An on-the-road itinerary of 7 days in Campania to explore the wonders of a territory that offers unique experiences and unforgettable emotions.
Sun and sea, art, cuisine, unspoiled scenery, cities full of unmissable attractions and experiences to be lived. Campania is a land that offers extraordinary emotions and endless adventures. An on-the-road itinerary is the ideal way to explore this eclectic and colorful region, which represents an essential part of Italian culture.
For this reason, our journey of 7 days in Campania will take us to discover some of the most spectacular places in Italy, in a tour through history, traditions and legends, from the most famous ones to the secret and hidden treasures, which make this territory so magical, special and absolutely not to be missed.
An unmissable itinerary on-the-road of 7 days in Campania
It’s the city of Naples, capital and beating heart of the region, to be the starting and arrival point of our itinerary of 7 days in Campania. Here we will explore the countless tourist attractions and experience a journey through the flavors of local gastronomic culture, known, loved and exported all over the world.
Then we’ll rent a car and then move north for a few kilometers, until reaching Caserta and its splendid artistic and architectural heritage; while for the third stage we’ll return to our steps, coming back towards Naples and then turning south towards Salerno. Along the way we will meet the Vesuvius National Park and the unmissable and amazing Pompeii Archeological Park, which alone would be worth the trip.
Then we’ll make a stop in Salerno for the fourth stage, before reaching Paestum and Cilento to appreciate the beautiful combination of historical sites and outstanding scenery. Only at this point we will return to the north; but once we arrive again in Salerno, instead of following back the road already traveled, we'll drive along the enchanting Amalfi Coast, which offers villages and views among the most spectacular in all of Italy.
Finally, as the last stop before returning to Naples, we’ll visit Capri, revealing its beauty and charm that makes it truly a unique and special island.
Ready to go? Let’s start without further ado our itinerary to discover the magical places of this truly enchanted land.
1st stage: Naples, base of the itinerary of 7 days in Campania
It says a Neapolitan proverb that ‘a meglio parola è chela ca nun se dice: it means that, sometimes, silence is worth more than a thousand speeches. And to describe Naples, in fact, not too many words are needed. We just have to listen to the sound of the sea, savor the tastes of typical foods, admire the cultural attractions of its wonderful old town and get lost in the beauty of its picturesque streets.
That’s why the city is a perfect starting point for our journey of 7 days in Campania. Of course, being able to dedicate one day to the visit, we’ll only have to scratch the surface of all that Naples can offer.
For example, we can start with a morning walk through the historic center along Via dei Tribunali, admiring the Cathedral of the 13th century containing the Treasury of San Gennaro and then continuing along the charming Via San Gregorio Armeno, that will take us right to Spaccanapoli, in the heart of the city.
Here we can take a break in one of the restaurants of the area to enjoy the most delicious Neapolitan dishes; then, in the afternoon, we can go shopping in the stores of Via Toledo, heading south towards Piazza del Plebiscito.
Those who still have the desire to discover new attractions can visit the Royal Palace or Castel Nuovo; otherwise, we can simply stroll aimlessly in the adjacent Chiaia district until reaching the Lungomare Caracciolo, where we’ll enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Gulf of Naples.
In this area we can also spend a wonderful and lively evening to conclude in the best way our Neapolitan stage.Visit Naples with the advantages of the Naples Pass❯
2nd stage: Caserta, the Royal Palace and surroundings
In the railway station of Napoli Centrale or at the Naples International Airport we can easily rent a car and then head north and reach Caserta: from the airport there are about 30 km for less than one hour of travel.
Here we can visit one of the most incredible royal palaces in the world, the famous Royal Palace of Caserta, undisputed icon of the city. To explore the building, designed by Luigi Vanvitelli in the 18th century and completed in 1845, and the 1200 rooms that characterize its historic apartments just one day wouldn’t be enough, not to mention the fabulous Park and the Royal Gardens that extend north of the building.
Of course, those who love baroque and neoclassical architecture can spend the whole day discovering the secrets of this extraordinary royal residence. But in Caserta there are also other attractions worth a visit.
