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The Italian city of Naples, or Napoli as it is also called, is located in the Campania region of the country and lies on the Gulf of Naples, on southern Italy's west coast. The city is located in an enviable position between two volcanic areas, Mount Vesuvius and the Campi Flegrei. The Roman ruins of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae, which were destroyed the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, are located close to the city as is the city of Sorrento and the beautiful Amalfi Coast. Also located close to Naples are the former parts of the Roman naval facility of Portus Julius, namely the port towns of Pozzuoli and Baia which are both to the north of Naples. The city is adorned with medieval, Baroque and Renaissance churches, castles and palaces and has long been an important centre for the arts and architecture. In the 18th century, Naples went through a period of neoclassicism, following the discovery of the remarkably intact Roman ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii.
The port of Naples is home to several ferry, hydrofoil and SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) catamaran services, linking numerous locations in both the Neapolitan province, including Capri, Ischia and Sorrento, and the Salernitan province, including Salerno, Positano and Amalfi. Ferry services also operate to Sicily, Sardinia, Ponza and the Aeolian Islands.
Ponza is the largest of the Pontine Islands which is an archipelago that lies off the Italian coast between the cities of Rome and Naples. Ponza is well known for its Blue Grottoes that were created by the Etruscans and include the Serpents Grotto and the Roman Gallery, which is a Roman tunnel that connects the town of Ponza to the now closed large sandy beach of Chiaia di Luna. Popular sites with visitors are the many archaeological ruins that can be seen that include Egyptian, Canaanite, Greek and Phoenician necropoli ruins in the middle of the island. Also on parts of the island are Roman ruins that are mixed with Etruscan ruins. A large statue called Il Mamozio ("The Mummy") or Il Mitreo, meaning miter or priest's hat, is a 3,000 year old marble statue and was found in the harbour. The statue depicts a local Etrurian consul, it is now displayed in a museum in Napoli behind protective plastic, where it was reunited with its head. It is the oldest known Etruscan statue of its kind and is extremely rare.
Ferry services from Ponza depart to Naples, Terracina, Formia and Anzio; there are also hydrofoils (aliscafo) to Anzio and Formia that have travel time of about 75 minutes.