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About Campania in Italy

Daily Weather: Campania
Population: 5.8 million
Area: 13,595 sq Km (5248 sq miles)
Provinces: Naples, Avellino, Benevento, Caserta, Salerno with 551 communes
Capital City: Naples
Official web site: Campania
Wikipedia: Campania
Map: Campania


About Campania.

Campania is one of Italy's most beautiful regions. Both mountainous and green, the area's history of volcanic activity has played a large part in shaping the environment. The climate is warm, and one of the most familiar images is of oranges and lemons growing in green groves above the deep blue sea. Campania's coastline, particularly the Sorrento Peninsula, is dramatic and attractive. Out at sea lie even greater beauties, the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida. Campania's cuisine relies upon local products: seafood, buffalo mozzarella, oranges and lemons. Among the food to sample are authentic Neapolitan pizza, ice cream, granita di limone (a refreshing crushed-ice lemon drink) and any (or all) of the region's gorgeous desserts. Limoncello is the alcoholic speciality, but Campania also has several good wines. For those more interested in history and culture than in beaches, Naples offers the priceless collections in its archaeological museum, and opera performances at the prestigious Teatro San Carlo, while Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum are three of the world's greatest archaeological sites. The charm of Campania, however, is that you don't need to make such choices. Here you can combine superb cuisine, hours by the sea, giddying hikes, and even ballet on the beach in one sunny holiday.

Campania Tourist Destinations.

Naples itself is a worthy, if chaotic, destination, despite often being missed off the tourist trail in favour of its lovely neighbours: the islands of Ischia and Capri; the Amalfi Coast; Sorrento and ancient Pompeii. The Amalfi Coast is one of the world's top tourist destinations: a beautiful stretch of mountainous coastline dotted with small towns. For a relaxing trip, there are ideal resort destinations like Capri and Positano. If you prefer a busy sight-seeing holiday, Naples makes a practical base, for at least a couple of days. To appreciate Campania, though, a two-centre trip is the perfect solution: a few nights in Naples or nearby, to 'do' the museums and archaeological sights, followed by several days unwinding on an island or the Amalfi Coast.

The Amalfi Coast holiday and travel information.

The Amalfi Coast, Italy (la Costiera Amalfitana) is a beautiful and renowned stretch of mountainous coastline south of Naples, in Campania. The southern end of the Bay of Naples stretches out in a steep and rocky peninsula that reaches towards the Isle of Capri. Sorrento, another major tourist destination, looks back towards Naples from the north coast of the peninsula. The southern side of the peninsula is dotted with picturesque villages and towns clinging giddily to cliffs; this is what is known as the Amalfi Coast. For decades these fishing villages, stacked precariously above the sea, have been one of Italy's major tourist attractions. Nowadays the area's principal industry is tourism, and a staggering number of hotels have been squeezed into the restricted spaces of the small towns. Well-accustomed to catering for affluent foreign tourists, the area offers a generous selection of restaurants, bars, boutiques, boat trips.. just about anything self-indulgent that you can spend money on. Although prices are generally high, there are affordable options in the area. Some visitors find the region over-developed and over-crowded, especially in the height of summer, but for many the little boutiques, ceramics shops and the welcome laid on for tourists is part of the coastline's charm. The views are undeniably breathtaking, and away from the main road and the tourist hot-spots you can still discover the peace that charmed earlier visitors.

The main town of the coast is, of course, Amalfi, and this makes a good base for exploring the area. Other popular destinations are Ravello and Positano. Ravello is famous for its beautiful gardens perched high in the mountains above the sea, and for its classical music concerts. Positano is on the coast to the west of Amalfi, and is a traditionally 'posh' resort, where incredibly well-dressed tourists wander past exclusive boutiques before dining at even more exclusive restaurants. Tourism is of prime importance in the area, and is the major employer. Consequently, almost everyone you meet will be friendly, obliging, speak very good English and will do their best to help you.

The coastal road along the Amalfi Coast is famous for its hairpin bends, fantastic views and general scariness. The busy artery winds along the cliffs, affording glimpses of blue sea directly below. The towns are all built at a very steep angle, so streets zigzag backwards and forwards. Many buildings - including hotels - are only accessible by steep alleys and stairways. The public transport along the coast is cheap and fairly efficient. A company called SITA runs blue buses along the coast, from Salerno to Amalfi, from Amalfi to Sorrento, and from Amalfi to Ravello. Other small buses provide transport within the towns. Ferries connect the principal towns of the Amalfi Coast area, and can be much quicker than buses. Travelmar (tel. +39 089 872950) run connections between Salerno, Minori, Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento. In Salerno there is a tourist information office to your right as you leave the station; they can give you a timetable for the boats. Salerno to Amalfi takes 35 minutes, and costs 4, with eight departures daily in each direction. The nearest airport to the Amalfi Coast is Naples Capodichino. If you're travelling to the Amalfi Coast from Rome or other parts of Italy, there are a number of options for getting to the area: You can take a train to Naples or to Salerno. From Salerno you can get the SITA bus to Amalfi, and then a bus connection onwards if necessary (or take a ferry all the way from Salerno). From Naples you can take the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento (see Sorrento page), then take a SITA bus to Amalfi via Positano. An alternative option is to take a bus all the way from Rome. This is a much better idea than it may sound at first. A bus company called Marozzi run a fast efficient coach service from Rome to Amalfi (summer season only) or to Sorrento (all year round). Obviously this method of travel depends upon road congestion, but the buses are usually fast and comfortable. In 2002 Rome-Amalfi bus service operated from 1st June to 30th September, every day except Sundays. The daily bus leaves Rome at 6am, and stops in Sorrento, Praiano and Amalfi, arriving in Amalfi at 10:30am. The cost will be around 20 each way. Before planning your journey call to confirm these details, as timetables can change. The telephone number for information is (+39) 06 4424 9519). Alternatively you can enquire and buy tickets at the Marozzi kiosk by the bus station. (This is outside Tiburtina station; cross the area where orange ATAC buses are parked and you find a smarter covered area for long-distance coaches.) Bear in mind that the buses may not stop close to your hotel, and roads can be steep or no more than staircases. Ask your hotel for precise directions, and if necessary carry the address in your hand, and ask the first locals you see. Some hotels offer their own minibus service for pick-ups, trips down to the beach etc.; find out about this if your hotel is one of them.

This information is from Italy Heaven. Find our more about Campania in Italy by clicking here.


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