Campania, Italy

A guide to its main attractions

Selected by piero scaruffi | Back to Italy's page | Back to the travel page | Photos | Email


  • Baia: Parco archeologico
  • + Benevento: Arco di Traiano
  • + Capri: Scavi, Certosa, Faraglioni, Grotta azzurra
  • + Capua: S.Angelo in Formis
  • + Caserta: Palazzo Reale, Parco
  • + Casertavecchia: borgo medievale, Cattedrale
  • Castrovillari: S,Maria della Consolazione
  • Cava de Tirreni: Abbazia della Trinita'
  • + Costiera Amalfitana: Maiori (Collegiata di Santa Maria a Mare with maiolica dome), +Positano, Sorrento, Amalfi (+Duomo), +Atrani, Sentiero dei Limoni, +Sentiero degli Dei,
  • + Cuma: Cumae
  • ++Ercolano: Scavi
  • ++Ischia: giro dell' Isola
  • + Marina di Ascea
  • Montevergine: Santuario
  • ++Napoli/Naples: Maschio Angioino, S.Chiara, S.Lorenzo Maggiore, Certosa S.Martino, ++Chiesa del Gesu Nuovo, Cappella Sansevero (++ Giuseppe Sanmartino's The Veiled Christ ("Cristo Velato"), Duomo, Floridiana, +Museo Capodimonte (+Simone Martini's "St Louis Altar", Masolino's Pala Colonna), Museo Nazionale, +Museo Archeologico (+Colossal Krater from Altamura), +Spaccanapoli, V.Petrarca, V. di Posillipo, Eremo dei Camaldoli, Vele di Scampia (1962)
  • Padula: Certosa S.Lorenzo
  • ++Paestum: Paestum, Museo
  • Pertosa: grotta
  • ++Pompei: Scavi (+Apodyterium paintings, +Casa dei Vettii paintings, +Villa dei Misteri frescoes)
  • + Pozzuoli: Tempio di Serapide, Anfiteatro, Solfatara, Lago Averno
  • Ravello: Villa Rufolo, Villa Cimbrone
  • Salerno: Duomo (Bar Gelateria Nettuno for icecream sandwich and Pizzeria da Michele for pizza)
  • ++Santa Maria CapuaVetere: Anfiteatro, Mitreo
  • Sessa Aurunca: Ponte degli Aurunci, Duomo
  • + Vesuvio: Cratere
Notes for Pompei (2021):
Getting to Pompei: Circumvesuviana from Napoli stazione Garibaldi.
There are two entrances to the "Scavi" (ruins).
Ingresso Porta Marina:
Circumvesuviana Napoli-Sorrento (fermata Pompei Villa dei Misteri)
Ingresso Piazza Anfiteatro:
Circumvesuviana Napoli-Poggiomarino (fermata Pompei Santuario).
(You can also take the regular train to Salerno and get off at Pompei main station, which is in Piazza Anfiteatro.
Modern Pompei (Hotels/restaurants)
If you exit the Scavi/Ruins from the exit Piazza Anfiteatro, you find yourself in downtown Pompei
Must see in Pompei:
Buildings
* Forum and especially Basilica
* Two theaters (big and small, both masterpieces)
* The amphitheater (the oldest surviving)
* Terme stabiane (public baths)
By far the main attractions are the houses:
* Vettii +++
* Faun
* Menandro
* Loreius Tiburtinus
* Villa dei Misteri +++ (just outside the Scavi)
* Casa della Caccia Antina
* Casa di Venere nella Conchiglia
* Casa della Fontana Grande
Paintings:
Wall painting in the house of the Vettii (this is one of the world's masterpieces)
Wall painting from "The House of Venus on the Shell"
Wall painting in the Casa della Caccia Antica
Wall paintings in the Villa dei Misteri (the main fresco that runs around all the walls depicts a Dionysian mystery cult)
BOSCOREALE
Getting there:
Circumvesuviana Napoli-Poggiomarino (fermata Boscotrecase) and then take a bus to Villa Regina or walk
Wall paintings of House of Publius Fannius Synisto Note the details.
ERCOLANO
Notable paintings in Ercolano:
Fresco of the Rite of Isis
Wall paitings in the Samnite House
Notes:
  • Napoli Scam alert (2021): No pictures are allowed inside the Cappella San Severo in Napoli
