Campania, Italy is home to lush natural beauty and diverse cultural attractions that continue to attract visitors. Located in Southern Italy, 5.8 million people reside in the area, making Campania the second most populated area in the country. A number of culturally important entities have occupied Campania, giving the area great historical relevance.
For a period of time, Campania was considered a popular retreat for wealthy Romans. Two cities, Pompeii and Herculaneum, were destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 Anno Domini (AD). The lava has successfully preserved city structures and inhabitants, making both of the areas popular historical attractions. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the cities are among the most popular tourist attractions in Italy.
The Palace of Caserta served as a primary residence for the Bourbon kings of Naples. Designed to bear a resemblance to Versailles palace in France, construction started in 1752 and continued until 1780. Rococo designs, an ornate style developed during the 18th century as artisans attempted to develop pieces with movement, are featured in all 1,200 rooms. The palace gained additional historical relevance when Germans met with officials at the palace in 1945 to sign a treaty surrendering troops that were stationed in Italy.
Epicurious, a travel division of Conde Nast, encourages visiting Campania as part of a culinary journey. A number of wines come from Campania and the area produces fresh dairy products, the most popular being mozzarella. Flavorful tomatoes bring color to a number of locally-produced dishes, including pizza, which was created by a local chef during the 1900s. Seafood dishes are delights that should not be missed. Native dishes combine elements from numerous regional cuisines that exist within Italy. Unique dishes include Baba cake, a dish originally created in Austria and designed to eat quickly while walking. Russian salad combines potatoes, mayonnaise, shrimp and vegetables in vinegar.
Visitors to Campania enjoy exploring the area surrounding Mount Vesuvius. Nutrient-rich soil encourages the growth of apricots and cherries. Walk through the Mount Vesuvius National Park to observe doormice, rabbits and over 100 bird species that are unique to the area. Small fishing villages and sandy beaches along the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Peninsula provide wonderful daytrip opportunities. Travel back in time with a visit to locations frequented by past celebrities. Greta Garbo preferred the area of Ravello, home to the Ravello Festival since 1953. The summer festival features musical performances, dance troupes and photographic exhibits.
European artists and writers flocked to Capri, a popular destination for locals and tourists, during the 19th century. April marks film festival month, an annual event since 2006. An international film festival occurs in late December/early January. May marks the start of patron saint festivals. Enjoy parades, games and food that focuses on cultural pride.