Campania's main cities are Napoli, Salerno, Caserta, and Benevento. Here you can find some suggestions and tips.
Napoli is the capital of the region and there are many things to visit. You can't miss Cristo Velato
, a statue in marble located in Cappella Sansevero, which was realized by Giuseppe Sanmartino. It is a unique artwork of extraordinary beauty, as its details are very realistic so that you have the feeling of being in front of Jesus Crist.
If you want to surround yourself with Neapolitan culture, you can go to Cimitero delle Fontanelle
. It is an ancient cemetery where people who died of plague between 1656 and 1865 were buried, and for this reason, they gained the title of anime pezzentelle
(poor souls). When you enter this place, you have to cross yourself and touch a skull, which spreads purifying water according to traditions. You can adopt a capuzzella
(skull) by simply praying or through charity towards these souls who haven't found eternal peace yet. The capuzzella
that you adopted will help you back by giving advice or doing favors. If the soul was thankful, the skull will be moved to the back, otherwise, it will be moved on the contrary.
Another fascinating place is Quartieri Spagnoli
(Spanish neighborhoods), which were called this way because they were born to host Spanish soldiers during the Iberian domination in Napoli. Here you can find traditional boutiques, where bags, shoes, and belts are made. There are also traditional restaurants where you can taste fried stockfish, or even just spaghetti with tomato sauce and oregano.
Near Quartieri Spagnoli there is the Antignano Market
, one of the biggest and most important ones in the city. You will find everything you need, clothes, traditional food, toys, souvenirs and so on.
Among all the attractions of the city, there is Arechi Castle
, a medieval building from which you can admire the whole Gulf as well as Agropoli
and the Amalfi Coast.
Another important attraction is represented by the Medieval Aqueduct,
also known as Ponte del Diavolo
(Bridge of the Devil), from an ancient legend that says the bridge was built in one night by the wizard Pietro Biliario and other demons. According to an old tradition, whoever goes under the arches at the sunset can have a chance of meeting the demons.
You can't miss the Duomo
of Salerno, an ancient Romanesque cathedral from the XI century. Inside of it, there is the crypt where the martyr Fortunato, Caio, and Ante were killed: according to the legend if you listen carefully you can still hear the blood flowing.
If you name the city Caserta, the first thing that comes to mind is the famous and wonderful Reggia
(Royal Palace). It is a luxurious and elegant royal residence, commissioned by King Charles of Bourbon to the architect Luigi Vanvitelli. A day is not enough to visit its immensity, but it's enough to visit the wonderful garden (enriched with classical statues and big fountains) and the historic apartments.
10km far from the city center, there is an old medieval town called Casertavecchia
, where time seems to be stuck. Walking through these little streets is very nice, as you can find many little shops and restaurants. There is also the Duomo, the monument of Annunziata and the ruins of the old castle.
The city of mystery, history, and legends. Romans, after their defeat by the Samnites during the battle of Forchie Caudine, called it Maleventum
. But then, after they won their military revenge, Romans gave it the name of Beneventum,
so that they could forget the bad events.
The most famous legend concerns Witches
(in the local dialect called Janare
), who used to meet every Saturday beneath a walnut tree, which gave the name to the famous liquor Nocino
. In this city, you can admire beautiful attractions such as the Church of Santa Sofia, the Roman Theater and the Arch of Trajan.
Santa Sofia's Church
is a Longobard building with atypical characteristics, as it is a mixture of artistic clichés of that time and the new styles. Since 2011, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Roman Theater
is a fabulous archeological site that dates back to the II century. It can host more than 10.000 people and it's still used for concerts and theatrical plays since it can offer an excellent acoustic.
Another important attraction is the Arch of Trajan
, a monument 15,6 mt tall and 8,6mt wide. It was built in 114 A.D. and it is one of the best-preserved monuments in the world. Its construction was commissioned in honor of the opening of Via Traiana
(Trajan Road), a useful road that connected Brindisi to Benevento.
Campania is well known not only for its wonderful cities but also for its extraordinary coasts, such as the Amalfi Coast and Cilento.
It is also known as Divina
(Divine) because it is a proper earthly paradise, as it's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. Its structure can be compared to a balcony on the sea. There are 14 towns and it goes from the Gulf of Napoli to the Gulf of Salerno. It's famous for lemons, zagare, and its Mediterranean scrub, where tours are trekking are practiced. A famous path is Sentiero degli Dei
(Path of the Gods). If you love the sea, you'll find here beautiful beaches with sand and clear water.
Cilento is a coastal area in the province of Salerno, which is rich in natural beauty, such as the National Park of Cilento, a Reserve where you can take a break from the city. The zone is close to Paestum, an archeological area that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can visit the Amphitheater, the Forum, and the Agorà.
Campanian food and wine are really simple but at the same time also very tasty. The most famous ones are surely pizza, buffalo mozzarella, as well as salsiccia e friarielli
(sausages and a particular kind of broccoli), pastiera, sfogliatella, babà and caprese cake.
The cake is realized with almond flour and chocolate, and it's very appreciated by kids. Food is not just a necessity in Campania, but it's also a cult: you will find something to eat at any time of the day. Don't feel impressed by the bad aesthetic of some places, because very often the bad-looking ones are the best... BUON APPETITO!
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