From Roman baths to noble palaces
Castellammare di Stabia occupies the northern end of the Sorrento Peninsula in Campania. It has been a popular tourist destination since Roman times, when the thermal baths of ancient Stabiae attracted those wishing to relax in its mineral and sulphurous waters, which are still appreciated today.
Several Roman villas and the Grotta di San Biagio, a quarry converted into a Christian church with 6th century frescoes, remain from the ancient city. Don't miss the medieval castle built around the year 1000 and rebuilt by the Angevins and Aragonese.
Also visit the Co-Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, which dates back to the 16th century and contains splendid works of art such as the Deposition and Nativity by Spagnoletto, and an early Christian sacrofagus. Don't miss the Basilica Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Pozzano with its sacristy by Luigi Vanvitelli and the Byzantine paintings at the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Libera.
On the hill behind the city stands the Reggia di Quisisana, built by the Angevin kings in the 13th century as a holiday resort and then remodelled by the Bourbons in the 18th century as a hunting lodge. The view of the gulf from here is spectacular. Just outside the town are the slopes of Monte Faito, which can be reached by cable car for a nature walk with a view of the sea.