Apolline Project

illuminating the dark side of Vesuvius

Travel Companion to the Dark Side of Vesuvius


Anyone visiting the Campania region looking for an interesting, fresh, historical perspective that travel guides still don’t quite offer should certainly take a look at this unique and growing multimedia based offering from the Apolline Project. The engagingly written and accessible text guides readers through various sites – cultural and natural – of interest to the curious visitor to the vicinity of Mt Vesuvius. Not only was the text written by archaeologists and students participating on an international heritage project – meaning the quality of information is top notch – but it continues to evolve. Anyone now working on the Apolline Project is invited to contribute and the result is something rare; a multi-authored work where each contributor is free to give an individual take on a refreshing mixture of different sites of interest.
Sites covered now include:

  • Mt. Vesuvius: its eruptions, life after death, the small side-cones in Pollena Trocchia;
  • the Roman baths in Pollena Trocchia: the first discovery, the ongoing research, the kids buried in amphorae;
  • the Sanctuary of Madonna dell’Arco: the miraculous fresco, the popular art from the 15th century until today;
  • the so-called Villa of Augustus: Mussolini, Dionysus, and how it became a productive unit;
  • St. Paulinus and his early Christian basilicas;
  • the Church in Roccarainola and the barbaric invasions;
  • the Church in Santa Maria in Pernosano: its frescoes and the later phases;
  • the villa with blue mosaics in Lauro;
  • the castle of Sir Lancelot.

We are helping the local community to improve the accessibility of these sites, but some are still difficult to reach if you are not familiar with the region. Please get in touch with us and we will be happy to help!



You can download the pdf version of the guide here.



The iBook, i.e. the complete electronic book for iPads only will be soon available in the Apple Store, so please check this page regularly or subscribe our newsletter. In the meantime, we have created a short video to see it in action, enjoy!