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Campania

Located in southern Italy, Campania was originally known to the Romans as Campania felix, meaning “fertile countryside”. With a population of 5.8 million people, it is the most densely populated region in Italy and has a diverse and bountiful landscape, dominated by the still-active volcano, Mount Vesuvius.

Settled first by the Ancient Greeks and then briefly by the Etruscans, the Romans took control of what was then known as Capua. The area grew into a cultural hub under Roman rule until the Normans took over the region, during which time Campania became part of the Kingdom of Sicily. The kingdom was eventually split and the southern portion of the Italian peninsula became known as the Kingdom of Naples. Alternately ruled by France and then Spain, with a brief period of independent rule, the area flourished as the city of Naples grew to become the second largest city in Europe.

The cultural history of Campania can be seen in the works of such artists as Caravaggio and Bernini and in the music of Rossini. While the art, architecture and physical grandeur of the region are legendary, many would argue that its greatest gift to the modern world was the invention of pizza in the 19th century. With it’s springtime climate and the draw of stunning beaches, islands, food and wine, Campania is a diverse and fascinating destination.

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