  • Amalfi coast (2022): if you don't have to, skip the Amalfi coast. There is nothing left of the romantic villages of poets, painters and musicians. They made it famous, but they have long been forced to move out after rich people started moving there. Now the Amalfi coast is one giant shopping mall and tourist resort. An overcrowded, expensive and noisy one. Positano is the worst: it has become an ugly, boring, town of luxury boutiques. Most restaurants are overpriced and their food is mediocre. The lemon sorbetto is a popular tourist trap in Amalfi (you'll pay ten times more than you'd pay in Naples for a better one). Ravello has two highly publicized villas but inside there's little of interest. See one if you have to. If you are disappointed by the first one, avoid the second one because it's more of the same. It is a very bad idea to drive the Amalfi coast. Roads are narrow and would be difficult even without traffic, and traffic is apocalyptic. It is virtually impossible to park anywhere. If you do find parking, it is more expensive than a meal at a restaurant. If you don't find parking, you have to keep walking to get out of the way of the other million cars. It is also very difficult to make a U-turn. The best way to see the Amalfi coast is by boat and/or bus. There are boats from Salerno for all the towns of the coast: Vietri, Maiori, Minori, Cetara, Amalfi, Positano. And there are boats connecting one town to the other. No need to get stressed at the wheel of a car, no need to look for parking and to spend a fortune if you find one. There are very few things worth a visit that cannot be reached by boat, like the Fiordo of Furore: just take a bus (SITA is the company as of 2022). Let the bus driver deal with traffic.
  • Capri from Salerno (2023): fast boat from Molo Manfredi 23 euro (2023) returning at about 4pm. Don't try to get back earlier via Positano/Amalfi because you'd arrive the same time and spend a lot more than 23 euros.
  • Capri: the Faraglioni Walk starts at the Belvedere di Tragara panoramic viewpoint close to the centre of Capri
  • A short Capri tour: From Marina Grande walk up the staircase to the Piazzetta, then take the narrow alley to the Giardini di Augusto. Here you have a great view of the Faraglioni. Walk up to the Punta Tragara viewpoint and then down to the sea. Then walk to the Arco Naturale. Return via a narrow alley avoiding the various staircases that take you to touristy areas until almost the end.
  • Capri scam alert (2023): the Blue Grotto. The only boats allowed into the Blue Grotto are rowboats, since the opening into the Blue Grotto is tiny. That means that you will have to wait to board one of these rowboats. That wait can be an hour or longer (we waited 45 minutes). And once inside, you only get 5 minutes in the Blue Grotto.
  • Amalfi coast (2023). Besides the ferries, there are buses (the company is called SITA) that connect the towns of the coast, and the frequency is pretty good. Just don't take a bus into Salerno because you'll never arrive: traffic is horrible.
  • Amalfi and Atrani are connected by pedestrial tunnels. This pedestrian route starts from under the Amalfi cathedral and ends at the parking lot on the highay. Cross the highway where the restaurant is and descend the paved road to the Atrani port.
  • Sentiero dei Limoni (2023): trailhead in piazza Milo in Maiori (next to the Collegiata di Santa Maria a Mare, the church with the maiolica dome), 6kms to Minori (plus a detour to 11th century Campanile dell'Annunziata). There are water fountains and people selling lemonade along the trail.
  • Sentiero degli Dei (2023): from Amalfi take the bus to Agerola (Bomerano), which takes about 40 minutes, hike from the Piazza Capasso downhill the 6.5 kms to Positano (after Nocelle one has a choice to descend straight down to the coastal road and then walk 15 minutes to Positano or to continue to Montepertuso and then descend directly into Positano).
  • Amalfi Coast restaurants/bars: A’ Sciulia in Amalfi for granita, Geljada in Maiori for granita in many flavors, La Risacca in Atrani for granita, Gelateria Artigianale “Da Marco” in Atrani for ice cream, Caffe’ Umberto in Minori for gelato and granita
  • Grimaldi ferries from Salerno to Palermo