Naples and the Campania region overall combine hedonistic indulgence with historical significance, not unlike the rest of Italy!
The Campania region in western Italy was the playground of emperors once upon a time and now is loved by the world's famous. Its history, with numerous civilizations vying for control over centuries, makes it rich in archaeological significance. The magnetic Amalfi Coast comprises the southernmost part; here we focus on the scenic islands and the historic city of Naples.
The islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida draw many visitors from around the world and in the summer can get busy, but in the spring and fall, Campania is perfect. The azure blue bay of Naples is enchanting, and these areas have history that fascinates lovers of archaeology and lost civilizations. Outside of Naples, the pace of life is slow and leisurely, and you can lose yourself in the rhythms of daily life, especially when the food is so enjoyable and its gardens, with lemon and palm trees everywhere, so fragrant.
Being alive in such a place is enough.
Naples is teeming with Baroque architecture that charms and seduces. East and west of the city are treasures of Greek and Roman antiquity. It's known for stunning castles, theatrical baroque architecture, world class opera and chiaroscuro, a style of art that uses light and shadows.
The main street, the Spaccanapoli, travels through the heart of Naples and is ideal for taking in the city. Cuisine features fresh seafood, tomatoes, fruit and wine, and of course, pizza. Naples is said to be where pizza was invented and definitely, perfected.
The Apostle Paul visited the area west of Naples. The tomb of noted resident, Virgil, the poet who penned The Aeneid, is in Naples. Nearby are the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The ruins of Vesuvius from AD 79 have been preserved. Spectacular finds from the ruins are in the National Archaeological Museum.
Much of Italy's art is here. See the Church Pio Monte Misercordia, with Caravaggio's Seven Acts of Mercy. The city has three Caravaggio masterpieces, produced in the artist's last years. Certosa di San Martino is a treasure trove of baroque art in a former monastery. The city today hosts contemporary art exhibits.
Capri is famous for the Blue Grotto, but it has much more—including grottoes that are green, pink, yellow and white.
Visit the Villa San Michele to see the 19th century magnificence of its antiques. Walk past four Saracen fortresses and go to the top of Mont Solaro on foot or by chairlift. Anacapri, its largest town, is 900 feet above the Bay of Naples and has natural seawater pools.
Take a boat ride on a giro around the shores of Capri with either a tour boat, similar to a fishing boat; or a speedboat, which you can rent yourself. Marvel at the glittering bright blue waters. Well-heeled Italians have summer homes on Capri where they live in July and August. The nightlife includes many discos and piano bars to enjoy on sultry summer nights.
Ischia and Procida
With incredibly scenic beaches, nearby Ischia is quieter in the high season than the better known Capri. Pronounced with the stress on the first syllable and a hard c, Ischia is also known as the green island, for its green rock. The island was created by a volcano, and thermal springs are everywhere—more than 100 thermal baths, many attached to hotels.
Other things to enjoy are wine growing villages and the marvelous Castello Aragonese, host to the Ischia Film Festival in July. Overlooking steep cliffs, the castle's island is connected by causeway to the main island of Ischia.
Thinking about a summer trip to Italy, or want to get a jump booking for the fall? Call us to chat about your options at 877-723-0802.