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You’ll want to translate the full name of this stunningly beautiful little village to get a clue to its attractions. Sant Agata sui Due Golfi means “above two gulfs”, and the views of the Gulf of Naples to the north and the Gulf of Salerno to the south are one reason locals flock up here.
The village itself is small and very traditional. The local convent is called the desert as an indication of the isolation that its former inhabitants could enjoy.
Head down to the Amalfi coast for some of Italy’s most famous seaside resorts. Just back to the east are the world famous remains of Pompeii. And you can check out whether the old saying, “see Naples and die” is true just up the coast to the north.
But if you just want to soak up the silence and the incredible countryside, then pack your walking boots and enjoy some excellent local hiking trails through woods and hills, or down into Sorrento, one of Italy’s prettiest coastal cities.
Despite its tiny size, you can dine at two Michelin-star standard in Sant Agata itself, at the Don Alfonso 1890. But this is Italy, you’ll struggle to eat badly and diving into the regional cuisine is one of the highlights of any Italian journey. Here in Campania, you have a whole host of fantastic local specialities to check out.
Naples is famously the home of the world’s best pizza. Certainly the most authentic. Spaghetti with clams is another city favourite, and fried stuffed pizza dough balls and fried rice balls are popular street snacks.
Local mozzarella, particularly from Caserta, is world famous, and Cetara is said to produce Italy’s best anchovies, which feature heavily in local dishes. In Salerno, you’ll find several regional cheeses and famous brands of olive oil.
And you already know limoncello, surely. Whether you already love it or are about to fall in love with this lemon liqueur, welcome to its homeland!
The Amalfi Coast is world famous – Nerano and Positano particularly – shingle or pebble beaches, rather than sandy but famous for their views and scenery. The Amalfi Coast is famous for its stunning bays, with woodlands cloaking slopes down to the sea and beautiful towns clinging to the lower hillsides. If you love walking, the Amalfi Coast is perfect for you, with some of the most spectacularly beautiful coastal hikes in the world.
Naples is the capital of Italy’s south and a crazy, hugely alive place. It’s also an enormous living museum, with a UNESCO World Heritage historic centre and some of the best ancient sites anywhere – including Rome – in the Roman Empire. Then there’s the food, including many of the dishes that have made Italian food one of the world’s favourite cuisines.
Pompeii must be somewhere on most travellers’ must-see lists. A Roman city frozen in volcanic time, the place still has the power to take the breath away.
While you’re in Campania make sure you make time for at least a short visit to Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast’s capital. Sitting on cliffs, you won’t find any beaches here, but you will find beautiful buildings, some fine museums and the local lace, ceramics and woodwork that are world famous.