Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Baths of Queen Joan

On our very last day in Sorrento, we decided to do some exploring. We found a small lagoon (thanks to Jessica) called the Bagni Della Regina Giovanna (the Baths of Queen Joan). I have since learned that a scandalous Hungarian queen of Naples named Joan, who ruled in the 15th century, would come here to bathe with her young lovers. I have also learned that the surrounding areas are ruins of the ancient Roman villa of Pollio Felice. You can wander these ruins completely unrestricted. I came across the remains of what looked to be some kind of house. After much research, I learned that a seaside house was built there in the 1st century. This house had a perfect view of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius.
The walk to the cove was a narrow cobblestone street with walled gardens on both sides. Every once in a while, there was a gate in the wall, so you could see what was behind them. These gardens were far overgrown and filled with lemon and olive groves. I also noticed jasmine climbing up the walls.
It was an incredible experience being on the same ground and in the same water as people were 20 centuries ago, including Queen Joan of Naples. I hope to go back after learning more history of Bagni Della Regina Giovanna.

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