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Naples and Region Campania

Capri, Ischia, Caserta, Pompeii, Erculaneum, Vesuvius, Sorrento, Amalfi and Napoli.

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The Campania Region, with a population of 5.796.899, five provinces and 551 self administrated towns and her capital Naples, is among the best known parts of Italy all over the world. The Romans called this land, on the border of the Rome's Region, Campania Felix (happy - lucky) to designate this lush land with mild climate.
The inland, far from the sea and formerly very poor is represented by millions of Campanians emigrated to the United States, Canada and Australia bringing along their traditions and habits - who does not know the pizza, the spaghetti and the mozzarella from buffalo milk ? I heard recently that some of them started the production of this delicious cheese in Australia, with good results -. Today many of the Neapolitan words are well recognized and understood everywhere in the world.
The other part of Campania, closer to the Sea, has always been active in 3000 years of history . Music, art, culture and the mild climate, the gorgeous coast and the lavish soil, have always been a distinguished destination for refined connoisseurs since the time of Roman Empire and today for thousands of tourists every year.

The most famous coast is the Sorrentine peninsula, scattered of small villages and towns, from Sorrento to Vietri sul Mare, to Massa Lubrense, Maiori, Minori, Praiano, Conca and Amalfi. It takes a drive of two hours (in summer) to cover about 40 km of meandering very narrow road with impressive sea cliffs and lemon groves or few mins by boat or hydrofoil from/to Sorrento, Positano, Minori, and Salerno, Capri and Amalfi.
Proceding to the South, the wild coast of Cilento with white sand or rocky beaches reflects in the umpolluted crystal sea.
At the North of Naples, the Campania Region once included the coast up to Terracina but in the beginning of the 20th Century, the so-called Coast of Ulixes from Formia to Terracina was annexed to Lazio Region, although people living there proudly preserve their Neapolitan lifestyle. This marvellous coast has white sandy beaches spaced out by small, steep promontories on which small ancient sighting-towers against Saracens take place. In between those promontories small bays with or without white sand and two delightful towns, the fishermen village of Sperlonga and Gaeta, a great example of marine ancient town, make of the Coast of Ulixes one among the most beautiful and panoramic of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

FOOD
The local cuisine uses natural, simple ingredients and is famous for a wide range of delicious specialties. The regional cooking is characterized by a large variety of pasta dishes, fish and sea-food specialties like spaghetti with clams, fish-soup, octopus, raw sea-food or soup, fried mixed fish. The pizza in its many varieties is the legitimate pride of this people for their creativity in a natural, simple and inexpensive cooking. The "babá al rum" and sfogliatelle cakes to finish a tasty meal.
Meals are usually accompanied by a choosing from a large number of local red or white wines, mostly made in the Vesuvius area or in the islands: "Greco di Tufo", "Biancolella", "Gragnano", "Lacrima Christi", "Solopaca" and "Asprino". At any time but especially after lunch, Neapolitans enjoy a nice "espresso", which is a fine art here.

SHOPPING
The corals and cameos made in Torre del Greco are famous all over the world. The leather bags, shoes and gloves are not expensive and well made in the Naples area. Naples is particularly famous for the Capodimonte porcelain, still made in the factory founded by Carlo di Borbone in 1739 Very famous are the boutiques of Capri, Positano, and of the small villages of the Amalfi coast. Coloured artistic majolica pottery and tiles in Vietri, on the Amalfi coast

A LITTLE HISTORY
Ancient people and civilizations have mixed during 3000 years in the territory of Campania. According to Strabo, though, the first Greek settlement - Parthenope - dates back to the 9th century B.C. Parthenope slowly declined after 550 B.C., and was later incorporated into the new Cumaean foundation of Neapolis (new city), founded around 470 B.C in the bay that still have its name. Later, between 763 and 1139 the city, now a dukedom independent of Byzantium, was a cultural centre and an important trade centre with the East. Naples was later annexed to the Reign of Sicily and was under the Norman-Swabian monarchy from 1140 to 1266: Palermo was the capital of the Reign, but Naples was the main cultural centre, and in 1224 Frederick II of Swabia founded the first State University here. From 1266 to 1503, during the Angevin-Aragonese dynasty, Naples replaced Palermo as capital of the Reign of Sicily. From 1503 to 1707 Naples became a Spanish viceroyalty. In 1734 the Bourbon monarchy was established, and during this reign excavation works were started at Herculaneum and Pompeii, in 1738 and in 1748 respectively.

ART AND CULTURE, PLACES TO VISIT
Such a long history left numerous monuments that today are carefully preserved downtown, in many museums and in Naples' surroundings .

Naples:
National archaeological museum, National museum of Capodimonte, Certosa and Museum San Martino, Castel Sant'Elmo, Royal Palace, Civic Museum of Castel Nuovo, The town of the science, Open Museum Naples.

Campi Flegrei
: Archaeological museum Campi Flegrei, Castle of Baia, Archaeological area of Baia, Archaeological excavations of Cuma, Flavius and Serapes Amphitheatre of Pozzuoli.

Caserta and Capua:
Royal palace of Caserta, amphitheatre Campano, Museum of Gladiators, Mitreus, Museum Ancient Capua.

Pompei and Ercolano
: Pompei excavations, Eerculaneum excavations, Oplontis, Boscoreale, Stabia.

Paestum and Velia
:
Paestum excavations, Archaeological museum Paestum, Museum "narrante" of Paestum, Velia excavations.

Padula and Pertosa:

Certosa of Padula,
Angel grottoes,
Mida museum

Isle of
CAPRI
Rome Naples
train 2h.
or
car2h.- 190 km.

Naples-Capri:
hydrofoil 30'

Capri-Sorrento:
hydrofoil 10'
ISCHIA
“THE GREEN ISLAND”
one of the major Thermal Treatment Centres in Europe.
Rome Naples
tain 2h.
or
car2h.- 190 km.
Naples-Ischia or
Ischia-Capri:
hydrofoil 25'

Capri-Sorrento:
hydrofoil 10'
AMALFI
once a powerful
MARITIME REPUBLIC
Rome Naples
train 2h.
or
car2h.- 190 km.
VIETRI SUL MARE
Rome Naples
train 2h.
or
car2h.- 190 km.
NAPLES
The Capital of the Reign of two Sicilys
Rome Naples
train 2h.
or
car2h.- 190 km.
SORRENTO
...torna a Surriente...
Rome Naples
train 2h.
or
car2h.- 190 km.

Naples-Capri:
hydrofoil 30'

Capri-Sorrento:
hydrofoil 10'
CASERTA
Royal Palace
Rome-Caserta
train 2h.
or
car2h./180 km.
Napoli-Caserta
car20mins/20km.


ERCOLANEUM

Rome-Erculaneun
train2h.
or
car 2h.20'
Napoli-Erculaneun
car 20mins/30km.

POMPEII

Rome-Pompeii
train 2h.20'
or
car 2h.35'
Naples-Pompei
car 40mins/50km.


VESUVIUS
Rome-Pompeii
train 2h.20'
or
car 2h.35'

Naples-Pompei
car 40mins/50km.