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Why choose Campania?

Map showing Campania in ItalyCampania is in many ways Italy's most memorable and beautiful region. It forms a fertile crescent around the bays of Naples and Sorrento. With the exciting city of Naples as its capital, the region is also home to the world-renowned Amalfi Coast, the ancient tragic city of Pompeii, and the romantic Isles of Capri and Ischia. It is also the birthplace of Pizza, Spaghetti, and Buffalo Mozzarella.

Property Market in Campania
The property market is buoyant; prices more than doubled in the region as a whole between 1998 and 2003 and in some areas rose by more than 70 per cent. Property on the islands in the archipelago of Capri, Ischia and Procida is prohibitively expensive and little is available. On the Amalfi coast, prices start at Euro 2,000 per sq meters, while inland prices fall dramatically to as little as Euro 600 per sq meters In stark contrast to the immaculately painted villas and palazzi in the wealthier resort areas, there are numerous half-abandoned villages in the interior which offer exciting investment opportunities. The ever-growing popularity of the region continues to provide excellent opportunities for rental income.

All About Campania

The Territory

Sorrento peninsulaCampania is divided into 5 Provinces, including 551 municipalities, with a total population of over 5,700,000 inhabitants. It is a region celebrated for its climate, the fertility of the lands and the astonishingly beautiful landscapes. The territory is mostly gentle hills, apart from the Matese mountains bordering Molise and the rugged Irpinia area. Vesuvius in the Gulf of Naples is one of the very few still active volcanoes in Europe. The two beautiful gulfs of Naples and Salerno, separated by the Sorrento peninsula, are world famous for the high cliffs, sandy bays , grottoes and islands (Ischia, Procida, Capri).

The population is concentrated around Naples and Salerno, while the mountainous hinterland has a low population density. Agriculture is mostly intensive, cattle raising and fishing are declining, industries are mostly concentrated in the Neapolitan area, and crafts based on coral and ceramics are sill quite important. But the greatest resource is probably tourism, since Naples, Capri, Sorrento, Pompei, Paestum, Caserta are world-famous destinations

Pompei The Campania region of Italy stretches from the southern Apennine mountain range to the coastline between the Gulf of Gaeta and the Gulf of Policastro. The Sorrento peninsula is characterized by its steep coast and wonderful sandy beaches. The Campania region is easy to reach by plane (Naples, Rome). You will have to allow more time if you're driving. This part of Italy was once very popular among the Greeks and it's here that you'll find the wonderful Cilento National Park region, a real treasure among parks. Here you can relax on empty beaches for most months of the year (apart from August), enjoy the mountainous landscape and the beauty of the natural environment.

Pompei Pompei and Naples are just as easy to reach for a day trip as the spectacular Amalfi coast and the Paestum and Velia archaeological dig sites. Indeed, given that work is still been done on these digs, it's a good opportunity to get a close-up insight into the work of archaeologists. The Italians here are better Italians, that is, they're really Greeks.

The Campania region is also a good place for a traditional beach holiday, but if you spend all your time on the beach, you'll be missing out on a great deal. Hiking, riding, fishing, diving, wind surfing and sailing catamarans.

To the east of Naples lie Pompei and Herculaneum, the most well-preserved cities of classical antiquity. The brooding presence of the still-active volcano Vesuvius in the background serves as a constant reminder of what happened on that day in 79 AD when clouds of ash gushed angrily skywards. Most of the finds from the excavations at the sites are on show in Naples’ spectacular National Archeological museum.

Capri, facing the Bay of Naples’ eastern prong, is an island of vast natural beauty and enchantment. The only downside is that unfortunately millions of other people think so too. Off-season you will be able to get a much better feel for Capri, and spend less money staying or eating there. Its best-known sights are the faraglioni rocks which jut dramatically out of the sea and the Grotta Azzurra, a grotto whose mesmerising blue interior is a result of the sunlight reaching it through the water.

