The NATIONAL ITALIAN AMERICAN FOUNDATION

2014 Region of Honor

CAMPANIA

Stretching along the Tyrrhenian Sea, from the winding roads of the Amalfi Coast, to the temples of Paestum, the ruins of Pompeii and the extensive historical artistic wealth, the region of Campania, is one of Italy’s most diverse regions with a splendid natural beauty and charm that never ceases to enchant its visitors, just like the mythological siren Partenope from which Naples gets its name.

Land of the real pizza Napoletana, the true caffè espresso, the juiciest lemons from Sorrento, the creamiest Mozzarella di Bufala, and the freshest seafood, Campania is home to authenticity and a paradise for any food lover. The region is steeped in culinary tradition. No one can visit Campania without sipping on a limoncello after a delicious meal or indulging in a rum-soaked babà or crispy, seashell-shaped sfogliatella.  Thanks to the mild climate, this sun-kissed region is home to the production of San Marzano tomatoes.

The capital city of Naples, Italy’s third largest city, is beautifully situated in the bay that bears its name. Naples is the city of contrasts, with a vibrant, on-the-go city center that is balanced by a passeggiata along the lungomare, all while Mount Vesuvius plays the backdrop.

As you make your way through the labyrinth of the ancient city, you will notice traces of the past from Baroque churches to Greco-Roman ruins.  One of the main streets, Spaccanapoli, meaning “break Naples,” since it divides the city in half, is lined with hundreds of shops selling traditional Neapolitan nativity figurines, souvenirs and typical food products.

Off the coast of Naples and a short ferry ride away is Capri—the playground of the rich, famous and chic. With its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking scenery, the Mediterranean island of the famous Grotta Azzurra is something to be seen in one’s lifetime. Procida and Ischia, Capri’s sister islands, offer a more relaxed environment and are still rather untouched by tourism.

Making your way inland is the city of Caserta, home to one of the most majestic palaces in the world—La Reggia di Caserta, an 18th century Baroque, royal palace designed by the Neapolitan architect, Luigi Vanvitelli.

There are countless sites and cities to see in Campania, yet it’s the people of region who make even tourists feel at home, not only for their warmth and easy-going personalities, but for their comical twist on every day instances—does Totò ring a bell?