Campania the fascinating territory

Capri BW 2013-05-14 15-19-56 DxO.jpg
Capri  By Berthold Werner, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The mild climate, the beauty of the coasts, the richness of its art and history, and the love for food make Campania the fascinating territory that it is. The journey begins with the sea, the region's uncontested queen, with its intense colors, its coasts that are crawling with bays, coves, and rock faces. The waters here boast the islands in the Gulf of Naples, Capri and Ischia - true natural masterpieces. This region is made even more charming by the flourishing Mediterranean vegetation that alternates with its small, charming towns that narrate the history and traditions of Campania and make any stay here unforgettable. And how can we forget the natural endowments that dominate this region: Vesuvius, gloomy and mysterious, loved for its beauty and feared for its power. Then, Naples, famous around the world for the intensity and passion of its music, but not only, mingles high-brow culture with the popular, the sacred with the profane, and the joyful with the melancholic. Sorrento, a town that spreads over a terrace of tufo, seems to tumble into the sea. Throughout this view paradisical panorama, indented and inaccessible coasts weave their colors with those of small and hidden beaches, creating a unique and enthralling scenery. Here, the work of man is truly monolithic. The roughest areas are now made up of a series of terraces sloping down towards the sea, used for the cultivation of citrus, olive trees, and vines. These gardens give off heady scents of oranges, lemons, and orange-blossoms. Music and entertainment, sun and sea, history and culture. Visiting places like Paestum; Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Torre Annunziata; the Chartreuse of Padula; and the Royal Palace of Caserta will all take you back in time and far away from the quotidian! The provinces of Campania are Naples (the regional capital), Caserta, Benevento, Avellino, and Salerno. Those who choose to spend their holidays in Campania are spoilt for choice thanks to the many opportunities offered by this region, but the five sites recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites certainly deserve a visit. Naples strikes visitors for its liveliness, for the splendid colors of the sea, but also for its history that resurfaces from every corner of the old town center - the biggest in Europe, an authentic museum under the open sky. Wherever you look, you can admire fascinating views, tabernacles, and Baroque churches and obelisks. You can see ancient crafts, from Nativity scenes (St. Gregory of Armenia) to the incomparable art of violin makers, up to the old Borgo degli Orefici. Countless are the itineraries to follow, from a visit to the castles, museums, and villas and historical palaces, or a tour among the many churches that contain sculptural and pictorial masterpieces of enormous artistic value. For the exceptionality of the finds and their excellent state of preservation, UNESCO protects the Archaeological Area of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were destroyed by the Vesuvius eruption of 79 A.D. The volcanic lava caused their destruction but, as it hardened, that very lava became an exceptional means to preserve all the extraordinary finds, brought back to light many centuries later. A unique and singular perspective is offered from the Amalfi Coast: bays, coves, and picturesque small towns, which miraculously cling to the mountain. The light blue tones of the sea, the green of the Mediterranean scrub, the colors and the lines of the small houses - all merge perfectly to create one of the most beautiful routes on the Italian coast. Sorrento, Amalfi, Ravello, Vietri Sul Mare, and Positano are some of the precious pearls that make up a "necklace" of small towns (12 altogether) on the coast. They look like small living Nativities, with their ancient alleys, arches and little squares that enchant visitors with their atmosphere, sounds, and scents. The Royal Palace of Caserta, the Royal Palace, and Park, another UNESCO site, is a real masterpiece of architecture and decoration and a precious holder of works of art. Inside the Palace, visitors are astonished by the continuous succession of works of art, stuccos, bas-reliefs, frescoes, sculptures, and intarsia (inlaid) floors. A colossal work: four courtyards, 1,200 rooms, more than 30 impressive staircases including the famous Grand Staircase with 116 steps, framed by a huge splendid park. Archaeology, nature, and traditions are the three distinguishing features of the Vallo di Diano and Cilento National ParkCilento, a crossroads for cultures and peoples since prehistoric times. A precious vestige of this region is Paestum, which boasts the three best-preserved Greek temples in the world: Hera’s Temple, the oldest; Neptune’s Temple, the biggest; and Ceres’s Temples, which were actually dedicated to the goddess Athena. In 540 A.D, the coasts of Cilento saw the landing of the Phocaeans, the founders of Elea (today Velia), an ancient town known as having been the residence of great philosophers like Parmenides. Be sure not to miss a visit to the Certosa of Padula, one of the largest monasteries in the world. A landscape of rare beauty molded by the wind, the sea and man: these are Capri and Ischia, where vacationers can relax in complete tranquillity during the day and enjoy the best of fun and entertainment at night. by italia.it
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