Gulf of Naples

Naples is the vibrant southern Italian city known across the sea for its alluring tattered edges. Home to the ancient city of Pompeii and indulgent cuisine, it’s the culprit for dried pasta and yes, the birthplace of pizza. This major port city is the jumping off point to the Sorrentine Peninsula and the Campanian Archipelago including the seductive island of Capri. On the south side of Sorrento you’ll find yourself along the Gulf of Salerno where the famed towns of Amalfi and Positano sit tucked under formidable cliffs. Headed west you can sail to the intoxicatingly wonderful Phlegraean Islands: Ischia, Procida, Vivara, and Nisida. Capri sits centered off the Sorrentine Peninsula between the two gulfs, famous for its international reputation as a retreat for artists, writers, and celebrities.

Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey, depicts a voyage that sails through here and several of the islands are mentioned in recognizable detail although the names have changed. Local residents don’t doubt the existence of the fabled sirens who lured greek sailors onto the rocks even if they have never heard them sing. Life at sea is the backbone of their society and its dangers are respected just as the merits are celebrated by local residents and visitors alike, as a sailor you arrive to welcome understanding of what it means to journey on the sea.

To understand sailing the Gulf of Naples, you must understand the city of Naples itself with all its illustrious culture, family sentiment, organized chaos, and unique and beautiful magnetism. A look into Naples past will help you understand the present. Cars have replaced the horse-carts and fashion might have shifted, but other than that the streets look just about the same as they have since the roman empire spent much longer than a day to build them. Out on the islands there are ripples of the Neopolitan city life, mostly arriving on the daily ferries and going home again as the sunsets.

Life on the islands takes after the sea that surrounds them, Italians come here to fall into the groove of that oceanic living. Families arrive during the summer months from the mainland to relax and offer their children the delights of childhood on the seashore that their grandparents experienced in much the same way before them. On a sunny day when the wind is light, swimmers of all ages venture out from the rocks into the sea with all of the freedom of a dolphin-- but when dark clouds linger in the sky and the sea turns dark and violent, children and adults alike stay inside listening to the rain drive sideways into their wooden shutters. On a sailboat you are even more tied to the rhythm of the sea. Get your quiet night at anchor in wilderness cove when the weather allows, take refuge in the safe harbor of a seafaring town when it doesn't.

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