Guarding the other prong of the Bay of Naples is Ischia, which unlike Capri, offers a more rough and ready island experience. Famous for its thermal springs since Roman times, the prettiest spot on the island is the former fishing village of Sant’Angelo on the south of the island. Less known and less spectacular is Procida, the island closest to Naples.

SorrentoOn the mainland, across from Capri, is the Amalfi coast with its sheer jaw-dropping and hair-raising beauty, huddled as it is along a long and winding coast of rocky cliffs. Sorrento is a classic resort town and its old centre retains much southern charm and has a lively evening scene of locals enjoying the breeze and passing the time in its main piazzas. Positano, though small, is more cosmopolitan and lined with exclusive clothing boutiques and some good beaches which rarely get crowded. Villages before and after it (such as Furore and Atrani) are recommended since the views are equally stunning and the prices more contained. Amalfi is the largest town and in many ways the highlight of the coast with its houses literally grappled on to a wide cleft in the cliffs; Ravello (a 25 minute bus ride from Amalfi) stands like a jewel in the crown; 335 metres up one of the coast’s mountains and offers unrivalled views and a more refined feel than any of the other cities.

 

National Parks

Monti Picentini Regional Nature Park
The park encompasses the Picentini mountain chain containing the largest forest in southern Italy. This typical mountain environment features steep slopes, gorges, caves and the sources ("mineral water") of numerous streams including the Tenza that flows into the Sele. Wolves, golden eagles, and goshawks inhabit its extensive woodlands. The parklands include the WWF Oases of Mount Polveracchio, Valle Della Caccia, and Valle dell'Accelica.

Partenio Regional Nature Park
Set up to protect the mountain range it is named after, the park is notable for its different species of animal life, including wolves, martens, moles, sparrow-hawks, buzzards, owls, woodpeckers, and rare reptiles.

The Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park
CilentoThe park stretches from the Tyrrhenian coast to the foot of the Campania-Lucanian Apennines, including the peaks of the Albumi, Cervati, and Gelbison, as well as the coastal spurs of mounts Bulgheria and Stella. Its peculiarity derives from the extent and diversity of the land it encompasses. The landscape is unaltered in some parts and modified in others through the presence of towns and densely populated valleys. The park also contains mount Cervatis, which at a height of 1,899 meters is the tallest in Campania. This "record" and its naturalistic aspects make the Cervati and the Sacro or Gelbison mountain range a unique morphological system. The Alburni range, named after albus due to the presence of white Cretaceous limestone, marks the northern part of Cilento, covering an area of about two hundred square meters. The limestone has resulted in the creation of a number of caves, such as Pertosa and Castelcivita, which have been inhabited since Neolithic times. The Alburni are a natural balcony overlooking the whole of the Sele, Tanagro, and Calore plains and the inland spurs of Cilento. The coastal plain, where there are two marine parks (In freschi and Santa Maria di Castellabate), looks Mediterranean with its sequence of small inlets, little sandy beaches, rock faces, and promontories beneath old watchtowers.The bird life is particularly interesting from a naturalistic-scientific viewpoint. Birds found in the area include the golden eagle, rock partridge and chough.

The green, greater red and black woodpeckers also nest in these parts. Other attractions include the sparrow hawk and mammals such as the wild boar, marten, badger, fox, and wolf. The flora and vegetation are no less impressive. The approximately three thousand botanical species form a mosaic of landscapes ranging from the rich and varied Mediterranean maquis to the coastal Aleppo pine forests; from ilex groves to mixed woods of broadleaf trees up in the hills and at the foot of the mountains, and beech woods up in the mountains with the odd white fir and birch. The Primula palinuri and Genista cilentina are also worthy of note.

Lago di Conza Oasis
This oasis set up on the alluvial plain of Lake Conza is notable for its hygrophile woods of white willows, tamarisks, alders, and Italian poplars, for its extensive hawthorns, dog-rose, blackthorn, elder, and pubescent oak hedges, and for its marshland vegetation featuring ditch reeds, cattails, irises, arrowheads, and water buttercups. During the migratory season, over 100 species of birds have been detected in the area.

History

Originally inhabited by the Ausoni (or Aurunci) and Opici, In the 8th century BC the region was colonized by the Greeks who founded the city of Cuma. In the 6th century BC the Etruscans established around Capua a federation of twelve towns, which fought and defeated the Greeks in 524 and 474 BC. Then in the 5th century BC both Capua and Cuma were conquered by the warlike Samnites. Between 343 and 290 BC three wars were fought between Samnites and Romans, who finally occupied the region. Rich Roman families built villas and gardens in the beautiful Neapolitan Gulf, until the ominous Vesuvius eruption in 89 AD covered in lava the Roman cities of Pompei and Ercolanus.

After the fall of the roman Empire Campania was alternatively under the Goths and the Byzanthines, then it was conquered by the Lombards in 570 AD who established here the Dukedom of Benevento, while Amalfi became a rich independent sea trade center. In 1139 the region was conquered by the Normans, then became part of the Kingdom of Sicily under the Anjou (13th century) and Aragonese (15th century). The Spaniards (1503-1707) were followed by the Austrians (1707 to 1734) until Charles VII Bourbon (1734) became King of Naples. After the unity to Italy in 1860 there arose serious economic problems, among them a cholera epidemic in 1884, events which started a massive exodus of the population to the North of Italy and abroad. During WW2 the Allied Anglo-American forces landed at on 9 September 1943 and the bombings that followed, as well as the destruction caused by the retreating Germans caused innumerable victims among the population.

Places to see and things to do in Campania

Museo Archeologico Nazionale (National Archaeological Museum of Naples) – If there's one museum in Naples to take the kids, this is it. The National Archeological Museum has all the good stuff from Pompeii and Herculaneum. The collection includes Greek and Roman sculptures, a famous mosaic of Alexander the Great, arms and gladiator's helmets, silverware from homes in Pompeii, plus the Medici collection of cameos and engraved gems (a must for anyone in your family who likes jewellery). Don't miss the detailed model of Pompeii on the first floor.

Villa Communale and Aquarium – The Villa Communale is an old city park along the bay, with lots of shady trees and fountains. In the center of the park is the Aquarium (Aquario). The Aquarium is old fashioned in that 19th century style, but it does have tanks with local marine life from the Bay of Naples. The park extends for nearly a mile along the water, so enjoy the pedestrian promenade on the Via Caracciolo.

From the Villa Communale, head down the via Partenope towards the imposing Castel dell'Ovo. Castel dell'Ovo (Castle of the Egg) sits out on a little island surrounded by a marina.

The Catacombs of San Gennaro – Naples is famous for the festival of San Gennaro (St. Januarius) where the blood of the saint miraculously liquefies. San Gennaro was originally buried in these catacombs, which are usually light and airy. The walls decorated with frescoes of the saint. (The entrance to the catacombs is to the left of the church of the Madre del Buon Consiglio.)

Capodimonte Observatory – This astronomical observatory is the oldest in Italy. The Observatory has an historical museum with a collection of astronomical instruments – old brass and wooden telescopes, clocks, and an exquisite 16th century gilt-covered celestial globe. From the observatory there is a wonderful view of Naples and the bay. Near by are the lovely Capodimonte Gardens (Parco di Capodimonte).

Pompeii and Herculaneum
When Vesuvius popped its top in August, 79 AD, it spewed ashes in all directions, neatly burying the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and several others. For more than a thousand years, the buried towns were forgotten, until the 18th century, when Herculaneum was discovered, then Pompeii. Pompeii has been almost completely excavated, a time capsule of Roman life.

Pompeii – There's something about a ghost town that's very appealing. Pompeii has a lot to see, so take your time. Check out the baths for ideas on remodeling your bathroom at home. The civic and theatre areas are good for a run. A personal favourite is the Villa of Mysteries.

Climb to the top Mt. Vesuvius – A road leads most of the way up, and it's not a long climb to the top (650 feet up). The trail is well maintained, but good closed-toed shoes are a must. The inside of the crater is awesome and from the top of the volcano, it feels like you're on top of the world.

Herculaneum (Ercolano) – Like Pompeii, Herculaneum was also buried in the ash and mud from Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Many private houses have been preserved, as well as shops, such as a wine shop with wine jars on the counter. Don't miss the House of Neptune and Amphitrite with its graceful mosaics on the walls.

Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale), CasertaRoyal Palace (Palazzo Reale), Caserta – In Star Wars Episode I, the inside of Queen Amidala's palace is really the Royal Palace at Caserta. The movie was filmed at Caserta for the interior shots of the palace. This 18th century palace, built by Charles IV (Charles III of Spain) rivals Versailles in size and luxury – it's bigger. The gardens for the Royal Palace cover a large area, with forests, ponds, waterfalls and fountains. Look for the castle that was a playhouse for the princes.



Solfatara Volcano (Pozzuoli)
– Solfatara Volcano is a big wide shallow crater, with bubbling mud pools, steaming fumaroles and yellow and red encrustation's from the sulphur. Long a popular spot with travelers, Solfatara was thought to be the entrance to hell by the Romans. Famous as a spa since the middle ages, people came to the volcano for the sulphurous waters. (All the bubbling pools and steam jets are fenced off.)

Cave of the Sibyl, Cuma – Cuma (or Cumae) conjures up stories from Virgil's Aeneid. In the story, the Trojan Aeneas is instructed by his dead father to stop at Cumae, where Aeneas consults Sibyl, the oracle of Apollo, in her cave. Looking down the long gallery in the cave, it's easy to imagine the mysterious Sibyl in the shadows.

From Pozzuoli, catch the ferry to island of Ischia, or Sorrento at the other end of the bay for a day trip. The port at Pozzuoli has colourful fishing boats and you can catch the ferry to the island of Ischia for a day trip. The beach at Torregaveta is a long sandy beach and has good places to swim .

Island of Ischia – Take a scenic boat trip to Ischia, the largest of the islands in the Bay of Naples. Spend the day relaxing on the long sandy beaches (Maronti is the longest), or in the thermal springs. Visit the dramatic Castello d'Ischia, a 14th century castle in the Spanish style, perched on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea.

National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa (Museo Nazionale Ferroviaria di Pietrarsa) – Situated between Naples and Portici, the National Railway Museum is located on the site of the original factory where locomotives were built in the 19th century. The Museum has an extensive collection of steam and diesel locomotives in pristine condition, as well as elegant dining cars and train models.

Capri – It's a close hop from Naples over to the island of Capri. Ride the hydrofoil or take the ferry. From the Marina Grande, you can take a boat to Blue Grotto, or ride the funicular (tramway) up to the town of Capri. Walk out of town for great views or take the local bus between Marina Grande, Capri and Anacapri.

Amalfi CoastAmalfi Coast – The Amalfi Coast is famous for it's vertiginous cliffs and spectacular scenery. There are good swimming beaches sprinkled up and down the coast. Most charge a fee for access to the beach. Visit the Emerald Grotto (Grotto dello Smeraldo) – you take an elevator down to the cavern and a boat ride through the green waters. Splurge on a submarine ride on the "Tritone" around Capri, exploring the underwater scenery.

Paestum – Paestum is a little bit of ancient Greece in Italy. Poseidonia was founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC, later the Romans called it Paestum. Today Paestum has three lovely Doric temple with fat cigar-shaped columns to run around and lots of open space. Take a picnic. Paestum is also a beach resort – so spend some time relaxing at the seaside.

Sport and Leisure

Golf
Golf Club Volturnogolf
9 holes - Par 35 -
Via Domitiana km. 35,300 c/o Holiday Inn Resort
81030 Castelvolturno (CE) - tel. 081/5095150 fax. 081/5095855
Presidente : Avv. Luigi D'Angiolella -
Segretario: Carlo Porcelluzzi
volturnogolf@tiscalinet.it

Golf Club Salerno
Via Lago Trasimeno,11 84098 Pontecagnano (SA)
Tel. 089-203337 - Fax 089-200261 email: quadrifogliogolf@tiscalinet.it
Presidente : Dott. Paolo Genovese - Direttore : Francesco Langella

ProcidaCycling
Exploring its landscape, visitors can discover the ancient lost cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the remains of Paestum and Velia, the enchanting islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida, and the delights of the Amalfi coast. The most "classic" routes through its islands and coasts are extremely well known, but they can be seen in a fresh light just by moving slightly inland from the sea to discover areas full of wonderful surprises. There are plenty of interesting routes for cyclists, although, with the exception of the Sele plains, all the other paths follow extremely challenging routes.

Diving and Sailing
In the National Park of Cilento. Fantastic way of for excursions towards the worlds famous archaeological areas of Paestum, Pompei, Isle of Capri, Isle of Ischia, Amalfitan Coast, Coves of Pertosa and Castelcivita, Certosa di Padula, Palinuro, Velia and in the National Park of the Cilento. The whole of the coast line of Campania and the islands offer a myriad opportunities to dive.

Wines of Campania

The Falerni, an ancient population that inhabited the Cosertano area, were the first ones who produced Falerno wine. The ancient vintage wine was also acclaimed for its excellence by the Latin writer Plinio (the elder) and Marziale. Faleno wine still exists, but there are various descendants. All of the region of Campania is excellent for its wines and vineyards. From the land and expert work and hands, new nectars are born such as the Greco di Tufo one of the oldest DOC wines of Italy, dry, white and can be served cool as a very good aperitif. Capri produced in small quantities on the wonderful island. this wine is dry, white and should be served cool, Vesuvio and the Bianconella d’Ischia; others worthy of mention are Taurasi rosso and Fiano bianco, Bianco Falanghina and Asprino bianco; very good red wines include Aglianichello, Per’e Palummo, Solopaca and Conca. Lacrima Christi, red if mellowed a very good with roast meats and game.

Food of Campania

The fertile volcanic soil of Campania combines with a perfect climate to produce the best fruit and vegetables in Italy. The Romans were quick to appreciate the richness of the Soil, the beauty of the landscape, the dry soft climate and the warmth of the inhabitants. Campania became their vast vegetable garden and their orchard, as well as the playground of the wealthy. On the whole the local cooking is quick and brief. This is exemplified in the fritto misto a dish aptly described in Neapolitan dialect by the expression frienno magnanno, meaning frying and eating. The food must be eaten straight after it comes out of the frying pan. The cheese which immediately comes to mind when speaking of Naples is mozzarella, which, in union with the tomato, has found its apotheosis in the pizza. But many other cheeses are produced in Campania, both from cow's and sheep's milk: scamorza, provolone, caciocavallo and pecorino, all of which can be fresh or aged and are equally excellent. They are an everyday component of a Neapolitan meal, as is the sublime local fruit. It is only on special occasions that sweets arrive at the table, usually rich and elaborate, reminiscent of Arab cooking, and related to religious feasts.

Typical Dishes
Antipasti
Paté delle due Sicilie
Two Sicilies paté

Soups
Minestra di pasta e patate
Pasta and potato soup
Minestra Maritata
Soup Maritata

Pasta
Linguine Sabatiello
Sabatiello linguine
Maccheroni alla napoletana
"Macaroni" Neapolitan style

Pizza
Pizza alla marinara
"Marinara" Pizza
Pizza alla scarola
"Escarole" Pizza
Pizza Margherita
"Margherita" Pizza
Pizza Napoletana
"Napoletana" Pizza

Starters
Gattò di carote
Carrots gateau
Mozzarella in carrozza
Mozzarella in a carriage
Timpano di scamorza
Scamorza cheese timpano

Fish
Pesce spada al forno
Baked swordfish Campania style

Meat
Coniglio fritto
Fried rabbit
Saltimbocca alla sorrentina
Sorrento style beef escalopes

Eggs
Frittata di cipolle
Onion frittata

Side dishes
Zucchine in scapece

Dessert
Delizia di Sorrento
Sorrento lemon delight
Pastiera
Neapolitan grain pie
Migliaccio di semolino
Semolina pie

