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Campania Map and Travel Guide

From James Martin,
Your Guide to Europe Travel.
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Campania is a compact region of fertile land, ancient cities, and dramatic seascapes (especially on the Amalfi coast)

Many people shy away from visiting Naples, the capital of Campania, due to its modern reputation. Yet Naples, or Napoli is a fascinating city that shouldn't be missed.

Naples is also a starting point for visiting some of Italy's greatest archaeological treasures, from the amazingly intact Greek "temples" at Paestum, to the ruins of ancient Roman resorts like Pompeii and Herculaneum. And you won't want to miss the culinary pleasures of Campania, at one time Rome's breadbasket, from a simple pizza (the best in Italy) to an insalata Caprese with Buffalo Mozzarella, the real stuff, a cheese that started here (water buffalo were introduced from Asia, and most of the production occurs in the region of Campania, particularly around Benevento and Casserta).

On this page you'll find a Map of Campania, Ancient Cities to Visit, Other Attraction Tips, Transportation Options, and finally, a discount card to use in in Campania, the ArteCard.

Campania and the Amalfi Coast Map


Campania map and amalfi coast map

Red line indicates major rail lines in Campania

Map of Campania and the Amalfi Coast © 2003 by James Martin, Licensed to About.

Ancient Cities of Campania

Capua - an important town in ancient Campania was linked to Rome via the via Appia. Capua is an Etruscan settlement probably built on the site of an Oscan village, later Romanized, and features the arena of the gladiators' school where Sparticus escaped to start the Roman revolution. Capua has a museum--the Provincial Museum of Campania in Capua.

Herculaneum - Although smaller than Pompeii, Herculaneum is my first choice to visit. Open daily 8.30am-5pm (7.30pm in summer). Cost €8.50. Get off the train at Erculano Scavi (Scavi means excavations). Follow the street in front of the station to the excavations, a ten minute walk.

Pompeii - Everybody's favorite. See our Pompeii Visitors Guide, or take a virtual visit with out Pictures of Pompeii.

Paestum - The best preserved Doric "temples" in the world. See our Paestum Profile for more, or take a virtual visit of the temples with our Pictures of Paestum. Paestum is on the Naples to Sapri train line.

Naples Archaeological Museum - One of the finest in the nation, the Museo Archaologico Nazionale di Napoli is worth a visit if you're at all interested in history or archaeology. Besides the erotic stuff in the Secret Room, the Gabinetto segreto, that made a splash years ago, artifacts representing the whole history of Campania and Italy can be found in this grand museum.

Other Attractions in Campania

One can't forget Naples, which makes a fine base for seeing just about everything in this article. See our Naples Pictures for a taste. Italy Travel has some suggestions for Naples Day Trips and a list of recommended Naples Hotels.

From Naples, it's easy to get to the romantic island of Capri. 50 km inland brings you to Benevento, an important stop along the Roman Appian way.

You can climb Mt. Vesuvius for great views (you can see Herculaneum from the crater on a clear day) Find out more: Mount Vesuvius Visitor Information.

Of course there's also the Amalfi coast (map, guidebooks), featuring the romantic Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento.

In Caserta, you may want to take a gander at the 18th Century Bourbon palace and gardens that some say are on par with Versailles. Take our virtual tour of the Reggia di Caserta. The palace is huge, as you can see on this Casterta map. Caserta is also famous for silk mills.

Avellino has wineries that can be visited, as well as Montevirgine, a church that houses a painting of the Holy Mother said to have curative powers. There is also an ancient Lombard castle there.

Where to Stay

There are many lodging options available. My favorite way to see a place and feel like I'm fitting in is to rent a vacation house or apartment. HomeAway lists over 800 Vacation Rentals in Campania (book direct). Venere hosts a map from which you can search for Hotels on the Amalfi Coast and Gulf of Naples (book direct) if you prefer those.

Transportation Options in Campania

Train Transportation

Two rail systems operate in Campania, the standard Ferrovia dello Stato, the state's rail system, and the private Circumvesuviana. In Naples, they both originate in the Central Station (Napoli Centrale), the Circumvesuviana is downstairs. The Circumvisuviana line runs from Naples to Sorrento, passing through Herculaneum (Ercolano) and Pompeii. Fares are very reasonable. You can rent a car at Napoli Centrale, as well as get tourist information.

If you need to have tickets in your possession before you go, Select Italy offers easily available point-to-point tickets (buy direct). You'll pay more than if you went to the station in Italy and purchased them, however.

For Train information, see our Italy Rail Map or get Tips on Riding Trains in Italy.

Bus Options

The Circumvesuviana lines have extensive bus service in Campania.

Auto Options

You can drive, of course. The Amalfi drive is both beautiful and considered dangerous due to its natural curves and the attention sapping attraction of the landscape that natural curves usually invoke.

An interesting option might be a limousine car rental service, as is provided by Due Golfi Limousine rental Car Services. Car rentals are, of course, available at the Naples airport and around Campania, including at Paestum, which has a Hertz outlet.

Airport

Naples International Airport, called Aeroporto Capodichino, is located 5 miles north of Naples. To get to town: CLP (Consorzio Linee Provinciali), a private bus service, leaves Capodichino about every hour with stops at Piazza Garibaldi and Piazza Muncipio and costs about €1.55. There is also an ANM bus that goes to the central station about every 25 minutes.

Check prices on flights to Naples international Airport (NAP)

The Campania ArteCard

If you are spending an extended stay in Campania, you might want to consider the Campania Artecard. You can buy one at the airport or at a train station in Naples, as well as at many travel agents and big newsstands. Available: 3 or 7 day duration cards. Click on "The Offer" to see what the card gets you.

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