Wine and Travel

7 x What to do in Campania, Italy

wat te doen in Campania

What to do in Campania? Hello dear wine lovers! If you want to know what to do in Campania, I can recommend a few things. After all, Campania is authentic! You will find the spectacular Amalfi Coast, the world-famous pizza, and the best Italian wines. A visit to Campania is a treat of delicious food and equally delicious wines, breathtaking landscapes and overnight stays among the vineyards. And I should know, because I was born there, in the Irpinia and I grew up among the delicious Aglianico grapes on the hills around Benevento, Avellino and Caserta. With every trip I make to my native village, I combine visiting my dear nonna Lina, with a trip to a nearby vineyard. Of course you can contact me for tailored advice, but first read on for a preview.

1. Drink the best wines

Before we start our journey through Campania, let me tell you this. The Campania region has some of the tastiest wines in Italy. The history of winemaking here, dates back to ancient times and it is home to a few remarkable grape varieties, which you’ll understand are among my favorites. I list them for you below so you don’t accidentally miss one during your tour of Campania.

Red

  1. Taurasi: a prestigious red wine made from Aglianico grapes, deep and powerful with flavors of blackcurrant, spice and sometimes leathery notes. They often take some time to mature and get better with age.
  2. Aglianico: a grape variety used to make powerful red wines. Rich and full-bodied, with notes of dark berries, spices and sometimes even some smokiness. They go well, for example, with savoury meat dishes such as grilled red meat.
  3. Piedirosso: This is a grape variety often used in blends with other grape varieties. The wines usually have soft tannins and notes of red fruits such as cherries. They are smooth and easy to drink, making them a versatile choice for a variety of dishes.
  4. Lacrima Christi: Lacrima Christi is a red or white wine with a rich history. The red variety is often fruity and medium-bodied, while the white variety can be fresh and floral. They pair well with regional dishes.

There are many more regional wines of autochtonous grapes that are worth mentioning but they deserve an article on its own! Want to know more about Taurasi? Read this article.

White

  1. Falanghina: fresh and accessible white wines, often light and with aromas of citrus and flowers, great with salads and fish.
  2. Greco di Tufo: a white wine with lively acidity and aromas of green apple and citrus. These wines have a pleasant minerality and are great with seafood and light pasta dishes.
  3. Fiano di Avellino: a white wine known for its freshness and complexity with notes of peach, honey and nuts. It is an excellent choice with poultry and white meat dishes.

But let’s start with our trip, because there is a lot to enjoy!

2. The inland of Campania

What to do in Campania? Spend the night in a vineyard, of course! We start with the inland. Imagine picturesque hills covered with lush vineyards and ancient olive trees, pure food that will bring your taste buds to ecstasy, and every sip tells the story of Italy’s rich wine tradition. I am talking about the authentic, inland of Campania.

Mastroberardino

What to do in Campania. Visit the wine cellars of Mastroberardino
In the wine cellar at Mastroberardino

The most enjoyable wine experience is definitely at Mastroberardino wine resort, in Atripalda region of Avellino. Here you can enjoy wine tastings, walks through the vineyards and, in addition to culinary indulgences, a wonderful spa treatment.

Cantine di Marzo

Vineyard at Cantine di Marzo

Another must in this region is Cantine di Marzo, in the picturesque village of Tufo near my hometown. This winery traces back to the origin of Greco di Tufo. Here you can choose from different tours and in addition you will get to hear all the ins and outs about this family with their ancient traditions and the stories about the Greco di Tufo.

If you want to stay overnight in Tufo, I recommend checking out Feudo Di Castelmozzo where you can also stay among the vineyards.

Feudi di San Gregorio

A great tip for a visit and overnight stay at a very special winery, is the Feudi di San Gregorio, in Sorbo Serpico region of Avellino. Their vision is that a bottle of wine and a work of art share the same creative process. They therefore collaborate with famous artists and designers and you can attend courses given by their “Vine Whisperers”.

La casa di Bacco

Should you be interested in traveling to the inland of Campania, you can also visit my house there, in my family’s village. You can book the house of Bacchus, as I have officially christened my house, through airbnb. An article with all the sights nearby will follow. Definitely worth a visit!

3. Amalfi and Positano

View of Positano with pastel-colored houses that seem to cling to the mountainside

Are you an adventurer? Then a visit to the Amalfi Coast is a must. The enchanting Amalfi Coast, the jewel of the Campania coastline, has stolen my heart. After many trips to the coast, I still find myself enchanted by this picturesque stretch along the Tyrrhenian Sea. In addition to the steep cliffs and charming villages with their winding alleys, if you are a culture enthusiast, you will enjoy the historical sites, beautiful gardens, terraces and lively markets. It is not only the landscape that makes the Amalfi Coast special. In the well-known villages like Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, you’ll find cobblestone streets lined with boutiques, cafes and restaurants serving local delicacies.

For adventurers, there are trails that run along the coast and take you through olive groves and lemon groves. And let’s not forget the gastronomy – of course, you can enjoy traditional limoncello, the local lemon liqueur, here. Looking for a place to stay overnight? Then you can, for example in the vineyard of Tenuta San Francesco in Tramonti, literally translated between the mountains.

4. What to do in Campania?A visit to Naples and Mount Vesuvius

Still don’t know what to do in Campania? We continue our trip. Of course, a visit to Naples and Mount Vesuvius is not to be missed.

