Massa Lubrense


Warm, sunny, bright and beautiful Campania is located in southwest Italy. Campania shares borders with Lazio, Molise, Puglia and Basilicata regions and The Tyrrhenian Sea. The main cities in this region are Napoli, Caserta, Salerno, Benevento, Avellino, the island of Capri and the Amalfi Coast encompassing Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello among others. Campania is a region well worth visiting. The weather is great year round (hot hot hot in summer) and the dramatic cities on the sea are gorgeous and relaxing (albeit, if you’re driving, you won’t relax until you’ve parked the car!). Campania is home to Mt. Vesuvius (it’s still active), Pompeii and Herculaneum. It is the birthplace of pizza (thank you Napoli!) and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better pizza than in this region. The tomatoes grown here are robust, the olives delicious, the lemons sweet and the cheeses (especially buffalo mozzarella) very very tasty. Most dishes, even the pasta comes with seafood like mussels, anchovies, shrimp, tuna and sea bass - as fish is the main meat in the area. The spaghetti alle vongole is a favorite along the coast. They’ve been making wine in this region forever and most are fruity whites which go very well with seafood (try the Asprinio di Aversa). An interesting, tasty and refreshing liqueur of this area is called Limoncello or Limonora (lemons). It is produced along the Amalfi Coast… wineries, you can visit the limoncello "factories" and sample what they produce.

**From any of the cities I’ve listed below (except Paestum and Capri) you can do a daytrip/visit to Pompeii and Herculaneum. Usually, if I’m driving in from the north (usually Rome), I will stop in Pompeii before my late afternoon arrival in Sorrento. However, I’ve also made a daytrip from Amalfi without having to rush. Both Herculaneum and Pompeii were buried by Vesuvius. There are several interesting differences: Pompeii was covered in ash and Herculaneum was covered in volcanic mud (therefore Herculaneum is arguably better preserved). Pompeii was a market town and Herculaneum was a residential town. Herculaneum (Scavi di Ercolano) is about 1/3 the size of Pompeii. Both are worth visiting if you have the time. Hint: Many local guides will approach you on your way in to the Pompeii site….I suggest you get one and negotiate a good rate. Your guide will get you to the main sights in short order and you can skip those that are not as interesting — not to mention you can’t tell north, south, east or west from the map you’re given upon entry (at least I couldn’t). On my first visit to Pompeii, I did not use a guide….as I told the man no I didn’t need any help (I had a map), he uttered: "walls can’t talk"……he was right, I was lost for hours trying to find everything. Now, on each subsequent trip and when telling other friends about Pompeii, I give them this suggestion. Another Hint: DO NOT MISS THE FRESCOES IN THE VILLA DEI MISTERI — they are fabulous.


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