While you might be unfamiliar with the Campania region as a whole, we’re sure you’ve heard of some of its iconic destinations. There’s no better company to introduce you to the area than Citalia. Citalia truly are the Italy experts, as they’ve been crafting tailor-made holidays in Italy for over 90 years. Understanding that every guest has their own interests and needs, Citalia will bring Italy to life for you, offering exceptional experiences at competitive prices.
Campania’s capital is Naples, the foodie city that brought the world pizza and at the forefront of cibo di strada - street food - culture. You’ll also find an avant-garde contemporary art scene, which is found in the city’s many museums and even in the public metro system. Also underground lie the famous catacombs of San Gennaro, a vast network of paleo-Christian burial and worship sites.
Campania is home to the mighty and now dormant volcano Mount Vesuvius, which wreaked havoc on the ancient world, and immortalised the settlements of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Today, these great archaeological finds are popular UNESCO World Heritage sites that offer you a glimpse into Roman times.
Campania boasts a most glorious coastline, edged by the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea, and it’s here where you’ll find the fresh culinary delights of this recipe. The frutti di mare (seafood) of this area is mouthwateringly divine and delightfully fresh, including many varieties of granchio (crab). The coast is renowned for its traditional fish-based recipes, which include everything from ricci di mare (sea urchins) and gamberetti (shrimps), to polpo (octopus) and pezzogna (sea bream). Before dawn breaks each day you’ll find fishermen already out at sea casting their nets, bringing back their catch of the day just in time for lunch.
One of the most renowned and breathtaking locations of this region is the Amalfi Coast, an area made up of dramatic cliffside resorts that look like they’ve leapt out of a majestic painting. The seductive beauty and Mediterranean vibe of the Amalfi Coast has made it a favourite playground for the rich and famous for several decades. Under bright blue skies you’ll find rugged green mountains and pastel-coloured cliffside villages, which in turn fuse into sun-kissed beaches and welcoming turquoise waters. It’s usual to find the yellow flash of lemon trees popping out from street corners, while the air is refreshed by the natural citrus fragrance and sea breeze. It’s the Amalfi’s love for lemons that provide the foundation for the region's most renowned homegrown liquor, limoncello.
Amalfi is the ancient town that gave the coastline its name, and you’ll discover a wonderful maze of whitewashed streets that invite you to get purposefully lost in them. If you like, you can enjoy a self-drive holiday with Citalia and head along the scenic 16th century Strada Statale Amalfitana (SS. 163) road, which bewitchingly curves and winds through the Amalfi Coast’s many villages and towns, from picturesque Positano that’s popular for its glitz, to the heart-stirringly romantic Ravello with its faded aristocratic ambience and time-honoured music festival. The gateway to the Amalfi Coast is the clifftop resort of Sorrento, where quintessentially steep streets congregate into a perfect piazza where you can experience real Italian café culture in style.
Similarly glamorous and just across from Sorrento lies the island of Capri, a popular destination since the Roman Empire. Capri offers pure luxury, intertwined with authentic Italian character. You can roam the winding streets, or head to Capri’s two wonderful harbours: Marina Grande, which holds the island’s largest beach, and Marina Piccola, the bay where the ancient hero Ulysses is said to have been seduced by the sirens of the sea.
Capri’s siren song on land, however, is the incredible high-end boutiques and ateliers. Whether you’re looking for artisanal perfume or handmade leather sandals - a speciality of the island - or wishing to browse big Italian designer labels such as Gucci and Fendi, then you’re in the right place.
If you’re less keen on legendary fashion stitches and have more of an explorer itch, then why not take a day trip to the renowned Blue Grotto? It’s a remarkable karst sea cave where even indoors the water glows a shimmering bright blue.
Further north of Capri is the legendary island of Ischia. While Ischia has been out of the limelight in recent decades, the island was swept up in glamour in the 1960s when golden personalities of the time flocked here, including Hollywood’s Elizabeth Taylor, Sofia Loren and Jackie Kennedy. Today, Ischia is the pretty little secret of the Neapolitan Riviera, playing an elegant low-key role while being just an hour’s ferry hop from Naples. If you’re seeking a wellness holiday then look no further, as Ischia has hundreds of hot springs running throughout the island. These supply the island’s many natural thermal spas, including luxurious five star spa hotels.
Beyond the glamour, you’ll always find an authentic experience in Campania, which is simple and connected to the earth, much like the root of the region’s name: Campania actually translates from Latin as fertile countryside.
One of the most remote parts of the region and another best-kept secret is Cilento, which is awash with verdant landscapes and historic villages. Many literary greats, from Hemingway to Goethe, were inspired here. Across Campania there are panoramic paths to hike along and, as you do, you’ll likely come across places that remain untouched by visitors and where time has stood still for centuries. In just the turn of a corner, you’ll be given a moment to pause as both the land and tradition dictates life’s priorities.
You might find calm in the workshops making colourful ceramics or with producers making traditional paper and silk, but you can just as easily find it in a full-bodied wine that comes from these lands, or in a bowl of handmade pasta, made just the way Pasta Evangelists advocate. From the steep terraces that local farmers cultivate to the artisan producers that craft delicious local cheese and olive oil, one thing’s for sure, Campania is a foodie heaven.
If any of these experiences in Campania whet your appetite, then get in touch with Citalia who will craft the perfect hassle-free holiday for you based on your interests and needs. Right from the get-go, you’ll be assigned your own personal Italy Expert who will be there to provide you with 24/7 support, and up-to-the-minute travel advice both before and during your holiday. ATOL protected, your Citalia holiday comes with a Book with Confidence guarantee, which features free amendments and cancellations.
*T&Cs: Discount applies to new package holiday bookings, for a minimum of 7 nights duration and for 2 adults. Book between 1 August 2021 and 30 September 2021 for travel between 1 September 2021 and 30 September 2022. Not redeemable online.
Make our Crab & Chilli Sauce with Fresh Paccheri Pasta
Get an authentic taste of Campania with our delicious crab & chilli sauce, served with fresh pachheri. Native to the region, paccheri are large tubes of pasta, perfect for mopping up every last morsel of this tasty seafood sauce.
Prep Time: 30 mins
Calories per serving: 419kcal
- 350g fresh paccheri pasta
- 200g white crab meat
- 1 large fresh red chilli, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 400g fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
- 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Sprinkling fresh parsley
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and salt it generously. Cook your fresh paccheri in the water for a minute less than instructed by the packet (it will finish cooking in the sauce). Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Whilst your pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large pan. When hot, reduce the heat a little and add the chilli and garlic, be careful not to let the garlic burn.
- Add the sliced tomatoes and the crab meat to the pan with the chilli and garlic, put a drop more olive oil in the pan if required, and stir everything together. Cook over a low heat for a few minutes.
- Drain the cooked paccheri, reserving a few tablespoons of the pasta water, and transfer to the pan with the sauce. Add a little of the pasta water to help create a thick sauce and thoroughly toss everything together.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of fresh parsley. Serve immediately, buon appetito!