Campania: what to visit
Let’s not go around too much, when we talk about Campania which city immediately springs to mind? Naples!
His majesty Naples, a city of great power and culture: when you go to Naples, stay inside, even gastronomically, because it is possible to eat in Naples only in a few other places in Italy or perhaps in the world.
The city of Naples boasts a perfect geographical position, with its wide blue bay and incredible sunsets with a thousand intense colors that are reflected in the water.
Naples is not only a city rich in history, in fact the testimonies are all preserved in the numerous museums; it is known for its vibrant neighborhoods, colorful characters, strong sense of belonging, and the joy and pain of gritty suburbs.
All this setting is enriched by excellent food and people dedicated to living life to the fullest. The reason Neapolitans live with such fervor and gusto is perhaps due to the ever-present threat of the quiescent volcano, “Vesuvius”, and the reminders of such destruction in the remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Until now the city has been spared also because the whole city is spread over a very large area right along the volcano and presumably protected by the miracle of San Gennaro’s blood.
In fact, twice a year, Neapolitans fill the city’s Duomo to make sure the saint’s blood melts in its vial, ensuring safety from a volcanic eruption.
Amalfi Coast and Capri Once home to pirates and a powerful maritime republic, the brightly colored Amalfi Coast and Isle of Capri are now home to expensive yachts from around the world.
A journey south along the coast from the Sorrento Peninsula with its rugged coastline welcomed painters, writers and artists such as Goethe, Nietzsche and D’Annunzio.
The spearhead of Sorrento is Massa Lubrense, which boasts the most beautiful beaches in the whole region, and Sant’Agata sui due Golfi, which rises between two wonderful gulfs: Naples and Salerno.
The pit stop in Salerno shouldn’t be rushed because thanks to its strategic position, or in the center between the two wonderful coasts:”Amalfi Coast and Cilento Coast” it is chosen by tourists for this very reason; in addition to the fact that from the port it is possible to take numerous ferries and arrive on the whole coast up to Capri and Ischia between poetic villages and idyllic sceneries.
Even the simple highway offers breathtaking views and opportunities to visit fishing towns and/or fashionable tourist places such as Positano or Ravello a real balcony overlooking the sea, a romantic destination to make your heart beat faster for so much visual beauty.
Amalfi, compact city and always full of tourists from all over the world, capable of regal beauty and passion for such a magical and colorful place, with its Arab-Norman inspired Cathedral and red tiled roofs, are a perfect complement to the natural scenery of green cliffs and clear blue water.
Colors always dominate among the hand-painted ceramics that bring you back to the past thanks to an artisan tradition that fortunately is still firmly established and culturally rooted.
Every city, hamlet and small town along the Amalfi Coast deserves at least a short visit, but the real attraction is the landscape which, thanks to the necessary care of preservation and safeguarding, remains incomparable and inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1997.
And the curves? Yes, the coast is also characterized by its streets.
The route is all zigzagging which is actually not exactly easy for everyone (in fact you have to be very careful and plan for a few more stops) especially for those who suffer from car sickness but the panorama pays off immediately.
Inevitable and by no means the last choice, we find the Royal Palace of Caserta, built in the second half of the eighteenth thanks to the will of the King of Naples, Charles of Bourbon.
The majesty of this complex was desired in order not to be outdone by the “Regge” built in other European capitals, in particular with the famous palace of “Versailles”.
Also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, the Royal Palace of Caserta is a tourist destination with high numbers of visitors, in addition to its architectural and decorative beauty, its park is a sight not to be missed; it extends for over 3 kilometers between statues, fountains and two gardens, one English and one Italian.
The cuisine in Campania is poetry for the palate!
Campania cuisine is the top of Italy. Many of Campania’s original dishes have been adopted and revisited in the rest of Italy and not the world.
Italian food would not be the same without spaghetti seasoned with pommarola, the famous fiery red tomato sauce. Campania is also “Pizza”, with the first pizzerias in the world (still in business) born on the streets of Naples.
The volcanic soils of Campania grow some of the best products in Italy, including San Marzano tomatoes (PDO), whose deep red color and rich flavor are appreciated for the preparation of classic sauces and traditional dishes as well as for gourmet dishes.
Also known for its orchards ranging from its famous peaches, grapes, apricots, figs, oranges and lemons (inimitable lemons from the Amalfi coast, which grow with the scent of the sea).
Let us now move on to another must, the “cheese” the most famous and representative as well as copied (with little success, fortunately!) the “Mozzarella di Bufala Campana” (DOP), produced with buffalo milk, is used to flavor specialties such as Pizza Margherita and the Caprese Salad. Other popular cheeses are pecorino, scamorza, ricotta (both cow and buffalo).
Seafood is a staple of the Campania coast, fish fried in olive oil are the most requested dishes.
The sweets from Campania range from honey-glazed Struffoli, lemon Delights covered and filled with lemon-scented Chantilly cream to the famous Zeppole filled with custard, traditionally served on St. Joseph’s Day in March.
Campania wines have a truly ancient pedigree, many types dating back to the first Greek settlers and praised by the Romans. Other varieties have been renewed with modern winemaking techniques, making wines from Campania much in demand both in Italy and above all abroad.
The flagship red of Campania is Taurasi (DOCG); a dry aromatic wine which is best expressed when aged and which still maintains its strong character today after two thousand years.
The wines of Vesuvius take on the characteristics of the rich soil of the slopes of the volcano, milder red and fragrant white.
Also from the Vesuvian area is the white with a cryptic name, “Lacryma Christi”, or tears of Christ. But the most famous wine of Campania is also the oldest, the “Greco di Tufo” (DOCG), which arrived with the first Greek settlers.
We have not yet finished the “alcoholic” tour, absolutely to mention are the Campania liqueurs including the Limoncello di Capri, obtained from the thick-skinned lemons of the island famous all over the world to dare almost “heritage of humanity”, the Nocillo di Curti is a walnut liqueur produced in the Vesuvius area enjoyed as a digestif.
Then we move on to the areas of Benevento with the infusion of Strega golden herbs, also used in the kitchen like limoncello, sipped at the end of the meal.
Don’t wait any longer to book your holiday, the wonders of Campania are waiting for you!