of many tropical species. After lunch, we then take a trip to the Giardino della Minerva at Salerno. This was originally established in the beginning of the 14th century as a botanical garden by Matteo Silvatico who cultivated therapeutic plants for the instruction of medical students at the Scuola Medica di Salerno, one of the earliest medical schools in Europe.
Day 6 - Caserta
We drive to the region north of Naples to visit the Royal Palace and the park at Caserta. Said to have been designed by Charles VI of Naples in close collaboration with his architect Vanvitelli, the palace is one of the largest in Europe. The grounds too, were designed by the king and Vanvitelli, a regimented garden in the Baroque style with a series of cascading fountains down its central axis.
Day 7 - Cava de’ Tirreni – Naples - London
Today we leave our hotel and return to Naples for our flight back to London.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Professional Tour Manager
- Local travel aboard a private air-conditioned coach
- Meals as per the itinerary, wine and tea or coffee with dinner
- All taxes & gratuities
- Field notes
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Availability|
|28 September 2021||AVAG210928||28 September 2021 (Tuesday)||4 October 2021 (Monday)||John Shepherd||£1,975