Around Us / Castellammare di Stabia
Located in a natural bowl in the Gulf of Naples, Castellammare di Stabia is the gateway to the Sorrento Peninsula.
Castellamare di Stabia takes its name from a medieval castle built overlooking the sea (Castrum ad mare/Castle on the Sea) to which the place-name Stabiae was added. The castle, which is now situated along the state highway to Sorrento, was built by the Sorrentines, in order to protect their own duchy. Today the castle is a private property and can be admired only from outside.
Stabiae, thanks to its magnificent geographical position and its particularly mild climate, it was inhabited since the VII century B.C. The city was destroyed by Silla and, later, completely buried by the eruption of the Vesuvius (79 B.C.), that also damaged the nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Many ruins of residential villas have been discovered on the Varano hill, in a panoramic position: otium villas with thermal bath structures, colonnades and splendidly decorated nymphaea.
Two fine examples, which can be visited, are Villa San Marco and Villa Arianna.
Villa San Marco, so called for its nearness to a chapel dedicated to Saint Mark, conserves its structures intact, and testifies to life in luxury during the Roman age. Testimonies of an eclectic and very original taste are the baths quarter, the monumental swimming pool with exhedra and ambulatories, the hospitalia finely decorated with frescoes, and the unique upper garden surrounded by tortile columns.
Not far away is Villa Arianna, so called for the large painting of the mythical heroine Ariadne found in the triclinium, is extends over an area measuring 2500 m2 and it follows the curve of the hill, adapting to its conformation.
Also in this villa the decorative schemes testify not only to the high standard of living that must have prevailed here, but also to the extremely refined taste of a high-ranking and demanding client.
But Castellammare is not only known for its luxurious Roman villas.
The city is also famous for its historic shipyards, a large marina and the famous biscuits.
As well as the kind covered in sugar frosting, sold in the famous blue paper, we should not forget the gallette ship’s biscuits, they were being made even prior to Angevin domination and were used as supplies for the sailors.
Known as City of Waters, Castellammare has 28 natural springs, with mineral waters characterized by different compositions and healing virtues. The springs gush out of the rocks of Mount Faito and give life to important thermal spas.
From the fresh sea breeze of the coast, by Faito cable car, you will reach in a few minutes the uncontaminated mountain.
From the “Belvedere” there is a wonderful views over the Gulf of Naples and Salerno and on the bright days you can see as far as the promontory of Circeo, the Pontine archipelago and the distant temples of Paestum.