The Campania region is in southern Italy bordering Lazio and Molise in the north and Puglia and Basilicata in the south east, regions also rich in natural and artistic beauty. To the west it overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea. Partenopee Islands, Ischia, Capri, Procida, Vivara and Nisida belong to this territory. Mainly hilly, the innermost area is crossed by the Campanian Apennines. The most important plains are those to the north, crossed by the Garigliano and Volturno rivers and further south those crossed by the river Sele and Sarno. Campania is certainly the best known and most emblematic area of Southern Italy. Its villages, flavors, culture, songs and people have strongly influenced the image most foreigners have of Italy.
Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and the Islands
Campania is mainly known for its coast: the wonders of the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno are so famous in the world that they need no introduction. From Capri and Ischia to Sorrento. From the splendid Amalfi Coast, dotted with jewels such as Positano, Amalfi or Ravello to the crystalline sea of Cilento. Among the islands of the Gulf of Naples, the best known is undoubtedly Capri. The magic of its Blue Grotto attracts hundreds of people every day and its Mediterranean and elegant atmospheres have made it a holiday destination for celebrities from all over the world. Equally beautiful are the other two islands of the gulf, Ischia and Procida. Ischia, the largest of the three islands, is a volcanic island known not only for its beautiful beaches, Roman remains and historic buildings, but also for its precious thermal waters. They are rich in minerals and make it a well-known tourist destination. Procida is the smallest of the three islands and was made famous by the film The Postman. It is a small jewel, a fishing village that has remained intact over time, without large resorts, boutiques or night clubs and is the ideal place for those who want to stay out of the mass tourism and enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere in a more intimate and relaxed way.
A few kilometers from these wonderful islands, we find the Sorrento peninsula which takes its name from the enchanting city of Sorrento. Sorrento boasts a historic center made of narrow and characteristic streets that follow the ancient Roman route and its enviable position, on a cliff overlooking the entire Gulf of Naples, from which you can admire a wonderful panorama.
After the Sorrento peninsula, continuing south, we meet the still more famous Amalfi coast, on which man, with arduous work, has built over time many small precious towns onto the side of the cliffs, each with its own particular identity. The most famous is undoubtedly Positano, with its narrow streets and steep stairways that reach the beach, scattered with boutiques showing off the popular Positano beachwear, an explosion of flowers and colors, cafes and luxurious hotels. Like Capri, Positano has become an inevitable destination for VIPs in recent years, but it is also a favorite destination for hikers, because from here a series of nature paths begin. These trails start at sea level and lead up to the mountains allowing you to admire a breathtaking view overlooking the sea. The most famous of these is the Path of the Gods which from Positano reaches Agerola, a town on the Sorrento peninsula built more than 600 meters above sea level.
Amalfi is the most important town on the coast, with a glorious mercantile past. So much so that it was together with Pisa, Genoa and Venice one of the four maritime republics and whose past glory is represented today by its splendid Cathedral dedicated to Sant’Andrea. A few kilometers from Amalfi, in Conca dei Marini, you can admire the Emerald Grotto, a karst cave in which stalactites and stalagmites take on very strange shapes. Thanks to the refraction of sunlight, the water takes on wonderful emerald shades, creating an enchanting environment.
Cilento, Hills, Mountains and Medieval Villages
A few kilometers from these picturesque coastal towns, in the Campania hinterland that extends to the southern Apennines, the landscapes gradually change. The sea gives way to mountainous areas dotted with small traditional medieval villages in which a visitor can appreciate the history and the uncontaminated nature, but also the flavors of the past found in an infinite variety of typical products. The hills of the provinces of Caserta and Benevento, the mountains of Irpinia in the province of Avellino, the Vallo di Diano, part of the Cilento National Park, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998, are some of the places to find contact with nature and the life of days long ago.
The human history of this region goes back thousands of years. It is truly the heart of the Mediterranean and therefore a crossroad of people, business, and conquests, that for millennia have formed its unique and complex identity.
From the splendors of Magna Grecia where the occupying Greek culture was actually adopted by Italians, which has left its mark in architecture, food and arts for the centuries that followed.
