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Easily one of the most picturesque places on earth, this Italian Eden—situated about two-thirds down the boot on the Tyrrhenian coast—boasts colorful cliffside villages, rolling olive groves, crystalline turquoise surf, and arguably the best pizza you’ll ever taste. You could spend weeks in Campania (the region encompassing Naples, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast) winding your way from its serene mountain villages to its jaw-dropping Roman ruins—Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Paestum—to its star-studded beaches and luxury resorts. But even if only a few days are in the cards, this corner of Italy is still well worth exploring.Read More
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Allot at least 24 hours for Naples, the rough-and-ready metropolis that Flaubert called a "Mediterranean Paris" for its vibrant art, fashion, and street life. Founded in the 2nd millennium BC, it’s one of the oldest cities in Europe, and you can feel that heritage among the crooked, ramshackle buildings of the Centro Storico, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Between obligatory stops at the Duomo, Naples’ cathedral; Sansevero Chapel, home of the Veiled Christ; and the Archaeology Museum, with its miles of Ancient Roman artifacts, snack on street-food favorites like pizza a portafoglio, folded up like a letter, and frittatine, creamy pasta fritters. The city is worth a visit for its food alone.

Trace the coastline southeast and you’re in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, whose catastrophic eruption in 79 AD preserved Pompeii and Herculaneum as if in amber. Tour the ruins of these ancient Roman cities before winding down the Sorrento Peninsula, where you can take a scenic seaside hike in the Lattari Mountains Regional Park or hop on a ferry to Capri, the storybook island flung off the promontory’s western tip.

Capri is a honeymooner’s paradise, thanks to its quaint towns perched on scrubby bluffs that plunge into the Mediterranean. Some of the region’s glitziest resorts are here, so be prepared for a sizeable price hike compared to the mainland. Key sites include the gardens of Villa San Michele, the viewpoint at Monte Solaro, and Anacapri’s old town.

The Amalfi Coast—with its gravity-defying hill towns, postcard-perfect beaches, and lush green woodlands—lies along the southern edge of the Sorrento Peninsula. Unparalleled in beauty, both natural and man-made, it’s no wonder this swath of coastline is a bucket-list mainstay. Positano and Amalfi, with their cheerily painted houses and see-and-be-seen restaurants and hotels, are the main hubs of tourist activity. Smaller villages like Praiano and Conca dei Marini are quieter and slower-paced, ideal for those who would rather flit around in beachwear all day. Some of the best deals (and local food) are to be had in inland towns like Ravello and Bomerano, ever-so-slightly removed from the fray. High season runs from April to September; in these months, expect soaring hotel prices and bumper-to-bumper traffic along the two-lane SS-163.

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The coast is at its best in April, May, and early June. The weather is generally pleasant, and hotels and restaurants have just reopened for...Read More

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