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In southern Italy, the Campania region contains some of the greatest and most famous sites in the country, with the area along the Amalfi coast and the nearby islands such as Capri especially popular with visitors.
Campania - a guide and places to visit
For a summary of the most popular sights in the region see also Campania places to visit.
Most visits to Campania are based around the coastal area in the centre of the region, where the most famous scenic highlights and places to visit are found, but 'intrepid explorers' might like to spend the time exploring elsewhere in the region where you will find several interesting towns, villages and monuments - and considerably less tourists!
The name Campania originally meant the 'plain' (from the Latin 'campus') and the Romans called the region 'Campania Felix' because of how fertile the land was - the 'Campania Felix' is still the most important italian region for the production of tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, beans, apricots, cherries, figs, walnuts and hazelnuts.
In Campania to the north of Naples the amphitheatre at Santa Maria Capua Vetere and the Palazzo Reale at Caserta are among the highlights, and nearby Capua also has some historic buildings of interest.
Enthusiasts of impressive Roman monuments will want to continue eastwards from here to discover Trajan's Arch and the Roman Amphitheatre at Benevento.
Central Campania: Amalfi Coast, Naples and Capri
Centrally situated on the coast of Campania is the noisy, bustling city of Naples. Venture into the centre of Naples and you will discover the city has several important treasures to discover - and the chance to sample the most famous pizzas in the world!
Close to Naples the ancient city of Cuma was the original settlement of the first Greek settlers in the region, and you should also visit Herculaneum, buried by the same volcanic eruption as Pompeii and now an impressive archaelogical excavation on the edge of Naples.
To the south-east of Naples is the incredible town of Pompeii, buried by a volcanic eruption or than 2000 years ago and now excavated to reveal the secrets of living in the times of the Ancient Romans.
The coast of Campania stands in dramatic contrast to the bustle of Naples and includes the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida - each popular with visitors, and very scenic - indeed, among the most scenic Mediterranean islands to be found!
If that isn't enough scenic beauty, continue southwards along to the Amalfi coast - an exceptionally beautiful stretch of rocky coastline south of Sorrento that is unmissable when you are in the area, including the towns of Positano and Amalfi (be sure to also visit nearby Atrani) and Ravello.
Heading south-east from the Amalfi coast, Salerno has some interesting historical buildings to discover, and the historic village of Castellabate is also a thriving beach resort (and listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy).