What to see in 10 days in Campania
The magna grecia charm, the roman ruins magic, the volcanoes power, the coastal villages and roads wonder, overlooking the blue tyrrhenian sea. Campania is a land of contrasts that offers strong emotions. After tuscany, it is the italian region with the largest number of sites recognized by unesco as a world heritage site, such as the royal palace and park of caserta, the pompeii and herculaneum archaeological area, paestum and amalfi coast.
From underground cities to submerged ones, from volcanoes to solfatars, from roman temples to royal residences, here is the best of campania.
POMPEII AND HERCULANEUM
CAMPANIAN NORMAN CASTLES
MATESE REGIONAL PARK
WHAT TO SEE IN CAMPANIA
Between vesuvius mount and the phlegrean fields, parthenope stood, a magna grecia city, located along the western coast of the thyrrenian sea, refounded as neapolis at the end of 16th century b.c.
Always as a peoples and cultures crossroads, naples recalls its ancient history in every little square and street. Sunny, charming and voluptuous but also dilapidated and degraded, naples is the city of thousands contrasts. Prestigious abandoned buildings hide baroque halls and precious sanctuaries among trendy clubs and dirty alleys.
Naples is an experience to live that offers unforgettable emotions. The city heart is its historical center and must be descovered on foot. It extends around spaccanapoli – the street crossing the entire center, and the upper decumanus.
Ancient churches and majestic buondings overlook the narrow streets and squares, where artisans workshops remain. The historical center is an open air monument, recognized as world heritage site by unesco. To south and west south mercato district is placed : a concentrated improvised markets and multiculturalism.
On the west quartieri spagnoli (spanish districts) streets develop between uphill and downhill streets, decorated by hanging clothes. On the south of toledo street, before saint lucy district, you cand admire the majestc piazza del plebiscito (plebiscite square), the royal palace, and the great san carlo (saint charles) theatre. Not far away you can find castel novo (new castle) called maschio angioino, which is erected in piazza municipio (municipal square). Vomero dominates the city, the bourgeois and green neighborhood with charming art nouveau villas and saint’elmo castle (castel sant’elmo). Finlly, on the west side of piazza del plebiscito, chiaia develops as an elegant neighborhood with boutiques and trendy clubs : it extends until the small port of mergellina. From here, the luxury posillipo climbs up the promontory, that separates naples gulf from the pozzuoli one.
Behind it, there is flegrean fields district, a volcanic area full of ruins, sulphurous vapors and night clubs.
Finally, you don0t have to miss the underground naples, another city beneath the city which constitutes the true belly of the neapolitan city .
The amalfi coast entrance door has recentry increased the incoming tourism thanks to the artist’s lights, decorating the city during the christmas period. Salerno has been the minor longobard kingdom capital : we can visit remaining ruins as arechi castle and saint peter court compelx (complesso di san pietro a corte).
Don’t miss the cathedral with its baroque side and the norman-arab bell tower. In this way you can explore the perfectly preserved medieval historical centre, and have a walk on the terrace where students have learnt how to use medicinal herbs.
It is considered one of the first botanical gardens in europe, and today boasts a herbal tea room overlooking the salerno gulf.
The amalfi coast is a nature charm, art and recognize beauty as world heritage by unesco. Suspended as a terrace between the blue of tyrrhenian sea water and the sky blue, the coast has inspired not few painters who have tried to capture the great beauty of this landscape. Nicknamed as the divine coast, it has become the favourite destiantion for the world jet set stars, especially after the second world war.
The coast is also land of lemons and orange blossoms, when the mediterranean scrub slopes down towards the sea, between picturesque villages and ancient villas. The area extends for over than 11.000 hectares between thw naples gulf and the salerno one, and it contains 14 municipalities, one more beautiful than other : samalfi, atrani, cetara, conca de’ marini, furore, maiori, minori, positano, praiano, ravello, scala, tramonti, vietri sul mare (vietri on the sea) and agerola. The villages are connected by state road 163, considered as one of the most beautiful panoramic roads in italy . Anyway, nature and sports lovers could follow gods path, a breathtaking panoramic path, ideal for trekking.
Behind amalfi coast there is sorrento one: this last overlooking the charming naples gulf. This campanian coast line in the north area of sorrento peninsula, take its name from the most important city. Sorrento has been immortalized by painters, celebrated by musicians and praised by poets, still remaining one of the foreign tourism favourite destination.
Located on a tuff terrace overlooking naples gulf, sorrento results a pictoresque town and a well-known holiday resort since ancient times. Sorrento will amaze you with its breathtaking views, the enchanting gardens and citrus groves, the marinas, the historical center, interesting historical and religious architecture, the inlay and lace ancient tradition. After visiting sorrento, go on exploring other sorrento coast towns such as massa lubrense, meta, piano di sorrento, sant’agnello e vico equense. However, from any village along the coast you will see vesuvius silhouette far in the distance.
The Caserta Royal Palace
The caserta royal palace worth the trip to campania. In 1750 charles of bourbon (1716-1788) decided to buold the palace as the kingdom of naples ideal center, at the time autonomous and free from spanish aegis. The great building project, destined to rival other european royal residences, was assigned, after various events, to the architect luigi vanvitelli (1700-1733), son of the most important view painter gaspar van wittel, already active in rome under benedict xiv during st. Peter’s dome renovation. All the biggest world royal residence began in 1752 and ended only in the following century. So, visit the royal apartmets, the court theatre, the royal apartments and the great part to get an idea of the italian baroque masterpiece. Furthermore, a few kilometers far from the palace, you could visit the old caserta district : an intact remained medieval village, and the san leucio viewpoint, a bourbons utopean dream that created a kind of architectural and social model admired by the world, of which today remains a lovely viewpoint (belvedere), place of concerts and cultural events.
Herculaneum and pompeii : (ercolano e pompei)
Only unique places in the world will make you live the daily life of ancient rome. Pompeii and herculaneum – buried by vesuvious eruption in 79 ac- offer an unparallel picture of society and daily life in classical antiquity . For the precious testimony of the past, the archeological area of pompeii, herculaneum and torre annunziata has been included among the 55 italian sites protected by unesco.
Both oscan origin cities moved from dominion to dominion, and pompeii after the social war, was elevated to the rank of colony under the name of cornelia venera pompeiana, while herculaneum was granted the lower rank of municipium. In 62 ac pompeii was partially destroyed by an earthquake and while the reconstruction was underway, on 24 of august 79 ac, due to vesuvius eruption, the city area and the suburban villas wew buried under a thick layer of stone, ash and lapilli, unlike herculaneum- herculaneum disappeared under the volcanic mod.