With so much to see and do in Italy, it’s often hard for visitors to decide just where to go while planning a trip to il bel paese. For many people it comes as a surprise to learn how much there is to see and do in the region of Campania, just a short drive south of Rome. When Danielle invited me to write a guest post for When in Rome Tours, I decided to share with you some of the top reasons to head south to Campania.
1. Naples Historic Center
Walking the streets of the centro storico (historic center) in Naples is an unforgettable experience, full of all the typical Neapolitan sights, sounds and smells. Naples is a vibrant city with a complex and fascinating history. Don’t forget to include a stop at the National Archaeological Museum, one of Italy’s top museums, where you’ll find many of the treasures uncovered at the nearby ruins of the ancient Roman towns destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.
2. Pompeii and Herculaneum
Speaking of Mt. Vesuvius, it looms large over the now peaceful ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum that were covered by ash and lava during the devastating eruption of the volcano in 79 AD. Time stopped on that day for these two ancient port towns, and the excavated ruins provide a rare opportunity to walk the streets and glimpse a bit of Roman daily life.
3. Amalfi Coast
Many people travel to Campania just to experience the majestic beauty of the Amalfi Coast. With towns tucked into the valleys and situated high on the mountain tops, there are stunning views around every twist and turn of the impressive Amalfi Coast Road.
Despite the fact that Capri is one of Italy’s top tourist destinations, there remains an air of magic to this gorgeous island in the Bay of Naples. Head off the beaten path to explore the small side streets or go hiking to escape the tourist crush, and you’ll undoubtedly find a bit of Capri’s magic yourself!
If the breathtaking scenery of the Amalfi Coast and Capri aren’t enough to put Campania at the top of your Italy travel list, my final temptation for you takes us down to the ruins of the ancient town of Paestum. You don’t have to go to Greece to see fabulous examples of ancient Greek temples. You just have to travel to southern Italy’s Campania region!
Laura Thayer is an art historian and freelance writer living on the Amalfi Coast in Campania. She writes about travel for MNUI travel insurance and blogs about life on the Amalfi Coast at her own site Ciao Amalfi.
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