Naples

The secret of Naples is really its lively atmosphere and warm people.You will find busy markets, meet friendly locals and feel the passion around you during your visit. The city is steeped in history, culture and an unmistakable Italian character. In Spaccanapoli, the street that crosses the heart of the old town, you’ll take a trip through time. Clean laundry flutters from balconies, street kids (scugnizzi) run you over with their Vespas, and you stumble across impressive churches and artisan stores. Such is the colorful picture of downtown Naples.

In line at pizzeria Da Michele

In line at Pizzeria Da Michele

If you really don’t know what to do in Campania, go eat pizza! At Pizzeria Da Michele, on Via Cesare Sersale 1, line up to enjoy the best pizza in Naples, the city considered as the birthplace of this iconic delicacy.


Also, don’t forget to explore the Royal Palaces of Naples, where you will be immersed in royal splendor and historical grandeur.

Vesuvius

Towering majestically above it all is Vesuvius, the mighty volcano that once covered Pompeii.

Naples and Vesuvius

After climbing to the crater, you will be rewarded with fantastic panoramic views. Vineyards around Vesuvius worth visiting include:

Cantina del Vesuvio on the slope of the volcano, known for their Lacryma Christi, the delicious wine I wrotIn bed with Lacryma Christi – from the Vesuvius with lovee an article about earlier.

Casa Setaro, grows organic Caprettone, Piedirosso, Falanghina and Aglianico and has place to stay with your camper!

Tenuta Le lune del Vesuvio, a winery with a guesthouse.

5. Pompei and Hercolaneum.

At the foot of Mount Vesuvius lies Pompeii, once a bustling Roman city, now an enchanting archaeological site. A trip to this site is a journey back in time. Walking through the petrified streets and remnants of ancient buildings, you’ll get a glimpse of daily life in days gone by, and you can see well-preserved houses and admire colorful frescoes that bring the past to life.

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. immortalized a tragic but fascinating moment in history, and through the remains of ancient theaters, bathhouses and temples you can easily imagine what life was like before the disaster struck.

Herculaneum, slightly smaller than Pompeii, offers a more intimate glimpse into the daily life of the Romans. The beautifully preserved wooden structures, artifacts and unique prints of bodies buried under ash and rubble remind you how vulnerable human settlements are to the forces of nature.

A winery in Herculaneum worth visiting, with a bed and breakfast and wine tastings of their delicious “Vesuvio D.O.C,” is the Azienda Agricola Fuocomorto.

6. Salerno and Paestum

Want to know what to do in Campania? Then be sure to travel to Salerno and Paestum, two gems on the Tyrrhenian coast of southern Italy. If you are looking for a unique Italian experience, these two places should be on your list. These destinations are a beautiful combo of history, culture and natural beauty.

Salerno

Salerno is where you can find me when it comes to shopping. The town, located on the Gulf of Salerno, exudes an authentic charm. The historic city center with its narrow streets full of colorful buildings and local artisan stores is a feast for the eyes, and I especially love going there at Christmas, when the downtown area is spectacularly decorated. Also visit Salerno’s magnificent cathedral, which survived the devastating 1980 Irpinia earthquake, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the medieval Arechi Castle. 17 km outside the city, in the Monti Picentini regional park, you can do a wine tour at the Montevetrano winery or stop by the cozy Countryhouse A casa mia wine resort.

Paestum

In Paestum, I often go to the beach during my vacations in Campania. It is an archaeological site known for its well-preserved Greek temples from the 6th century BC. There are impressive ruins to admire and you can visit the museum to get a deeper understanding of ancient Greek civilization. Paestum is also known for its fresh buffalo mozzarella and you can eat delicious food there. There are some trendy beach clubs along the coast (Beach club Molo Sirena Paestum!) and the food is exceptionally good. Great places to visit or stay overnight: I vini del Cavaliere at 7km from the beach, Tenuta Mainardi where I visited last year, or Azienda Agricola Cardosa (please tell them Winespicegirl says hi!)

7. Capri and Ischia

Next stops.

Capri and Ischia are two heavenly islands off the coast of Naples. I visited them often as a child and last year I was there on a wine trip. Because of their enchanting and idyllic islands, these islands are perfect for a trip full of natural splendor, culture and relaxation.

Capri

Capri is synonymous with beauty as it boasts crystal clear waters, dramatic cliffs and vibrant flora. Despite my fear of heights, I love going there. Prepare for a mad dash full of twists and turns to the top of the island, but trust me, it’s worth it.

What to do in Campania at Capri

In the narrow streets of Capri town, you can enjoy designer boutiques and chic cafes. At the Villa San Michele, you have beautiful views and stunning gardens. Capri is truly elegant and sophisticated.

You can stop by Cantine Isola di Capri to discover local wines.

Ischia the wellness paradise

Ischia, the green island, is known for its thermal springs and wellness facilities. A day spent soaking in the hot springs of Negombo or Poseidon Gardens is truly a treat. Ischia also offers an abundance of lush gardens and enchanting villages such as Sant’Angelo. On an islet off the coast is the medieval Aragonese Castle.

Also, the beautiful island of Ischia has its own vineyard paradise. At Casa D’Ambra you can taste local wines and enjoy the island feeling.

A presto!

In conclusion, our trip is over for now! I hope I was able to inspire you with the stories about my native region, but this was just a tip of the hat.

If you want more information about the different ‘cantine’ in Campania, follow in my footsteps by checking out the Campania highlights on my instagram page or contact me to plot a personalized wine tour advice and even more tips on what to do in Campania.

Should you be traveling to Campania soon, buon viaggio in advance!