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Campania ItalyCampania MapMajor Cities:Napoli (Naples)
Amalfi Coast

A large region in the south of Italy, situated at the ankle of the boot, Campania boasts a whopping 5.8 million inhabitants and about 5,200 square miles in area, making it Italy’s most densely populated region. More than half of those people live in the capital of Naples and its surrounding communities but the area with the densest population is along the pretty coastline.

Much of Campania makes its living in agriculture. The region produces more than 50 percent of all the nuts consumed in Italy and is also well-known for its fruits and vegetables, particularly tomatoes. Olive oil and wine are produced here as well, but not to the extent that they are in some other regions of the country. Others make their living in small businesses, at the port, or in the tourist sector.

Despite its deep agricultural roots, Campania is a region full of history and culture and a must-see on any tour of Italy. There are a wealth of archaeological sites to enjoy here including Herculaneum, Paestum, and the more well-known Pompeii. This partially-buried Roman town near Naples was destroyed by an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. and was first rediscovered in 1599. Since about the mid 18th century, it has been a premiere tourist site and still attracts in excess of 2.5 million visitors per year.

Nearby, the capital city of Naples is known for its art and architecture, music, history, and scrumptious cuisine. Home to one of the most important ports in Europe, Naples boasts a historic center that includes fine examples of medieval, Renaissance, and baroque architecture evident in many of its nearly 30 churches and numerous other notable buildings. Visitors can also explore beautiful public parks and gardens, stroll through museums and art galleries, and even take in a bit of “underground” Naples. And when it’s time to eat, visitors can partake of one of the region’s wonderful specialties including fried pizza, rich mozzarella cheeses, and a host of fresh seafood prepared in various ways.

The western side of Campania is dotted with lovely little seaside villages and one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world – the famed Amalfi Coast. Nothing short of stunning and spectacular, the Amalfi Coast is rugged and known for its treacherous stretch of road that has tourists hanging on for dear life, despite the skill of the bus drivers who traverse it. The drive and the photos you’ll get along the way are the piece de resistance here, but the towns are pretty as well, especially Positano, a small enclave where guests can browse some unique shops and enjoy lunch in a café by the water.

For another water attraction, head to the Isle of Capri, once the vacation destination of several Roman emperors. To get there, nab a boat in Sorrento and head to the island, where you can hike, explore Roman ruins, and visit the famous Blue Grotto.

And while you’re in Sorrento, take some time to explore this lovely town. It’s covered with lemon and olive groves, boasts a very safe tourist area, and is a good venue for shopping or just taking a relaxing stroll.