Thursday, January 31, 2013

12 Tasks for kids on the Bay of Naples

Perseus fresco
I know, I know! "Tasks" doesn't sound like a holiday word. But it's always good to have a few fun goals when you go on vacation, even if it's getting your grandmother one of those tiles she likes so much or sourcing the best local dessert.

So here are 12 child-friendly tasks for you to do in the Bay of Naples. They range from easy to challenging and you will have to get your parents to help!

1 Sorrento is famous for its lemon groves; try a lemon sorbet or - if your parents are agreeable - get one of them to order limoncello after dinner and ask for a sip, but just a sip! It is very strong.
rope marks on the well-head

2 Visit Herculaneum and find ancient rope-marks on one of several marble well-heads by the impluvia (rain-water pools) in some villas.

3 Have Sanbitter (a bright red, non-sweet, non-alcoholic Italian aperitif) and nibbles on the terrace of the Hotel Bellevue Syrene in Sorrento; ask if you can see the Roman rooms downstairs first, to help make the cost of your drink worth it!

funny ducks mosaic in Naples
4 Find the funny ducks mosaic at the National Museum of Archaeology in Naples (right).

5 Visit the so-called Villa of Poppaea AKA Oplontis (at Torre Annunziata on the Circuvesuviana Sorrento-Naples train line) and look at the cake-like layers of tufa (hardened ash) and papilli (light volcanic pebbles) that Vesuvius laid down.

6 Find the public water spouts in Castellammare di Stabia and taste one of seven different types of mineral water.

7 Go all the way into the Blue Grotto in Capri.

Villa of Pollius Felix (model)
8 Visit the model of the Villa of Pollius Felix in Piano di Sorrento (left).

9 Swim in the secret cove of the Villa of Pollius Felix on the Capo di Sorrento. (OK, then, just take a photo...)

10 Find the little fresco of Perseus with the head of Medusa (top of this post) at the Villa San Marco at Castellammare di Stabia. You'll have to get a taxi at Castellammare di Stabia, but it's worth it.

Temple of Mercury, Baia
11 Visit the flooded so-called Temple of Mercury at Baiae. It used to be part of a bath-house but the flooding is caused by a phenomenon known as bradyseism. (Look out for the upside down fig-tree growing in a cave-like vaulted room next door!)

12 Take a hot mud (fango) bath in the oldest spa on the island of Ischia. Or visit one of the modern baths like Negombo.

These "tasks" are adapted from the Roman Mysteries Travel Guide: From Ostia to Alexandria with Flavia Gemina, now available on Kindle. And if you want some good reading, try the three Roman Mysteries set on the Bay of Naples: The Secrets of Vesuvius, The Pirates of Pompeii and The Sirens of Surrentum. Buon Viaggio! 


  1. Looking forward to trying some of these out in April!

  2. Anonymous10:22 AM

    These are great ideas for kids! :)

    You might want to amend the point about visting Oplontis (Villa Poppea) as it's at Torre Annunziata on the Circuvesuviana Sorrento-Naples line (otherwise visitors will be at the wrong stop). :)

  3. Thanks! Have done so. :-))))