Snacks
Babà al rhum
Rum Babà
Struffoli
Neapolitan fried cookies with honey
Zeppole
Neapolitan fried cookies

Liqueurs
Limoncello
Lemon liqueur
Nocino, Nocillo
Nut liqueur

 

Travelling Around

Travelling Around Southern ItalyNaples’ Capodichino Airport, 8kms to the north of the city, handles domestic and international flights. The train station can be reached easily from the airport by bus. To go to the Amalfi Coast it is easiest to rent a car, otherwise the local train service the Circumvesuviana regularly leaves from Naples main train station to Sorrento. From there buses make their way along the winding road to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Naples also has very active ports from where you can get regular ferries and hydrofoils to Capri, Ischia, Procida and Sorrento, and in high-season to Positano and Amalfi. Car ferries to Procida and Ischia leave from Pozzuoli, 12 kms north-west of the city.

Getting there

By Train
National train lines go from Naples to Salerno and further east and southwards. The Circumvesuviana is a local private train link serving the area around the Mount Vesuvius from Naples to Sorrento. This train service is particularly interesting because it is the only reasonable public transport link to Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Vesuvius.
Also see www.campania.worldweb.com/Transportation/Trains

Stazione Centrale is the main train station with frequent trains to Rome, Sorrento and Pompeii. The train station is situated on Piazza Garibaldi at the eastern end of the city centre.
The regional train operator Circumvesuviana (website www.vesuviana.it), has services to Pompeii and Sorrento with trains terminating at Ferrovia Circumvesuviana on Via Garibaldi, south-west of the main station. Two other regional train operators, Ferrovia Cumana and Circumflegrea, operate services from Stazione Cumana to Cuma (Cumae) and Pozzuoli. Stazione Maritima is where you can catch ferries and hydrofoils for Capri and Sorrento as well as further airfield to destinations in Sardinia, Sicily and Tunisia. Mergellina harbour, further to the south-west, has ferries and hydrofoils to many of the islands in the Golfo di Napoli. Alilauro, Caremar, Linee Lauro (website www.lauro.it), NLG, Siremar, SNAV and Tirrenia (website www.tirrenia.it) and operate ferry services from Naples.

By Air
To see an extensive list of companies flying to Campania www.getmore4less.co.uk/results.php?keyword=cheap%20flight%20to%20naples
Naples International Airport (website www.gesac.it/en/) offers scheduled flights to 15 domestic and 9 international destinations including many important European capitals (London, Paris, Brussels) as well as over 50 regular charter destinations. Buses between the airport and the train station run every 25 minutes

By Car
From Milan, Bologna, Firenze take the A1 motorway to Campania.

By Ferry to the islands
Ferries for Capri and Ischia depart from Sorrento and both Mergellina harbour and Stazione Maritima in Naples. For a complete guide refer to www.costadiamalfi.it/english/timetable_ferries.htm

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Local festivals, fairs and costumed events

Fragneto Monforte: International Hot Air Balloon Pageant (October).
Foglianise: Wheat Harvest Festival (August).
Ponte: Historical Parade and Pageant (February).
Pontelandolfo: Carnival Parade and Cheese Festival (February).
S. Agata dei Goti: Historical Carnival Parade (February).
Naples: Blood Miracle Festival of San Gennaro (1st Saturday in May, September).
Pozzuoli: Banner Pageant for the Assumption (August).
Amalfi: Historical Regatta (June every four years).
Avellino: Costumed Races and Sports Meets (February).
Benevento: Festival of the Madonna of the Graces (July).
Caserta: Festival of St. Sebastian (January).
Marina di Puolo: Festa dell'Addolorata (September).

Climate

The Campania climate along the coasts and on the islands is extremely mild: average annual temperatures are 11 °C in winter and 26 °C in summer. Inland, the weather conditions vary from area to area: the rainy areas are Matese and Partenio; Irpinia is the driest area with the highest temperature differences (20 °C). The tallest peaks are snow-capped from December to late April

 

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