From the sprawling city of Naples to the majestic Amalfi Coast, Campania is easily one of Italy’s most beautiful regions and best-kept tourist secret. Campania is located on the southwest coast of Italy, somewhere between Rome and Sicily, therefore peacefully off the typical tourist route. Another draw for Campania is its cheap hostels, allowing for a great location while saving some funds on an otherwise expensive Italian adventure.
Campania’s capital city is Naples (or Napoli), which is also Italy’s third largest metropolis. Naples sits on the coast of the famous bay where Mount Vesuvius looms in the distance. Because of its coastal construction and influx of immigrants, Naples can’t quite keep up with its own growth. Much of the city is overpopulated, run-down, and teeming with trash. Its charm can be found along the bay, in the halls of its archeological museum, and in its mouth-watering pizza. Naples is also, however, the jumping-off point to see the rest of Campania, with extensive trains and bus networks that go all over Capri, Salerno, and Caserta. There are quite a few hostels to choose from in Naples. Some hostels will be closer to the train station, conveniently located but in an especially grimy neighborhood, while others will have safer locations a bit farther from the main transportation routes.
Doable day trips from Naples include Pompeii, the island of Capri, and Salerno. Pompeii is reachable by train and has few hostels itself, so it’s worth taking a round-trip from Naples. The site itself is miles wide in every direction. Plan ahead and wear good walking shoes! On a nice day, take a trip from Naples to the Amalfi Coast, where you might just want to spend the night upon seeing the colorful homes teetering on the cliffs and the umbrella-filled beaches stretching out below. Positano is a gorgeous spot, but has grown massively popular since being featured in “Under the Tuscan Sun;” however, Sorrento, Amalfi, or even Capri would offer views just as stunning and crowds less suffocating. Hostels here will be more difficult to find (there is usually only one true hostel in each of the Amalfi towns, with other accommodation options more similar to bed-and-breakfasts) and more expensive than in Naples, but it may be worthwhile to spend a night or two if you can.
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Salerno is definitely less dangerous than Naples. I duly recommend it to use it as a base for touring around the area (1 day in Pompei, 1 day on the Amalfi Coast, 1 day in Capri). Salerno has nothing really special to offer, but is quieter than Naples and from the train station to the hostel is a nice walk. From …
I have visited Sorrento twice. I absolutely love it there, it is one of my favourite places in the whole world. I would strongly reccomend anyone to visit Sorrento and the surrounding area, as it is beautiful and the culture is fantastic! I can't wait to go back!
If you are travelling on your own, do ALL you can to avoid staying close to the station - it is an extremely seedy area. The rest of Naples is beautifully chaotic, and feels much safer. Great food and great people.
Positano is glamorous -- just as it is in the movies.