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.
Pompeii and Herculaneum must be on your travel itineraries for south Italy. It's not a question of whether to visit the two famous ancient Roman buried cities or not, its all about how to visit them.
In our experience the options are:
- go with an organised group (too frustrating)
- do it alone (too much to see and what guidebook to buy)
- hire a professional guide and travel by Mercedes (absolutely)
For Pompeii, make the choice between basing yourself near the entrance to the archaeological site or nearer the Sanctuary and new Pompeii. The two are not so close after you've been trekking all day.
For Herculaneum, why not stay in town before heading up Vesuvius the day after.
Notwithstanding years of institutional neglect which have done little to protect the priceless ruins, the archaeological site of Pompeii is still very impressive.
Just wandering along the paved roads, past the ruined temples and into the ampitheaters and doorways is a tremendous thrill.
But it is a close attention to the smaller details which transports us back to the Roman city's daily life before it all went black on that tremendous late August day in 79 AD when Vesuvius blew its top.
There's no getting away from the shadow of the volcano even today. It seems too close for comfort.
Ask any official guide and you'll be informed that Vesuvius is a real nasty piece of work and is due to go off at any time!
We have received many emails asking where to get hold of Sorrento lemons in the United States of America. It seems it is a lot easier getting hold of byproducts such as limoncello. But we are still referring only to products made from Amalfi Coast lemons and not the actual thing.
For the definitive answer as to the availability of Amalfi Coast lemons in the United States we received this email from Tracy L. Kahn.
This anchovies with lemon recipe has been supplied by CO.VA.L. the consortium for the promotion of the Amalfi Coast lemon which was formed in 1991.
The land around the famous Vesuvius volcano, near Naples, is very fertile thanks to the minerals contained in the lava combined with the Mediterranean microclimate of the zone.
It is a great place for apricots cultivation, over 100 types, including 'La Pellecchiella' considered the finest of all. It is a combination of a sweet taste and a compact pulp.
Also of note are cherries. Ask for the 'Ciliegia del Monte' which has a clear succulent and perfumed fruit and a red and yellow color.
It was above all thanks to US nutritionist Ancel Keys, that the classic Mediterranean diet of cereals and olive oil became so well known. Keys was stationed in Salerno in 1945 and noticed that cardiovascular diseases amongst the local population were notably less than at home. A comparative study confirmed his claim.So what did he believe we should all be eating?
Pesce azzurro is the collective name referring to the whole range of red meat fish which typically gleam silver and blue in the open waters of the Mediterranean. By this we mean anchovies, sardines, tuna etc.
These type of fish swim nearer to the surface than the so called "pesce bianco" or white meat fish.
Pesci azzurri have fine qualities. They typically cost less in the market place than other fish, are best eaten fresh, as opposed to being frozen for future consumption, and require little cooking or preparation.
'Campania>artecard' is the official Naples city pass offering an integrated ticket for a range of services and entrance discounts for visitors wishing to discover Naples, Pompei and other famous locations.
Promoted by the Regione Campania these include access to museums, free use of the public transport and many other opportunities which we highlight here.
The costs depends on the amount of sites and sights you want to see and we outline them below but the combinations are typically:
- 3 days - Naples and Campi Flegrei with free admittance to 2 sites of choice & 50% off admission to all the others, free use of urban transport Naples + Campi Flegrei.
- 3 days - all sites, free admittance to all sites, 50% off admission to all the others, free use of regional transport.
- 7 days - all sites, transport not included and free admittance to all sites.