Naples, Capri & Ischia - 2011

 

2011 Sacred Landscape
June The Road to Delphi
Sep Ancient Rome
Sep Mount Olympus
Oct Naples, Capri & Ischia
2011 Art Historical Tours
March Caravaggio & Baroque Rome
April Revolution & Romantics
May Palladio & the Veneto
June Michelangelo
Aug Piero della Francesca
Sep Naples Revealed
Oct Unknown Tuscany
Nov Medieval Paris
Nov Northern Renaissance
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THIS TOUR, as Mount Olympus, and The Road to Delphi, is a quest for the origins of sacred or eminent landscapes.

We will visit on the one hand the Greek origins of the Region, the triangle between the western islands of Capri and Ischia (ancient Pithecusa where the Greeks first arrived in Southern Italy), Cumae and Baia north of Naples (ancient Nea Polis, 'the New City' in Greek), and Paestum (or Posidonia, the old city of Poseidon, the Greek god of the Sea), South of Naples. We will visit on the other hand, Roman Naples, which has survived two thousand years of drama, some of which is still visible above ground and some below, in Subterranean Naples. But, the most distinctive landmark, towering over the landscape, and amongst all these sites, is Vesuvius. It brought wonderful fertility, as most other Volcanoes, and mayhem all the same. To have lived in Pompeii must have been, as it is still the case in Naples, Pozzuoli and a number of nearby towns, to live in the Volcano's divine shadow.

Many raised their hands to the gods, and even more believed that there were no gods any longer and that this was one last unending night for the world.
(Pliny, Letters, 6.20)

In a dramatic letter by Pliny the Younger, recounting the events of the eruption of the Vesuvius in 69 A.D. to the historian Tacitus, we find the lamentations of women, the shrieks and cries of men. During this horrendous ordeal, in the heart of darkness, men suddenly feared that the Gods had abandoned their beautiful land of Campania, or worse, that they did not exist. But the people did not reject their pantheistic beliefs, they did not burn or destroy their temples. Life and the gods prevailed, for a time.

THIS TOUR is not a tour for specialists, but an informed tour for curious travellers.

For archaeologists, Pompeii is more than a dream excavation, it is a curse: it seems to say to people 'Pompeii is what archaeologists try to recreate everywhere'. Reality is different: 9 times out of 10, an excavation will only bring to light what ancient people abandoned or discarded. Most precious objects were kept, precious metals were molten and re-used. So what is Pompeii? It is what never happens, an anti-archaeological model for all generations to come. Why? Because life is not still, it is in perpetual motion.

For most people however, Pompeii has a thousand facets, so much information to offer in order to recreate Roman daily life, its gods and beliefs. We feel, while walking in Pompeii's streets that we are walking in streets, not ruins. For many, Cumae, is still where we hope to meet the ancient Sibyl, this regional oracle revered by the Romans and other people before them in this region.

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1695 Per person sharing a twin room
125 Single supplement
12 participants max.
The tour includes:
- 7 days, 3* Hotel in central Naples. On a B&B basis.
- Return Flights from London to Naples
- All other transportation in luxury coach
- 2 special lunches + 1 special dinner
- All entrance fees
- An introductory lecture to the sacred landscape of Magna Graecia at the British Museum

Lecturer: Dr. A. G. Mitchell from the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford