The Campagna region is situated in the South of Italy and outlined on the west by the Mediterranean Sea (called the Tyrrhenian, or Tirreno). The region is divided into five provinces, whose capitals you've probably heard of: Salerno, Caserta, Avellino, Benevento and Naples (Napoli). Naples is also the capital city of the region itself. Campania is the most-visited of Italy’s southern regions. Encompassing Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Cilento, Caserta and more, it is not hard to understand the magnet this area has had for modern and ancient travellers alike. Explore the Roman and Greek influences at ancient sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum and you will be transported back in history several thousand years.
Despite its population density, there are still some wild and unknown areas, with mountains and small towns to enjoy, too. Its seacoast is Italy's most famous and fabled - who hasn't heard of the Amalfi Coast?
Campania was colonised in the 8th century BC, by Greek Cumaeans, only to be conquered by Rome in the 2nd century BC. With the fall of the Roman Empire, Byzantine and Lombard armies vied for control of the region. In the Middle Ages came the Normans, followed by Germans, the French and the Spanish. In 1860, Garibaldi swept into the Kingdom of Naples, and that was the birth of a new Italian nation.
In Campania Italy, myth and legends are woven inextricably into historical facts. Here, Icarus flew too close to the sun and plunged to his death in the Campi Flegrei volcano; to the south, the songs of the sirens lured sailors to their deaths on the rocks off Sorrento…or so the story goes.
If you are fond of archaeology, architecture, or simply want to see history come to life, then Campania is a must. The archaeological heritage here is huge: the splendid temples left by the Greeks in Paestum, the buried towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the remains of Greco-Roman Velia, the second-largest Roman amphitheatre in Italy at Capua...they're all incredible, historic sites. Then there's the Royal Palace of Caserta, built to be the most sumptuous palace of Europe, with its 1200 rooms, backed by an amazing garden, it is Italy's version of the Palace of Versailles. Museums, churches, piazzas, and palaces- you'll be amazed by the variety and beauty of the architecture here.
But if you prefer the beauties of nature, Campania won't disappoint you. The sandy beaches and the crystal-clear waters of the Cilento National Park, the awe-inspiring scenery of the famous Amalfi Coast, the islands of the Gulf of Naples, like captivating Capri, are just a few of the places you can enjoy. From the underground depths of the caves of Pertosa to the heights of Mount Vesuvius, there is something for everyone. The Cilento National Park also has vast tracts of mountain scenery to enjoy hiking or mountain biking.
Through history, Campania was prized as a maritime strategic position and a fertile territory to provide food for the local population. It was fought over and ruled by many masters, all of whom left behind a part of their own culture.
The fertile coastal lowlands are the chief farming areas. With such rich soils, cultivation can be intensive. Very often wheat grows in fields with fruit trees along the edges, and vines trailing amongst them. Wheat, apricots, peaches, apples, nuts, citrus fruits, figs, olives and, of course, grapes, are the main crops. Early vegetables, flowers, hemp and tobacco add to the agricultural abundance of Campania.
Campania also maintains some of Italy's most treasured culinary highlights, as well. Many of the world-known Italian dishes have their roots in Campania: pizza, spaghetti, mozzarella, limoncello, cannelloni… Italians know Campania well for being one of the tastiest regions offering the best food imaginable. It is also the undisputed winner for the best coffee in the country. Espresso, cappuccino, and now interesting variations such as hazelnut coffee jump-start the day for the residents of Campania, and will make yours, as well.
Campania is a beautiful land, where art, history, nature and tradition come together to offer an unforgettable vacation.
Source(s): summerinitaly, campaniawines, dreamofitaly