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Campania’s air of tranquillity

From the May 2016 issue.
Campania’s air of tranquillity

Bustling cities, tourist hot spots and a celebrated culinary offering are some of the hallmarks of the region of Campania. But so too is an abundance of thermal spas and wellness centres, that make for a truly relaxing getaway.

By Danielle Gullaci

Hugging the Tyrrhenian Sea, Campania is a region steeped in beauty, history and artistic treasures. Though the ruthless Camorra mafia syndicate has done much to tarnish the reputation of Campania throughout history – and particularly Naples – it has done little to deter the thousands of travellers that choose to visit this truly captivating Southern Italian region, year after year.

Campania is famed throughout the world for its stunning coastline (namely the Amalfi Coast and Sorrentine Peninsula), and its gastronomic specialties such as the Margherita pizza, for which Naples is considered the birthplace.

The region is made up of five provinces – Naples, Caserta, Benevento, Avellino and Salerno. And it boasts an equal number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Amalfi Coast; the historic centre of Naples; Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata; the Royal Palace of Caserta; and Cilento, which encompasses the archaeological sites of Paestum and Velia.

The province of Naples is home to the region’s capital, the city of Naples, and the Amalfi Coast, where houses cling onto the mountains in an impressive vertical display, while the road winds with sharp, dramatic bends.

The city of Naples is the third largest in all of Italy, after Rome and Milan. It has a rich and fascinating history, and its beautiful historic centre was added to the UNESCO list in 1995. Among its most precious monuments are the Church of Santa Chiara, and Castel Nuovo, which is one of the city’s four castles.

Overlooking the Gulf of Naples, the region’s capital offers breathtaking views towards the picturesque islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida; and the almighty volcano, Mount Vesuvius.

Areas like Pompeii and Herculaneum serve as a reminder of the volcano’s ruthless past, where entire ancient cities were destroyed under its force. Yet ironically, the volcanic nature of this land has also led to Campania becoming a centre for wellness and tranquillity, thanks to the numerous naturally occurring thermal springs found dotted across the landscape – the most revered of which are found on the fascinating island of Ischia.

To read the full story, pick up the May/June 2016 edition of Italianicious.

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