For other uses see Campania (disambiguation).
Campania is a region of southern Italy in Europe. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy, its total area of 13,595 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country. Located on the Italian Peninsula, with the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west, the small Flegrean Islands and Capri are also administratively part of the region.
Throughout much of its history Campania has been at the centre of Western Civilisation's most significant entities. The area was colonised by Ancient Greeks and was within Magna Græcia, until the Roman Republic began to dominate. During the Roman era the area was highly respected as a place of culture by the emperors, where it balanced Greco-Roman culture. The area had many duchies and principalities during the Middle Ages, in the hands of the Byzantine Empire and some Lombards.
It was under the Normans that the smaller independent states were brought together as part of a sizable European kingdom, known as the Kingdom of Sicily, before the mainland broke away to form the Kingdom of Naples. It was during this period that especially elements of Spanish, French and Aragonese culture touched Campania. Later the area became the central part of the Two Sicilies under the Bourbons, until the Italian unification of 1860 when it became part of the new state Italy.
The capital city of Campania is Naples. Campania is rich in culture, especially in regards to gastronomy, music, architecture, archeological and ancient sites such as Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum. The name of Campania itself is derived from Latin, as the Romans knew the region as Campania felix, which translates into English as "fertile countryside". The rich natural sights of Campania make it highly important in the tourism industry, especially along the Amalfi Coast, Mount Vesuvius and the island of Capri.
Campania is the second most populated region.
See main article: Samnite Wars and Magna Græcia. The original inhabitants of Campania were three defined groups of the Ancient peoples of Italy, who all spoke the Oscan language which is part of the Italic family; their names were the Osci, the Aurunci and the Ausones. During the 8th century BC, people from Euboea in Greece known as Cumaeans began to establish colonies in the area roughly around the modern day province of Naples. Another Oscan tribe, the Samnites, had moved from central Italy down into Campania. Since the Samnites were more warlike than the civilised Campanians, they easily took over the cities of Capua and Cumae, in the area which was one of the most prosperous and fertile in the Italian Peninsula at the time. During the 340s BC, the Samnites were engaging in warfare with the Roman Republic in a dispute known as the Samnite Wars, with the Romans securing rich pastures of northern Campania during the First Samnite War.
The major remaining independent Greek settlement was Neapolis, and when the town was eventually caputured by the Samnites, the Neapolitans were in need of help. However, Philip II of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great), the major Greek leader of the time, was busy fighting further east, so the Neapolitans could not look to the Greeks for assistance. This left them with no other option than to call on the Romans, with whom they established an alliance, setting off the Second Samnite War. The Roman consul Quinto Publilio Filone recaptured Neapolis by 326 BC and allowed it to remain a Greek city with some autonomy as a civitas foederata while strongly aligned with Rome. The Second Samnite War ended with the Romans controlling southern Campania and additional regions further to the south.
See main article: Roman Republic, Roman Empire and Italia (Roman Empire). Campania was a fully fledged part of the Roman Republic by the end of the 4th century BC and was a highly valued area, not only for its useful pastures and rich countryside but as a centre of Hellenistic civilization, with its Greek language and customs, creating essentially the first traces of Greco-Roman culture. The Romans had established power on the entire Italian Peninsula, however the Pyrrhic War and the rebellion of the major Magna Græcia cities under Pyrrhus of Epirus in the south brought unrest. A battle took place in Campania at Maleventum, when the Romans led by consul Curius Dentatus were victorious they renamed the city Beneventum (modern day Benevento) and it grew in stature, second only to Capua in southern Italy. During the Second Punic War in 216 BC, Capua saw an opportunity to levy for more power, the city allied with Carthage against Rome, after Capua had their demand of complete equality of power with the Romans rejected. The Capuans were rebellious and isolated as the rest of Campania were loyal allies of Rome, for example Hannibal was forced to flee from Naples, never having set foot in it due to the imposing walls. Capua was eventually starved into submission in the Roman retaking of 211 BC, the Romans came out victorious in the overall wars. The rest of Campania, with the exception of Naples, adopted the Latin language as official and was Romanised. As part of the Roman Empire, it was a comfortable period for Campania who with Latium, formed the most important region of the Augustan divisions of Italia; Campania was one of the main areas for grainery. The powerful Roman Emperors chose Campania as an ideal holiday destination, amongst them Claudius and Tiberius, the latter of whom is infamously linked to the island of Capri. It was during this period that Christianity came to Campania; two of the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul are said to have preached in the city of Naples, there were also several martyrs during this time. Unfortunately, the period of relative calm was violently interrupted by the epic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 which wiped the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum from the face of the earth. With the Decline of the Roman Empire its last emperor Romulus Augustus was put in a manor house prison near Castel dell'Ovo, Naples in 467, ushering in the beginning of the Dark Ages and a period of uncertainty in regards to the future of the area.
See main article: Kingdom of Sicily, Kingdom of Naples and List of monarchs of Naples. After a period as a Norman kingdom, the Kingdom of Sicily was passed on to the Hohenstaufens who were a highly powerful Germanic royal house of Swabian origins. The University of Naples Federico II was founded by Frederick II in the city, the oldest state university in the world, making Naples the intellectual centre of the kingdom. Conflict between the Hohenstaufen house and the Papacy, led in 1266 to Pope Innocent IV crowning Angevin Dynasty duke Charles I as the king of the kingdom: Charles officially moved the capital from Palermo to Naples where he resided at the Castel Nuovo. During this period much Gothic architecture sprang up around Naples, including the Naples Cathedral, which is the main church of the city.
