Campania, Italy: travel guide and places to visit

Photo of Campania (Campania region)

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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.

Northern Campania

BeneventoIn 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

NaplesCentrally 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.

CapriThe 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.

Southern Campania

PaestumHeading 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).

Further south the Greek temples at Paestum are a stunning ancient site to explore, with the Greek-Roman ruins at Elea - Velia (near Novi Velia) being another place to discover Ancient Italy.

A little way south-east of here the ancient town of Roccagloriosa and the seaside resort and historical town of Policastro Bussentino are also popular with visitors.

Campania highlights - a photo gallery

  • amalfi-coast
  • capri
  • ischia
  • naples
  • pompeii
  • positano
  • procida
  • ravello
  • sorrento
See also:

Map of Campania and places to visit

Places to visit near Campania

Amalfi

Amalfi

Amalfi is one of the principal scenic villages in the heart of the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi

Amalfi coast

Amalfi coast

The cliffs and blue seas make the Amalfi Coast one of the most scenic stretches of coast to be found anywhere in Europe

Amalfi coast

Atrani

Atrani

Atrani is a pretty village next to Amalfi in the heart of the Amalfi coast

Atrani

Benevento

Benevento

The Roman theatre and Trajans Arch are the principal sights in theis ancient Roman town near Naples

Benevento

Capri

Capri

Capri is a spectacular island in the Bay of Naples with beautiful cliffs and coastal scenery

Capri

Capua

Capua

In Capua you can visit the Museum of the Palazzo Antignano with its many ancient artefacts as well as the local cathedral

Capua

Caserta

Caserta

At Caserta it is the vast Royal Palace and its extensive parks and gardens that attracts the crowds

Caserta

Cuma

Cuma

Cuma is the ancient town that was the original source of Naples

Cuma

Elea

Elea

Elea is an ancient 2600 year old city, now an archaeological site

Elea

Herculaneum

Herculaneum

Herculaneum near Naples was a town buried by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD

Herculaneum

Ischia

Ischia

Ischia is a lovely scenic island in the Bay of Naples

Ischia

Naples

Naples

A large and busy city, Naples also has many important historic monuments

Naples

Paestum

Paestum

In Paestum you can see three of the most impressive temples of Ancient Italy

Paestum

Policastro Bussentino

Policastro Bussentino

At Policastro Bussentino you can explore the historic old town, castle and cathedral

Policastro Bussentino

Pompeii

Pompeii

Pompeii was a bustling Ancient Roman trade town, completely submerged when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD

Pompeii

Positano

Positano

Positano is a very scenic (and very steep!) village at the west of the Amalfi coast

Positano

Procida

Procida

The small island of Procida, in the Gulf of Naples, has some pretty marinas and spectacular sea views to enjoy

Procida

Ravello

Ravello

Ravello is best known for its villas and gardens with stunning coastal views

Ravello

Roccagloriosa

Roccagloriosa

Roccagloriosa is a small medieval town with very ancient origins

Roccagloriosa

Salerno

Salerno

Salerno is a busy town with a cathedral near the Amalfi coast in southern Campania

Salerno

Santa Maria Capua Vetere

Santa Maria Capua Vetere

At Policastro Bussentino you can see the large amphitheatre and a frescoed 2nd century temple of the Mithraeum cult

Santa Maria Capua Vetere

Sorrento

Sorrento

Sorrento is a popular resort and base for exploring the Amalfi coast

Sorrento