There's a lot to experience in Campania, more than you can possibly imagine. You have to go to the Amalfi coast of course, but consult our travel articles below for more trip suggestions.
Sorrento and the Sorrento Peninsular Featured
Sorrento was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC, becoming the Roman colony of Surrentum in the 1st century BC and a popular spot for patrician villas ever since with oligarchic Rusisans the latest to arrive.
Head to Punta del Capo beyond the Marina Grande for the ruins of an impressive Roman villa attributed by Latin poet Stazio to the historian Pollio Felice who was the patron of both Virgil and Horace.
It was once an incredible seaside home featuring landing stages, terraces, fresh water cisterns and nymphaeum which, according to legend, were the Baths of Diana used by the eccentric Queen Giovanna Durazio d'Angiò.
Diving is especially good in this zone. as is the whole protected Marine Reserve of Punta Campanella.
You'd be wide off the mark if you think the city of Napoli is all pizza, mandolins and Maradona. This is a city which communicates a tremendously colourful way of life which has entranced every outsider who has passed through the port.
Monte Procida overlooks the Gulf of Pozzuoli and the island of Procida like a disbelieving ruler seeing his land disappear before him.
Monte Procida may well become the second Isola Procida. The tourism board similarly describes the town as:
'piled up on a small promontory, seems to want to cut itself off from the land around it, to stretch itself out towards the sea. This dual perspective seems to be written into the very genetic code of its country people used to sailing the seven seas'.
This headland offers stupendous sea views all the way to Formia, Gaeta and the Lazio coast.
From the 13th to 17th August the Festival of the Madonna Assunta, the patron saint of the community, takes place.
The event traditionally encouraged many expatriates to return to the area and symbolically features all the 'Montese', who got onto boats and emigrated, coming home to pay a visit to those who stayed.
It is an excuse to eat and drink well.
So, it must be a great place to have a fish supper, and the restaurants, with some of the finest sea views in the world, do offer mouthwatering menus.
Linguini with scampi, marinated anchovies, mussels boiled with sausages and stuffed squid an all be ordered.
They come served with Monte Procida's very own DOC 'Campi Flegrei'.
To discover the food traditions and traditional recipes of Cilento in the province of Salerno, look out for a new recipe book by Edizioni dell'Ippogrifo.
The work is subtitled 'The Mediterranean Diet of the National Park of Cilento' in 700 dishes of family restaurant tradition'.
Above all, it is a collection of the secrets of the local cuisine which have been handed down from one generation to the next by word of mouth for centuries.
The final work features 50 bread recipes, 151 pasta recipes, 153 authentic vegetarian dishes from the herbs and products of the orchards and fields, as well as fish, meat and dolci proposals.
The National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano is located south of the Amafli Coast and is more than worth a visit, or rather an exploration.
The word Cilento derives from the names of the rivers Sele and Alentum, but the area today is squeezed between the River Sele and the mountainous coastal fortifications running from Agropoli to Sapri and into the Diano interior.
The erosion of the chalk landscape over the centuries has left the territory rich in caves, cliffs and gorges.
They maybe gorgeous these days, but were clearly a harsh place to live when transport was by donkey or foot.
Lorenzo Giustiniani in the late 1700's wrote of the town of Castinatelli:
"one of those wretched pitiable little lots that are seen scattered throughout Cilento inhabited by woebegone, grief stricken and dismal souls attached only to the intense labor of the land".
We hope he got out there alive!
The Amalfi Coast lemon is scientifically known as Sfusato Amalfitano and the body responsible for its preservation is the Consortium for the Promotion of the Amalfi Coast Lemon or 'Consorzio di Tutela del Limone Costa d'Amalfi I.G.P.'
When buying the lemons, lemon liqueur or lemon by-products look out for the I.G.P. logo which is the official acknowledgement that the lemons used were grown in the territory and according to the traditional rules of production.
Although known in Roman times and actively introduced from the Middle East during the Crusades, the lemon industry along the Amalfi coast only really got going during the golden age of discovery following the discovery of the Americas.
The fruit was grown to provide vitamin C on long sea voyages to prevent scurvy. Nevertheless, the Arabic words stuck and limuczello and jardeno entered the language.
Minori was the key port and the local lemons were traded across Italy and beyond.
A week in the southern extremity of the Amalfi coast before Salerno should mean a hunt for the local lemons and pottery. First the pottery.
Head along the coast to Vietri sul Mare. It was here that the commercially minded Amalfitanis set up business dealing in terracotta and ceramics brought from Spain, Cyprus, Sicily etc in the 9th century.
Arab influence caught the imagination in tile designs of the 13th century, while the 17th century saw a boom in high quality items for religious use.
A walk from the Marina di Vietri to Molina, Dragonara, Albori and Raito is an open museum documenting a thousand years of ceramic industry.
Also try the actual Ceramics Museum at Villa Guariglia, Raito di Vietri sul Mare (SA). It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am - 3pm.
Agropoli is a coastal agricultural center some 53km from Salerno in the zone of Cilento.
Its name derives from the Greek for 'high city', although it seems to have been founded by the Byzantines. In 882 AD it was occupied by the Saracens.
Like Sorrento and much of the Amalfi coast. the main town overlooks the sea and is perched on high cliffs. A great place to keep a look out, as the Byzantine castle suggests, although it didn't stop the Saracens' eventual conquest.
Entrance to old Agropoli is via a medieval gate which no doubt saw the invaders pour through. Once inside turn right and follow the street up towards the castle and the panoramic views of the sea.
Although a private house now occupies the living area the grounds and walls can be visited.