If you thought you knew all about Italy, think again. Campania today and in antiquity is famous for its artwork and architecture, political intrigue, its geology and cultural mix, and of course its cuisine and wines! This unique travel study course immerses you in the vibrant lifestyles of Campanians through time. The region of the Bay of Naples is home to some of Italy’s most important port cities, both present and past, and the city where resided French and Spanish aristocrats, and famous artists and writers; it served as the retreats for ancient Roman senators and emperors. We begin our journey with ancient Rome and its highlights, and then we’re off to Naples.
Some may remember the movie, It Started in Naples (1960), starring Sophia Loren, Clark Gable, and Vittorio De Sica... so we’re off to her hometown and the home of pizza (the Napolitano), whose rich history spans several thousand years. We’ll whet your appetite for the rich architecture and artwork around Naples, with Renaissance works of Masaccio, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Titian, to name a few, and we’ll tour the world-famous Naples Archaeological Museum with its statuary, frescoes, mosaics and artefacts – and even its “Secret Room” – recovered from the ruins beneath the pumice and ash of Mount Vesuvius.
We will see the impact of the Italic tribes and the rise of Latin as the official language, the impact of Greek colonists at Paestum and beyond, and visit the most stunning museums and archaeological sites that Italy has to offer. Hike up the side of Mount Vesuvius to its crater and explore the vastness of its explosion in AD 79. We’ll meander through the partially restored ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the villas of the rich and famous of Rome, and one of the most intriguing ancient libraries, second only to Egypt’s Alexandria. From Pompeii’s Amphitheatre to the Forum, its vineyards and fragrant gardens, bath complexes and shops, villas and domiciles and the Villa of the Mysteries, to Herculaneum’s exquisite villas and waterfront, and the eerie wharves where so many perished... all will be revealed. We will boat over to Capri for the Villa Jovis of Emperor Tiberius, the Giardini di Augusto (Gardens of Augustus), villas of the elites of society including the 14th century Villa Certosa (Charterhouse, former monastery) where many of the works of the famous yet eclectic Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach of Symbolist painting fame are found, shop in grand style, and ride into the Blue Grotto at its base.
Mount Vesuvius wasn’t the only explosive power in the region. During WW II the region witnessed much devastation, yet thankfully the allied troops landed along the Amalfi Coast near Paestum, where we will delve into the maneuvers that helped to push Hitler’s army out of Italy. Today the coastline is visually magnificent, steep and steeped in traditional arts and crafts... including wineries!We’ll end our journey along the famous via Appia (Appian Way) that connected Rome to Capua (modern Santa Maria Capua Vetere), where you will encounter the ancient city, which once greeted Hannibal Barca of Carthage in the aftermath of the Second Punic War, and later became the training camp for Spartacus, the most famous gladiator of all time.
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Dr. Bill Glanzman is a specialist in the archaeology of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions. He has worked on many archaeological excavations and has been published on the archaeology and history of these regions. Bill is also a frequent instructor with Continuing Education having lead tours to Jordan, Syria, Cyprus and Egypt.