Campania

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Aside from one archaeological site and one small coastal part of Campania, it tends to be a region visitors avoid because of stories they’ve heard – and I think that’s too bad, considering how much Campania has to offer.

Campania is located on the western coast of Italy, just north of the part where the toe of the boot starts curling out. It’s the 2nd most populated region in the country (behind Lombardy), and home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in the country – Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast.

This page contains an overview of what you need to know about the Campania region before you go, and includes links to articles elsewhere on WhyGo Italy to help you plan your trip with more details. Please let me know if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Quick links to Campania travel resources:

Campania: Fast Facts

  • Campania is both the English and Italian name for the region, and it’s pronounced kahm|PAHN|yah.
  • The capital of Campania is Naples.
  • Campania is bordered by the regions of Lazio, Molise, Puglia, and Basilicata and has a long coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea.
  • There are five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Campania – the historic center of Naples; the Amalfi Coast; the archaeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Torre Annunziata; the Royal Palace at Caserta, including the park and aqueduct; and the National Park of Cilento and Valdiano, including Paestum, Velia, and the Certosa di Padula.
  • Famous people from Campania include opera singer Enrico Caruso, director Dino De Laurentiis, singer Renato Carosone, and beloved Italian actor Totò.
  • People from Campania are called campani (masc. pl.). Other variations are: campano (masc. sing.), campana (fem. sing.), and campane (fem. pl.).


Where to Stay in Campania

The Campania region is large, and with that size comes a huge variety both in the sizes of towns and cities and the kinds of accommodation you’ll find. As is the case with other regions, the larger cities – or the more popular tourist destinations – will have the greatest number of options when it comes to accommodation.

The Amalfi Coast is perhaps the most common destination in Campania for people looking for accommodation – and although much of the tourist traffic in this area is seasonal, you can almost always find a place with rooms available. Naples is a year-round destination that makes a good base from which to explore Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast, and it’s also home to a big university.

In addition to the usual hotels and hostels, you’ll also find B&Bs and vacation rentals throughout Campania. Away from the Amalfi Coast and the urban centers you can also find some agriturismo places as well.

Remember that while you may be able to find accommodation somewhere in Campania when you plan to visit, the high tourist season means significantly higher prices and fewer vacancies. Especially if you’re headed to the Amalfi Coast in the high season you’d be very smart to book your stay well in advance.

Here are some articles about hotels and hostels in Campania:


What to Do & See in Campania

Campania is famous for two primary activities – lounging in the sun on the Amalfi Coast and stepping back in time at sites like Pompeii. But a region this large has lots to offer in the way of things to do.

The long coastline ensures the importance of the sea to Campania, and while today many of its port cities are entry points for Mediterranean cruises they also have served as historically important ports for industry as well.

As is evidenced by the status of Pompeii in the world, there is plenty of history in this region that even pre-dates the Romans. There are Greek ruins in the Cilento National Park south of Salerno, in addition to the remarkably well-preserved Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum near Naples.

For the more active among you, there are opportunities to get out into nature in Campania, too. There are popular hikes along the Amalfi Coast, and Mt. Vesuvius is also a common target for hikers. The Apennines mountain range stretches into Campania, so there are significant changes in elevation when you get inland from the coast.

It’s not possible to cover all the things to do and see in the Campania region on one page, but these articles should help you begin your planning:


Where to Go in Campania

Naples is the main entry point for visitors to Campania, but the city has a bit of a reputation that leads many people to get to the Amalfi Coast as quickly as possible or even consider day trips to Pompeii from as far away as Rome. But despite the popularity of the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii, there are other places worth spending time in Campania – including Naples.

Here are some of the places you might think of visiting in Campania:

  • Naples – Campania’s capital, birthplace of pizza, home of Italy’s best archaeological museum; read more in my Naples travel guide
  • Amalfi Coast – Famous coastal area including towns of Positano, Amalfi, Ravello; read more in my Amalfi Coast travel guide
  • Capri, Ischia, Procida – Three islands off the coast of Campania, easy day trips from Naples or the Amalfi Coast; read more in my Capri travel guide
  • Sorrento – Across the Bay of Naples from Naples’ port, not part of the Amalfi Coast but a good base for exploring both the Amalfi area and the Naples area; read more in my Sorrento travel guide
  • Salerno – Main city just to the south of the Amalfi Coast, good base for visiting Paestum or Cilento and Valdiano National Park as well as Amalfi Coast
  • Caserta – Main attraction is an 18th century Royal Palace and adjoining gardens
  • Paestum – Ruins of a Greek city (including some really well-preserved temples), near Salerno
  • Mount Vesuvius – Mountain responsible for preserving ruins of Pompeii & Herculaneum, still an active volcano, there are trails on the mountain for hiking up to the crater

photos, top to bottom, by: otsaloma, Otourly, Porfirio, Jessica Spiegel (and may not be used without permission), mach-ms, AleBonvini

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