The Hotel Sant’Agata enjoys a central position in the small town of the same name above the two gulfs of Naples and Salerno. In an area of immense artistic and scenic patrimony, such position permits an infinite possibility of excursions. It is in close proximity to the pearls of the Amalfi coast such as Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, the ancient town of Sorrento (only 7 km) and to Capri and Ischia - the celebrated islands in the gulf. Not too far away are the legendary ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the majestic “Reggia di Caserta” (Royal Palace), Vesuvius and Naples.
Royal Palace of Caserta
This magnificent work of art was commissioned by the Bourbon Kings of Naples and the planning was entrusted to the great architect Vanvitelli. The building work which began in 1752, was to rival Versailles and in fact nowadays the palace is often called the “ Italian Versailles “ . It covers an area of 47.000 m2 and has 1200 rooms . Its famous gardens are dominated by magnificent fountains and includes a large area of english gardens.
Naples is a city of many aspects, the aristocratic one in the old part of the city with its squares and shopping streets and the more popular colourful and noisy side streets. The original city of Naples, which dates back to VIII century BC has experienced a long series of foreign domination witnessed by the various monuments around the city. It can easily be reached by sea from Sorrento port in approx 35 minutes. Before reaching the port in Naples you will see the spectacular “Maschio Angioino” castle, one of the monuments that symbolize Naples; due to the fact that the old city was built up around the coast; so your sightseeing tour begins from the port.
Capri could be described as one of the most beautiful islands in the world and so for this reason alone has attracted tourists since ancient times. In fact the Emperor Tiberius chose it as his home and it is still possible to visit the ruins of his roman villa. The famous square has been visited by the celebrated writers, artists and politicians of recent centuries. It is enough to name the renowned writer Axel Munthe, whose villa in the hills of Anacapri is one of the main tourist attractions of the island. Thousands of tourists visit Capri on a daily basis throughout the year and it is a favorite amongst the VIPs and the jet set of today. The island is easily reached by ferry from Sorrento port or by private boat from Marina del Cantone (which can be booked by completing the relevant form) and includes a trip round the island. Both places are easily reached by service bus from the bus stop at a short distance from the hotel. The island of Capri is a series of cliffs, caves and grottos, of which the most famous is the Blue Grotto with its magical luminous effects. The celebrated “Faraglioni” (rock stacks) are the spectacular landmark which can be found on many of the postcards of Capri.
The Pompeii excavations, one of the most visited archeological sites in the world, cannot simply be considered as ruins because the extent of the excavations give a true reflection of what roman life was like on 24th August 79 A.D.; remembering that the town was not exactly destroyed but buried under volcanic lava. Thanks to the “Unico” travel ticket one may take the bus to Sorrento and then the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii. The station being situated a few metres from the entrance to the site. The Excavations of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Oplontis are listed amongst the patrimony of humanity by UNESCO.
Positano must be, without the shadow of a doubt, the first stop along the Amalfi coast, being within easy reach of the Hotel Sant’Agata and a holiday resort since Roman times. Positano reveals all its beauty and colours in its noted terraced layout. From the centre of the town, one walks down alternate pathways and steps to the beach, where there are several restaurants and bars. The world renowned Positano fashion, noted for its mix of elegance and fantasy is evident in many of the shops. Positano is easily reached by service bus. Bus stop not far from the hotel.
Amalfi is a perfect union of the beautiful coastal landscape and the historical town which has known ancient civilization such as that of the Normans. The cathedral of undisputed artistic value is dedicated to the patron Saint Andrew, and dating back to the IX century, is in the arabic-sicilian style. Amalfi is also known for having been a Maritime Republic and for its production of the prestigious hand-made paper for which a visit to the paper museum is very interesting. Amalfi can also be reached by service bus from the bus stop at a short distance from the hotel.
The Hotel Sant’ Agata is situated on what was once called the “Viale dei sospiri” (because of the breathtaking views) along which one may embark on an enchanting day out stopping first in Termini, one of the ancient hamlets of Massa Lubrense which is opposite the island of Capri. It is at this point that one of the most delightful roads on the Sorrentine peninsula begins: Il Nastro D’oro (the golden ribbon). This country road, as yet unspoilt by tourism, offers a beauty and tranquility that gives one the feeling of being in paradise. The winding coastal road offers magical views of Capri, Ischia and Vesuvius. A brief detour to Annunziata is well worthwhile to appreciate the wonderful panorama from the terrace of Gioacchno Murat’s villa. One may make this journey by car or alternatively by an open-top bus or an ego gastronomic tour; the bus stop for both the “ Sorrento Citysightseeing “ and the “ Due Golfi Train Tour”is at a short distance from the Hotel.
From the Hotel Sant’Agata along a winding hillside road dominated by luxurious vegetation, one can enjoy alternate views of the Sorrentine coastline and that of the Amalfi coastline. The Amalfi coast is a breathtaking spectacle where only the road separates the Mediterranean scrub of mountainside which plunges into the rich blue of the uncontaminated sea. In 1997 the Amalfi coast was declared as being a world patrimony of mankind by UNESCO. There is also a public bus service which goes along the Amalfi drive and the bus stop is a short distance from the hotel.
Vesuvius is part of the Somma mountains and an integral part of the panoramas of the gulf of Naples which often forms the background on the many postcards of the area. The vesuvianite area , named “ Campania Felix “ by the Romans because of its incredible fertility today houses the many vineyards which produce renowned wines. The Vesuvius national park was founded here in 1996. The vulcano can be reached by tour bus or car up to 1000m and then on foot to the actual crater. Authorized alpine guides are on hand to assist you.
Ischia is the largest island in the gulf of Naples. Due to its rich vegetation it is often called “the green island”. It is an island of volcanic origin, its highest point being mount Epomeo. One of the most interesting places to visit is the “Aragonese” castle built on a rock adjacent to the island. There are numerous thermal spas on the island first used by the romans and the greeks; that attract a great number of tourists on a daily basis. There are daily links between the port of Sorrento and Ischia.