Campania, the region around Naples, offers a number of places to visit. You can do these as day trips, or one or several night stays.
- Naples - the third largest city in Italy, full of crowds and poverty but also fun, beauty, and history.
- Campi Flegrei - the Phlegrean Fields ("burning fields" in Greek) are a beautiful area just West of Naples full of history, including the towns of Pozzuoli, Arco Felice, Baia, Bacoli, Miseno, Cuma, Monterusciello, and Monte di Procida.
- Vesuvius Area - besides the mountain itself, this area boasts two of the best Roman archeological sites, Pompeii and Herculaneum.
- Sorrento - beautiful Sorrento warmly welcomes visitors and serves as a gateway to the rugged wonders of the Sorrentine Peninsula.
- Amafli Coast - one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, this area offers excellent outdoor activities, amazing towns perched between the mountains and sea, and an exhilarating coastal drive
- Gulf of Naples Islands (Capri, Procida, and Ischia) - these three islands, just a short ferry or hydrofoil ride away from Naples, Pozzuoli, or Sorrento, let you get away from it all with an easygoing atmosphere, amazing views, and fun sights such as Capri's famous Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto).
- Northern Campania (Caserta, etc.) - Known for its rich farmland, the major draw north of Naples is the Royal Palace of Caserta, a Versailles-like estate which starred in the Star Wars prequels as Natalie Portman's palace, and the associated gardens and Vanvitelli acqueduct.
- Southern Campania (Paestum, etc.) - South of the Amalfi Coast Campania becomes more rural, featuring Italy's second-largest National Park (Cilento), fresh mozzarella, a relatively undeveloped coast, and the Parthenon-like Greek temples of Paestum.
- Eastern Campania (Avellino, etc.) - This more mountanous region has a number of cultural treasures and other interesting activites, such as Nola's annual Gigli festival. Also see the separate Avellino hiking page.
...also see Sample Itineraries suggested for visitors, etc.
See the Events Page
for a list of upcoming and recurring events in and around Naples.
A great way to see the best sights in Naples and save money is to get the Campania Artecard 365. [Note: as of Nov 2009, this site appears to be broken. You can read most of the details at the Ticketclic website.] This €40 card allows you to visit most major attractions for free, twice in one calendar year, and it gives you discounts on other sights and additional visits. For people visiting Naples for a short time, there are also a number of short-term options, including the Campania 3 Day card (which includes free public transit anywhere in Campania) detailed on the transportation page. You can buy the cards at the Garibaldi Central Train Station, at the Capodichino (Civilian) Airport Terminal, and most major sights (e.g. Pompei, Herculaneum, Archeological Museum, Royal Palace...). Sometimes the USO also has tickets.
The following are books, websites, and other resources for exploring the Naples area:
- Time Out Naples - an excellent guidebook, with just the right amount of information (it gives you great history and background, but not so much that it becomes unweildly)
- Let's Go! Italy - written by Harvard students, an indispensible guidebook to traveling cheap throughout Italy. Great for finding hostels and cheap (but good) places to eat.
The following groups run tours for people associated with the US government:
- ITT - many of their day tours focus on the best sights in the region; especially recommended are tours led by Aldo Sparice, a historian/archeologist who leads most of the cultural day tours (downtown, Archeological Museum, Campi Flegrei, Pompei, etc.). You can register for trips online, or visit their offices at Capo (2nd floor of Capo Landing) or Support Site (between the NEX and the food court). To contact Aldo to arrange for a private tour, email him at email@example.com or call him at 339-153-8009 (cell) or 081-544-6167 (home).
- USO - runs similar tours to ITT. Like ITT, you can sign up on the website or at their office at the Capo military airport terminal or Support Site (next to the Library)
- Liberty Center - runs a few trips every month, focused primarily on single sailors, but anyone may register. Check out their "Liberty Times" newsletter (on their website) or visit their office at Capo (on the ground floor of the barracks) for more information.
- ICR - in addition to informational classes, ICR runs day trips, although they are almost always during the work week (M-F). See the FFSC Monthly Events page for a schedule of upcoming classes and trips, or visit their office in the FFSC (in the same building as the Navy Lodge).
- JFC MWA - the NATO version of MWR at JFC offers various tours and also helps coordinate events at JFC.