Naples is the capital and symbol of this land, a city that makes anyone who visits it fall in love, in spite of the stereotypes and prejudices of which it is too often made the object. The historic center of Naples, also a World Heritage Site, is a swarm of history and art. On the Greek-Roman route of the city, which has remained unchanged, there are historical churches, sumptuous stately buildings, obelisks, monasteries, monuments, overlapping centuries of history in which to immerse yourself. Here you are surrounded by the flavors, colors and sounds of the city.
All around Naples you find smaller towns also rich in history and very important artifacts. For example Benevento, the birthplace of the famous patron of Naples, San Gennaro, still retains the important remains of a glorious past such as the arch of Trajan, the Roman theater, the church of Santa Sofia, a UNESCO Heritage Site, and the Rocca dei Rettori, the beautiful castle that dominates the city from above.
A few kilometers from Naples, we find two important testimonies, unique in the world, of how life went on in the days of ancient Rome. In Pompeii and Herculaneum, time dramatically stopped 2000 years ago, with the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. It paralyzed the two cities and the entombed buildings, famous frescoes, mosaics and furnishings transport us into the daily life of these civilizations that are so distant in time and so fascinating.
Salerno, as well as enjoying the enviable proximity to the Amalfi Coast, is also a splendid town with a beautiful promenade and a wonderfully preserved historic center. The main attraction is the Cathedral which preserves the remains of San Matteo, apostle of Christ and patron of the city.
Paestum and Caserta
A little further south, in Cilento, you’ll find Paestum with its intriguing temples. It is instead a splendid testimony of ancient Greek civilization. All these archaeological sites are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and so is the Royal Palace of Caserta, which takes us back in time to the splendor of the Bourbon court, when Naples was the thriving capital of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. A few kilometers from the palace, we can admire the splendid medieval village of Caserta Vecchia which, together with the Carolingian aqueduct and the enchanting village of San Leucio, is among the main attractions of this area.
To all these wonders that fill the eyes and heart, we add the equally famous flavors of this land to satisfy the palate. The undisputed and universally famous dish is pizza, a masterpiece of Neapolitan culinary art. It is exported to every corner of the world and also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A simple food, born as a food of the poor, thanks to the Neapolitan inventiveness has conquered the entire world.
Campania is also the undisputed home of pasta, another gastronomic symbol of Italy, which has its cradle in the city of Gragnano where you can even visit a museum dedicated to it.
Olive Oil and Buffalo Mozzarella
Another wealth of the territory is the DOP olive oil from Cilento and the Sorrento Peninsula and the cheeses, among which the undisputed queen is the buffalo mozzarella.
San Marzano Tomatoes
This extraordinarily fertile land has given us many products for centuries. Among the most renowned, lemons from the Amalfi and Sorrento coasts, San Marzano tomatoes, Montella chestnuts and Giffoni hazelnuts. But the typical products are innumerable, impossible to list them all.
The famous wines of Campania are numerous. Each Campania region has its own vines, from the Benevento area with Falanghina del Sannio or Aglianico del Taburno, to Irpinia with the famous Taurasi, Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino to the famous Lacryma Christi of Vesuvius.
In short, Campania is a land rich in nature, art, history, culture and flavors. A land that, in just a handful of kilometers, offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in 360 degrees in the most enchanting experience of the Mediterranean.
Explore the authentic Campania with these suggested tours
The jewels of the Gulf of Naples
This itinerary is suitable for those who want to explore the Campania region in all its facets, appreciating both the natural and the artistic of the historical places that have made this region famous in the world and also known to those who have never been to Italy.
At all beach!
This itinerary is ideal for those who love beach holidays and want to enjoy the exclusive beauty of the most famous coastal resorts of Campania. Those who would love to immerse themselves completely in the Mediterranean atmosphere and appreciate all its aspects- from the most glamorous hotspots frequented by VIPs to the more discreet hideaways of the hidden gems of small towns on the coast and islands.
Walking through time: between Naples and its surroundings
This is a journey dedicated to the millennial history of Campania and its importance in the Mediterranean as a variety of people and cultures have formed its identity since ancient times. Through the architectural and artistic testimonies of the different dominations, it is possible to make a journey through time in the short span of a holiday.