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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
Thessaloniki is one of the largest Greek cities. It is located in the northern part of the country, in Macedonia – a historical region well known to tourists from all over the world as the birthplace of Aristotle, the holy enlighteners Cyril and Methodius, the great martyr Dmitry Solunsky, the legendary conqueror Alexander the Great (Great). He is dear to the Turks as the birthplace of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first president of Turkey.
The name of the sister of Alexander of Macedon of Thessaloniki became the name of this city. The city was founded in the 4th century BC. Alexander’s sister became the wife of the Macedonian king Cassander, the founder of Thessaloniki. By the will of Kassandra, two and a half dozen small settlements on the shores of the Aegean Sea were in the city limits. In the II century BC Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki) was captured by the soldiers of the Roman Empire. After its fall, the city became part of another empire – the Byzantine. Continue reading