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Southern Italy’s largest city, Naples is famous for its intoxicating mix of Old World charm and modern grit. This is one of the oldest cities in Europe, with enough art, architecture, and archeology to hold its own against other metropolitan cities. But it’s the wood-fired pizza that really brings the crowds. Naples’ historic center (a UNESCO World Heritage site) offers plenty of attractions between pizzeria stops: Don’t miss the Chiesa di San Gregorio Armeno, a 16th-century Baroque masterpiece, and the Duomo, a Roman Catholic cathedral that broke ground in the 13th century. View objects from Pompeii at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli or revel in the Rococo glory of Museo Cappella Sansevero, built in the late 1500s. End the day as locals do, taking a promenade as the sun sets over the Bay of Naples.

The southern region of Campania has a lot to recommend; from Naples to the spectacular islands of Capri and Ischia, to the world-renowned ruins of Pompeii, to the famed Amalfi coast. But Campania, Italy’s second most populous region and one that has, like much of Italy’s south, struggled with poverty in the past, has lots of off-the-beaten-path destinations, too. The best ancient Greek runs on Italy’s mainland can be found in Paestum. And Salerno, a bustling, un-touristy town on the Amalfi coast is a great stop.

Visit Campania if: you’re looking for a taste of Italy’s sun-soaked south, but don’t have time for more than a day or weekend trip from Rome or Florence; you want to visit Naples; you want to visit Italy’s most famous coastline; you won’t necessarily have your own car (you can get around the most popular parts of Campania easily by public transport); you want to taste real mozzarella di bufala and proper pizza napolitana.

Major cities of Campania: Afragola, Acerra, Avellino, Aversa, Battipaglia, Benevento, Casoria, Caserta, Catellammare di Stabia, Cava de’Tirreni, Ercolano, Giugliano in Campania, Marano di Napoli, Portici, Pozzuoli, Salerno, Torre del Greco, Scafati

What to eat: pizza, meatballs, mozzarella, drink coffee!!, Risotto all Pescatora, Spaghetti con Vongole, Parmigiana Melanzane, Caprese Salad, Totani e Patate, Polpette, Pesce all’Acqua Pazza, Fritto Misto di Mare, Broccoli and Salsiccia