Naples is a major city in southern Italy, the capital of the Campania region. The city is located in close proximity to Vesuvius – the largest active volcano in Europe, which destroyed and preserved to this day the ancient cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum.
The strategic location of Naples was the cause of numerous attacks, since the founding of the city in the VIII century BC. Initially, the Greek settlement was captured by the Romans in 327 BC, and became the favorite residence of emperors and literary figures, including Virgil and Nero. In the 7th century, Naples was ruled by Byzantium, and later by Norman Sicily. The city reached its highest point of medieval prosperity under Charles of Anjou, when in 1266 he made Naples the capital of the Kingdom of Naples. Karl expanded the city and decorated it with palaces and churches. Further, the Spanish Habsburgs were followed by the Bourbons, Bonaparte and the dynasty of the rulers of Savoy, when the Campaign became part of a united Italy in 1860. Continue reading
Catania is a major port located on the eastern coast of Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna, the center of the province of the same name. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is about 300 thousand people – it is the second largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy.
Catania was founded by Greek colonists who arrived in Sicily in 729 BC. In the 5th century BC the cruel tyrant from Syracuse Heron I expelled the inhabitants of the city and renamed Catania to Aitna, but he was soon overthrown, and the city regained its name. In 403 BC Catania was once again ruled by Syracuse, and the inhabitants of the city were sold into slavery. A statue of Cora (Persephone) with a torch in hand made during that period has survived to this day. Continue reading
Corfu is the Italian version of the name of this island. The Greek version is Kerkyra. It is the second largest island in the Ionian group of islands. Compared to other Ionian ones, it is located to the north of everything. Corfu in the northeast borders with Albania, from which it is separated by the Kerkyra Strait. The northern part of the island is covered with chalk mountains less than a thousand meters high, it is more fertile and picturesque in contrast to the south of the island, covered with hills. The main city of the island also has a double name: official – Corfu, popularly – Kerkyra.
In the Greek epic, the island was glorified as a meeting place for Odysseus and Queen Nausikai – this happened in Paleokastritsa Bay. Continue reading