Campania Map and Travel Guide
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
Red line indicates major rail lines in Campania
Map of Campania and the Amalfi Coast © 2014-2015 by James Martin, Licensed to About.
Ancient Cities of Campania
Capua - Ancient Capua was an important town in Campania; it was linked to Rome via the via Appia. Capua (today actually Santa Maria Capa Vetere) is an Etruscan settlement probably built on the site of an Oscan village, later Romanized. Sparticus led his slave revolt here. You can see the gladiator museum as well as Italy's second largest amphitheater in Ancient Capua: Santa Maria Capua Vetere. Ancient Capua also features one of the few examples of a Mithraeum that has frescos. The nearby modern town of Capua also has a museum--the Provincial Museum of Campania in Capua.
Compare prices of hotels in Santa Maria Capua Vetere on Hipmunk.
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.
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.
Conpare prices of hotels in Naples on Hipmunk.
To learn about the weather and historic climate of Naples, see: Naples Italy Travel Weather.
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.
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.
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.
You can visit Naples and Campania in our Venice to Sicily 3 Week Travel Itinerary.
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 (book direct) if you prefer those.
Transportation Options in Campania
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.
The Circumvesuviana lines have extensive bus service in Campania.
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.
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.
To find other options to arrive at Naples Airport, for example, to get there from Rome, See Rome to Naples Airport (You can then change the to and from options).
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.