Campania, located on the front of the “ankle” of Italy’s boot, boasts some of the most remarkable historic, ancient and modern attractions in all of Italy. From Naples to Pompeii, the Amalfi coast and some of the most fertile lands in Italy, you should definitely not skip it when you plan to visit Italy.
Campania has a long history. The Greeks, then the Etruscans, both settled the area. The first major city of the area, Capua, formed in the 5th century BC. Although the name Campania seems to come from the word “Campus,” Latin for field, it actually pre-dates the Romans. Perhaps they got the word for plain from the name? It remains to this day the best place to grow all sorts of Italian staples, from tomatoes to eggplants to, of course, grapes!
It became culturally Roman in the 4th century BC, eventually becoming first a colony, then an official region, of the empire. After the Romans, the Goths, Byzantines, and Lombards all conquered the region. In the 11th century, the Normans incorporated Campania into the kingdom of Sicily. It then became part of the Kingdom of Naples after the Wars of Sicilian Vespers against the French in 1282. It took until 1860 for it to be united with what we now think of as modern day Italy.
Today, the region thrives on agriculture, tourism, fishing, and modern industry. In fact, it is Italy’s southernmost area with an industrial center, mostly around Naples. Artisans throughout the region craft coral, pearls, tortoiseshell, leather, and lace into gorgeous works of art that make unforgettable souvenirs. And of course, Naples makes the world’s most famous pizzas!
Though the Amalfi coast is perhaps the most recognizable, and visited, attraction Campania has many other fantastic sites dot the land. Pompeii, of course, is a must see, as are other areas also buried by the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius (still an active volcano!). Non-roman architecture and still active towns offer nearly limitless sights and adventures all on their own! And that’s not even mentioning Campania’s amazing wines, revered throughout Italy.
To celebrate this gorgeous, historic, and welcoming place, we’ve highlighted two amazing wines in our Wine Club! When you make it to Campania, let us know, and we can help you set up some winery visits!