The places we shall visit on this route are, too well known to need introduction Rome, Naples, the Amalfi coast and back to Rome, touching so much ancient and modern history as to go back to mythical times with! the cave of the witch Circe.
This whole area is remarkable for the variety of its natural beauties and those which are the work of man; a great number of the places, monuments and the beauty spots to be seen, the tourist will have heard of for the first time sitting at a school desk; at the same time, there will be ample opportunity for an open - air life - we never go more than a few miles away from the sea.
No attempt will be made to describe Rome in detail its monuments run into thousands and are scattered over a much wider area than those of Naples or Venice. It is only in modern times that Rome has reached once more the surface area of the Imperial city. In Imperial times it had about two million inhabitants; this fell in the early Middle Ages to as few as 60,000. We have made an attempt to do Rome in three days by using routes which are not those usually printed in guide-books. More detailed information about the galleries will be found in the chapter The Ten Capitals of Italian Painting.
But we would like to stress that the visitor to Rome must not limit himself to the city. There is a circle of surrounding hills with abbeys, monasteries and temples which all form part of the texture of ancient Rome and Latium, whose countryside blends little by little with that of Campania, as we go south, before reaching the famous bays of Naples and Salerno.