In the afternoon, for example, we can cross the picturesque streets of the historic center until we reach the Cathedral of San Michele Arcangelo, an enchanting baroque church located in the heart of the city.
Or we can dedicate a few hours to a tour around the city, in the medieval village of Casertavecchia: ten kilometers away, will not fail to amaze us thanks to its fascinating alleys, the beautiful Duomo and the fantastic views from the Belvedere.
In the evening, let’s come back to Caserta to relax after this busy day (although those who still have energy can have fun in one of the many bars on the streets of the center).
3rd stage: going to Salerno, through Pompeii and the Vesuvius National Park
The shortest route to reach Salerno starting from Caserta is to follow the A30 motorway passing through Nola, Sarno and Nocera-Pagani. But a more interesting itinerary, only slightly longer (a little more than an hour’s journey, not including stops) is the one that takes us back to Naples and then to Torre del Greco, following the A3 motorway.
From here we can head towards the Vesuvius National Park, where we can explore the beautiful paths on the slopes of one of the most famous volcanoes in the world, walking in a unique landscape to discover the secrets of an extraordinary natural ecosystem.
And what if instead of exploring the landscapes of Vesuvius, we wanted to know something about its history and the tragic consequences of the eruptions of the past? In this case, we have to pass Torre del Greco and leave the motorway at the exit of Pompeii West: in just few minutes we’ll enter the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, a place so well known that it appears almost superfluous to describe it.
Here History seems to rewind its own tape and catapult us back in time almost two thousand years. As famous as the tragic event of the eruption of Pompeii in 79 AD may be, there’s no way to be prepared for the emotions that the atmosphere of this incredible and unfortunate city manages to convey to its visitors. It’s an experience not to be missed.
From Pompeii to Salerno is about half an hour’s drive. We’ll arrive in the late afternoon, ready to spend a pleasant evening in one of the restaurants of the historic center enjoying a dish of scialatielli, a typical local recipe of fresh pasta.
4th stage: Salerno, from the historic center to the Castle
Salerno historic center is a treasure to be discovered. Along Corso Vittorio Emanuele, a pedestrian street that starts from the station square, there are shops and bars that make the walk pleasant and generally crowded. But it’s only after Piazza Sedile di Portanova that you really enter the heart of the city.
Here begins Via Mercanti, smaller and scenic artery that is intersected by numerous side streets full of typical restaurants and bed & breakfast. Following Via Duomo, perpendicular to via Mercanti, we can reach in few minutes the Cathedral of Salerno (Cathedral of Santa Maria degli Angeli, San Matteo and San Gregorio VII).
The inner courtyard, the Church and its mosaics, the Crypt of San Matteo, which preserves the remains of the saint: the Cathedral is a perfect place for lovers of medieval art and religious architecture, and it’s easy to spend at least a couple of hours inside the building.
After leaving the Duomo, let’s take the car and go out of the center, on the heights surrounding the city, to visit the charming Arechi Castle. Exploring the castle is one of the typical activities not only for tourists, but also for the Salernitani themselves.
In fact, in addition to the interesting Archaeological and Medieval Museum and the walk along the walls, from the panoramic terrace of the Arechi we can enjoy extraordinary views of the city below and the Gulf, while along one of the many paths of the area we can immerse ourselves in the lush nature of the Mediterranean scrub, following various paths very appreciated by trekking enthusiasts.
Back in the city center, for dinner let’s taste again some of the wonderful dishes of the city: if the night before we opted for pasta, this time we could focus on a fish recipe. And for dessert, do not fail to try the fabulous delizia al limone!
5th stage: Paestum and Cilento
For the fifth stage of our itinerary of 7 days in Campania, let’s leave Salerno heading south towards the beautiful Cilento.
The first site that we are going to visit on this day will be the Paestum Archaeological Park: we’ll reach it in less than an hour of travel, then we’ll explore the ancient temples of what was one of the most important sites of the entire Magna Graecia. In addition, the Park provides a convenient app that acts as an audio guide, very useful if we want to reveal all the secrets of this place which owns such an ancient and fascinating history.
