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Cape Town - The Mother City

Luglio 2009
All’estremo sud del continente africano, Città del Capo è un vivacissimo melting pot di genti e tradizioni che hanno imparato a convivere. Su tutto domina la Table Mountain, il simbolo più amato della città.

di John Rigg

File audio:

Cape Point
Cape Point

Speaker: Justin Ratcliffe (Standard British accent)

Escape Europe’s hot summer, and explore Cape Town on South Africa’s west coast. It is known as “the Mother City” and it has a truly spectacular location – at the northern end of Cape Peninsula in the shadow of Table Mountain.


Table mountain is in fact the best place to view the city. Visitors must take the cable car to the plateau to enjoy the 360-degree view: the city stretches around the mountains from the coast to the open plain, Cape Flats, the city’s suburbs and the townships. Looking to the east, there’s Devil’s Peak. Legend tells us that pirate, Captain Van Hunks, smoked his pipe with the Devil there, and they left behind the white clouds that often appear from behind this mountain.
Table Mountain’s 3 kilometre-long plateau stands 1,086 metres above Cape Town’s beaches, and has a unique ecosystem: there are over 1,470 species of plants. Baboons and porcupines live freely on the mountain. There are also rodents called Rock Dassies – little, fat creatures similar to rabbits, but without ears.


The Dutch first colonised Cape Town, creating a supply station for the ships of the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. Company Garden, today a World Heritage site and famous botanical garden, originally supplied vegetables for the company’s men. The British later took control of the colony and built the Victoria and Albert Waterfront to protect their ships from the Atlantic Ocean.


Today the V&A waterfront is the city’s main attraction: a shopping centre with restaurants, hotels and several hundred shops. It is also the location of the Nelson Mandela Gateway where ferries depart for Robben Island. This is the prison island where Nelson Mandela and other ANC members were imprisoned during Apartheid. Visitors can tour the island and the old prison: ex-prisoners and prison officers recount their experiences and explain what happened on the island.

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cable car - funivia.

stretches around - si estende intorno.

Devil’s Peak - lett. picco del diavolo.

baboons - babbuini.

porcupines - porcospini.

rabbits - conigli.

the Dutch - gli olandesi.

supply station - base di rifornimento.

World Heritage Site - Sito Patrimonio dell’Umanità.

several hundred shops - diverse centinaia di negozi.

prison island - isola-prigione.

ANC - African National Congress.