A geographer’s dream, Italy’s Bay of Naples has a lot of captivating stories to uncover hidden within it’s landscapes…
A breath of fresh air using the breadth of study
With a commitment to inspire curiosity and ignite a passion for future learning, any geography teacher will be on the hunt for that something special which will connect with students. From developing an understanding of Earth’s physical and human processes in the classroom, the “big bang” in your planning for the year can come from providing students with a platform that brings learning into context.
How does the Bay of Naples fit in with the breadth of study for geography? Providing opportunities to dive into both physical and urban geography, the region features a number of standout locations. From the initial framework of concepts at school to consolidating and extending knowledge through place-based examples in a new learning environment, the Bay of Naples remains a favourite with schools.
Ever walked on a volcano?
Overlooking the Bay of Naples, the stratovolcano – Mount Vesuvius – stands as one of the region’s most iconic features. Complex in nature, Vesuvius is an intriguing case study students can get their teeth into. Its classification is down to its type of eruptions and pyroclastic flows. Students can learn about the Campanian volcanic arc, which includes another must-see for your educational tour – Campi Flegrei.
Contrasting locations but sharing the same precarious seat on a tectonic boundary, the volcanoes present a great opportunity to open a discussion on the African plate being subducted against the Eurasian plate.
Two doomed towns providing light for learning
Vesuvius has also played a big part in the history of the famous archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD sealed the fate of the once prosperous city of Pompeii. Arguably Italy’s most famous archaeological sites, the excavations of Pompeii provide students with scope to study processes and the impact of the eruption on the area.
Herculaneum presents a similar proposition but unlike its neighbour, the effects from pyroclastic material preserved organic-based items, including items constructed from wood. Wealth graced the streets of Herculaneum and with items ranging from beds to stylish mosaics discovered, students will have a chance to compare and contrast the two sites.
The intriguing UNESCO site of Herculaneum allows students to take a look into the history of life in the area. Parts of Herculaneum sit beneath what is now Ercolano and it isn’t uncommon for areas to sporadically shut down to allow for excavations.
More to a town than a Louis Vuitton bag
In stark contrast, the towns of the Sorrentine Peninsula provide school groups with the opportunity to look at the human geography of the area. This includes Sorrento itself, which has become a tourist mecca. Looking at how the town has developed and changed through influence, students can open a study on urbanisation.
Picturesque, Sorrento is an image typically found on postcards. A great base to explore the archaeological sites north of the town and the remainder of the peninsula to the south, the town of Sorrento gives schools a home away from home.
A short hop over to the island of Capri would hint at a similar dynamic with designer shops exuding glamour. However away from the glistening belt buckles in the shopfront of Gucci, Capri’s coastline is struck by a wave-cut notch on the southern side of the island. Here, dialogue can be opened up allowing for a discussion on the changes of the sea floor and uplift of the southern area during the 79AD eruption. A boat journey to the Blue Grotto will allow students to see a range of caves and stacks created in the eroding limestone. A must-see is the natural arch through the Faraglioni rocks.
Glamourous Geography on the Amalfi Coast
Complete your tour of the Sorrentine Peninsula with a stop at Amalfi town. Throughout the trip students can see the contrast in rocks and make connections between the limestone and volcanic deposits found along the way. Amalfi provides the perfect place to reflect on the findings while discovering a whole load more worth extended studying.
Geographers can enjoy a range of recognisable features used to effect in the coastal town. Riprap, tetrapod costal defences; examples of weathering and gullying on the limestone cliffs; historic Roman and medieval defences used on the coastline; and examples of coastal headland erosion are just some of the features students can make connections with. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Amalfi Coast is awash with idyllic stops, including Positano where students will be begging the driver to stop at.
A case for the Bay
Bringing together a study on landscapes and how they have evolved over time through human and physical intervention, the Bay of Naples gives students variety in one place.
Case studies and investigations into the geography of the area allow for students to develop skills of enquiry, analyse evidence, and interact with the environment around them. From the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum allowing for a study of the physical geography to a focus on the development of towns and how they have been shaped by tourism, young geographers will find that inspiration and spark of curiosity for future learning.
Travelbound offer a series of complimentary educational packs to schools travelling to the Bay of Naples. Providing information on each key area available to schools groups, discussion starters and points to look out for enable students to further engage with their learning environment and studies. Get in touch if you want to access these packs and request a trip quote!