Besides the Archaeological Park, the municipality of Capaccio Paestum offers other very interesting destinations to discover, such as the ruins of the Temple of Hera Argiva, which according to legend dates back to the time of Jason and the Argonauts, located in Gromola; or as the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Granato, which from Capaccio Vecchio dominates the surrounding area, offering breathtaking views of the Gulf of Salerno up to the Amalfi Coast and Capri.
In the afternoon, sea lovers can spend a few hours relaxing along the beautiful promenade in the suburb of Laura (for those who have more time available, the wonderful beaches of Acciaroli and Palinuro are about an hour away); instead, if we want to immerse ourselves in the beautiful nature of the inland Cilento, we can explore the villages, caves, paths and panoramas of one of the most beautiful parks in Italy: the Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni National Park.
For the evening, let’s come back to Paestum, to enjoy a pizza topped with the outstanding buffalo mozzarella produced in the numerous and renowned local dairies.
6th stage: the unique landscapes of the Amalfi Coast
From Paestum we drive along the Tyrrhenian Sea towards Salerno. After passing the city, once near Vietri Sul Mare, instead of taking the motorway towards Naples we head towards the Amalfi Coast (SS 163), following the signs for Amalfi or Positano.
From this moment on, the itinerary that we propose is only one among the many possible options: in fact every town, or maybe even every turn, every meter of the road can be the good one to stop and admire the extraordinary views of the Coast, to discover its essence and its secrets, and to enter the soul of this spectacular and unique land.
We can then make a first stop in the village of Ravello, reachable by turning right just before Atrani, and walk up to the Terrazza dell’Infinito to enjoy a view so spectacular that it’s really difficult to describe it in words.
Then we return to the coast to reach Amalfi, heart of the Amalfi Coast, where we’ll stop for a quick lunch to taste the excellent products of the territory (for example, a glass of the incomparable local Limoncello!) before exploring the old town and its cultural attractions.
In the afternoon, leaving Amalfi, we pass the beautiful area of Furore to get to Positano, another pearl of the Coast where it’s worth stopping at least a couple of hours.
Keep in mind that, from Positano, it takes almost an hour to reach Sorrento, the ideal place to stay for the night after spending the evening in one of the restaurants in the historic center. Also in this case, the recipes of the local tradition are many and all fantastic. One for all: Gnocchi alla Sorrentina.
7th stage: the magical atmosphere of Capri
For the last stage of our trip of 7 days in Campania, let’s leave the car aside and go on one of the many ferries that from Sorrento get to the isle of Capri every day.
In about 20 minutes we reach the tourist harbour of Marina Grande, from where we can start discovering the island on foot or, more comfortably, with the funicular that from the port arrives in the heart of the village, a few steps from the picturesque Piazzetta.
From here, we can climb to the beautiful Gardens of Augustus to admire wonderful views of the sea and the famous Faraglioni, a real symbol of Capri in the world.
Then, coming back to the Piazzetta, we can start a very suggestive path that, first crossing the streets of the village and then following Via Tiberio, will take us in about 45 minutes to the historic Villa Jovis, the personal palace of the Emperor Tiberius dating back to the first century AD.
Those who are more interested in nature than history, instead, can choose to reach by bus the village of Anacapri, less chic but more authentic than Capri, and then take part in an excursion in the amazing Blue Grotto, an extraordinarily fascinating place that seems to come out of a fairy tale.
Whether you choose one or the other option, what matters is to breathe in the incredible atmosphere of this magical, elegant and spontaneous island, with its charming alleys, staircases, gardens and magnificent views.
After a last stop in the historic center, in the afternoon we must return to the harbour and take the ferry back to Sorrento.
With still in the eyes the unique and stunning scenery that we could appreciate throughout all our itinerary, we take the car and drive towards Naples (1 hour trip) to conclude in this way, not without a bit of nostalgia, the magnificent journey through the wonders of Campania.