Grand Hotel La Sonrisa, near Naples *****
The Grand'Hotel La Sonrisa occupies an especially lovely corner of southern Italy's Campania region. Lying at the foot of the tree-clad Lattari mountains, on the Pompeii Plain, the hotel lies close to the towns of San Antonio Abbate and to Castellammare di Stabia. View hotel
Double rooms from €49
Grand Hotel La Medusa, Castellammare di Stabia ****
The Grand Hotel La Medusa is housed in an impressive historic building in Castellamare di Stabia. Right in the centre of the Bay of Naples, this hotel is perfectly placed for visiting the surrounding area. There are the fascinating Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum; the gorgeous island of Capri... View hotel
Double rooms from €95
Grand Hotel Le Zagare, Gragnano ****
The Grand Hotel Le Zagare in Gragnano - offering four-star luxury midway between the city of Naples and the abidingly popular resort of Sorrento. Lying at the beginning of the Sorrentine peninsula, the hotel has been created from the conscientious renovation of a nine century old farmhouse. View hotel
Double rooms from €55
Lying on the Bay of Naples, some 30 kilometres south east of the city of Naples itself, Castellammare di Stabia is a supremely well positioned spot for enjoying this part of Campania. Near neighbours, as well as buzzing Napoli itself, include Sorrento, with Castellammare di Stabia lying at the landward end of the Sorrentine peninsula. Vesuvius is around 15 kilometres away, and Salerno is to the south. A pleasant trip out can be had riding the funicular railway from Circumvesuviana station to the 1100m peak of Monte Faito. Only ten minutes in duration, but with spectacular views out over the sea and the Campania countryside.
Like so much of this part of the southern Italian coast, Castellammare has a much older antecedent, in this case the Roman city of Stabiae, which was destroyed by the 79AD eruption of Vesuvius, along with the more famous Pompeii and Herculaneum (just north of here). The Romans thus lost one of their favourite seaside resorts on the Campania coast. There's nothing much to see from Classical times then, but there is the ninth century castle which gives Castellammare (sea castle) its name. The fortress sits on a hill commanding the southern reaches of the Gulf of Naples. More recent history, has Castellammare as the hometown of Gabriele Capone, father of gangster Al Capone.