A travel guide to help you plan the perfect trip to Italy's Campania region: From Naples to the Amalfi Coast, Capri to Pompeii, these are the glories of Southern Italy's Campania region

The Campania region around Naples was the Hamptons of ancient Rome, where the rich built sumptuous summer villas and emperors went to retire.

The province also boasts some of Italy's most gorgeous scenery, from the seductive island of Capri to the singularly beautiful Amalfi Coast and its famed fishing towns-turns-resorts of Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello.

In Naples, you can delve into the 18th-century court of the Bourbons at their royal palace and theater, or pay homage to Caravaggio in one museum and ancient sculptors in another in between visiting baroque churches and sampling pizza in the very restaurant that invented it.

From a base in Naples or resorty Sorrento, you can day-trip to visit one of the most destructive forces in western history, Mt. Vesuvius. A short train ride will take you to Pompeii and Herculaneum, two cities completely buried by the volcano's wrath in AD 79, frozen in time and offering an unparalleled glimpse into daily life almost 2,000 years ago.

To cycle back even further in time, head to southern Campania, where you can wander amid the columns of some of the most intact Greek temples in the world in the forgotten 5th-century BC colony of Paestum.

Places in Campania

Amalfi from the pier (Photo by Neil Howard)

The fabled cliff-hugging seaside Amalfi Drive connecting posh Positano, historic Amalfi, and garden-blessed Ravello

A view of Mt. Vesuvius from the Pompeii Forum (Photo by Valentin Popescu)

A travel guide to visiting Pompeii, the ancient Roman ghost town buried by Mt. Vesuvius

The view of Capri from Monte Solaro (Photo by Mister No)

A travel guide to the most storied and gorgeous of the Italian islands

The criptoportico archaeological excavations underneath San Lorenzo Maggiore

When they say "See Naples and die," they mean its beauty is so breathtaking it can stop your heart (not that you shouldn't still watch for pickpockets)

Sorrento (Photo by Colin W)

A travel guide to the resort town of Sorrento, gateway to the Amalfi Coast

Two of the ancient Greek temples in the archaeological park of Paestum (Photo by V alfano)

Three Greek temples sprouting from the middle of mozzarella country on Campania's Cliento Coast

An ancient Roman street in the ruins of Herculaneum (Photo by Adam Burt)

The other ancient Roman ghost town that Mt. Vesuvius destroyed

Amalfi at the foot of Monte Cerreto (Photo by Christopher Chan)

A tiny Amalfi Coast town with an outsized history that makes the best base for the region

Santa Maria Assunta, the majolica-domes church of Positano

The chic, postcard-pretty resort village of the Amalfi Coast

Ravello (Photo by Deror_avi)

A travel guide to the garden-filled Amalfi Coast retreat of Ravello

The Reggia di Caserta (Photo by Tango7174)

Italy's answer to Versailles is the ornate Palazzo Reale di Caserta, or Reggia, a sprawling royal palace just outside Naples

The busy port city of Salerno (Photo by José Miguel)

Dull city and southern gateway to the Amalfi Coast, the Greek ruins at Paestum, and Campania's southern Cliento Coast

Vietri sul Mare (Photo by Kārlis Dambrāns)

A ceramics town at the end of the Amalfi Coast

The amphitheater of Capua (Photo by BARBARA ZOLI)

An amazing ancient Roman amphitheater in the Campanian countryside

Mt. Vesuvius from space (Photo by NASA/ISS Expedition 4 crew member)

How to visit the volcano that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum

Pozzuoli and the Campi Flegrei with names. Photo taken from the ISS. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

The Roman ruins (Pozzuoli, Baia, Cuma), volcanic craters (Solfatara), and myth-soaked ancient sites (Cave of the Cumean Sybil and Lago di Averno) of the Campi Flegrei west of Naples


More about Campania

A guide to the best dishes, food specialties, and wines of Italy's Campania region


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