<-- More Absolutely Florida

f l o r i d ac i t i e s

By Camilla Skivington Courtney

Naples has grown from a sleepy town that rolled up the sidewalks at sunset to an

internationalresort that rolls out the red carpet for cafe society. Looking at Naples today, with its worldwide reputation, charm and popularity, it's hard to believe that the 1890 auction of the land that was to become this city attracted only one bidder.

Walter Haldeman, publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal, offered that bid of $50,000 and became the proud owner of the town named Naples. Haldeman, whose interest in the area was as a winter retreat for his wealthy family, friends and colleagues, was one of a number of stand-out individuals who came to Naples with a lasting vision in mind.

Development in the area began in earnest in the 1950s when the town, destined to become Port Royal, was reconfigured. But wasn't until after Hurricane Donna in 1960 that Naples really began to approach the world stage. Beautiful beach resorts, chic shopping districts, trendy restaurants and cultural enhancements to the tony downtown areas catering to cultured tastes sprang up.

Yet Naples still has retained it's "Old Florida" feeling with shell-strewn beaches, exquisite sunsets and nostalgic early communities. Naples combines the Old with the New - a mix of big city and small town. A perfect destination for visitors to relax and rediscover.

Click the links on the right for more about this exquisite destination.