In 1281, with the advent of the Sicilian Vespers, the kingdom split in half. The Angevin Kingdom of Naples included the southern part of the Italian peninsula, while the island of Sicily became the Aragonese Kingdom of Sicily. The wars continued until the peace of Caltabellotta in 1302, which saw Frederick III recognised as king of the Isle of Sicily, while Charles II was recognised as the king of Naples by Pope Boniface VIII. Despite the split, Naples grew in importance, attracting Pisan and Genoese merchants, Tuscan bankers, and with them some of the most championed Renaissance artists of the time, such as Boccaccio, Petrarch and Giotto. Alfonso I conquered Naples after his victory against the last Angevin king, René, Naples was unified for a brief period with Sicily again.
See main article: Kingdom of Naples, Parthenopaean Republic, Two Sicilies and List of monarchs of the Two Sicilies. Sicily and Naples were separated in 1458 but remained as dependencies of Aragon under Ferrante. The new dynasty enhanced Naples' commerce by establishing relations with the Iberian peninsula. Naples also became a centre of the Renaissance, with artists such as Laurana, da Messina, Sannazzaro and Poliziano arriving in the city. During 1501 Naples became under direct rule from France at the time of Louis XII, as Neapolitan king Frederick was taken as a prisoner to France; this lasted only four years. Spain won Naples at the Battle of Garigliano and, as a result, Naples became under direct rule as part of the Spanish Empire throughout the entire Habsburg Spain period. The Spanish sent viceroys to Naples to directly deal with local issues: the most important of which was Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, who was responsible for considerable social, economic and urban progress in the city; he also supported the Inquisition. During this period Naples became Europe's second largest city after only Paris. It was a cultural powerhouse during the Baroque era as home to artists including Caravaggio, Rosa and Bernini, philosophers such as Telesio, Bruno, Campanella and Vico, and writers such as Battista Marino. A revolution led by local fisherman Masaniello saw the creation of a brief independent Neapolitan Republic, though this last only a few months before Spanish rule was regained. Finally, by 1714, the Spanish ceased to rule Naples as a result of the War of the Spanish Succession; it was the Austrian Charles VI who ruled from Vienna, similarly with viceroys. However, the War of the Polish Succession saw the Spanish regain Sicily and Naples as part of a personal union, which in the Treaty of Vienna were recognised as independent under a cadet branch of the Spanish Bourbons in 1738 under Charles VII. During the time of Ferdinand IV, the French Revolution made its way to Naples: Horatio Nelson, an ally of the Bourbons, even arrived in the city in 1798 to warn against it. However, Ferdinand was forced to retreat and fled to Palermo, where he was protected by a British fleet. Naples' lower classes (the lazzaroni) were pious and Royalist, favouring the Bourbons; in the mêlée that followed, they fought the Neapolitan pro-Republican aristocracy, causing a civil war. The Republicans conquered Castel Sant'Elmo and proclaimed a Parthenopaean Republic, secured by the French Army. A counter-revolutionary religious army of lazzaroni under Fabrizio Ruffo was raised; they had great success and the French surrendered the Neapolitan castles and were allowed to sail back to Toulon.
Ferdinand IV was restored as king; however, after only seven years Napoleon conquered the kingdom and instated Bonapartist kings including his brother Joseph Bonaparte. With the help of the Austrian Empire and allies, the Bonapartists were defeated in the Neapolitan War and Bourbon Ferdinand IV once again regained the throne and the kingdom. The Congress of Vienna in 1815 saw the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily combined to form the Two Sicilies, with Naples as the capital city. Naples became the first city on the Italian peninsula to have a railway in 1839, there were many factories throughout the kingdom making it a highly important trade centre.
See main article: Politics of Campania.
The people of Campania have a proud collective common history, however provincial identity takes precedence over their regional Campanian identity. For example, people from the province of Naples (which makes up over half of the total population of Campania) refer to themselves as Neapolitan before Campanian, there is a similar situation in the other Campanian provinces, for example with the people from the province of Salerno and the self-referential term Salernitan (or in their native language, Salernitani). Aside from other southern Italians who fall within the historic Two Sicilies area, of the ethnicities outside of Italy itself some of the people associate with the Greeks, especially due to the Magna Græcia and Greco-Roman cultures; this is exemplified in the saying "una faccia, una razza" which means "one face, one race". It is noted that the average Campanian has 15 percent Greek admixture , while that number is negligible in northern Italy.
Unlike central and northern Italy, in the last decade the region of Campania has not attracted large numbers of immigrants. The Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated in January 2007 that 98,052 foreign-born immigrants live in Campania, equal to only 1.7% of the total regional population. Part of the reason for this is in recent times, there have been more employment opportunities in northern regions than in the Southern Italian regions.
Towns of Campania with a population of 50,000 or more:
The pizza in its modern aspect and taste was born in Naples. Historical and original pizzas from Naples are pizza fritta (fried pizza); Calzone (literally "trouser leg"), which is pizza frita stuffed with ricotta cheese; pizza Marinara (pizza seamans'style), with just olive oil, tomato sauce and garlic; and pizza Margherita, with olive oil, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil leaves.
Campania is known for its cheeses, including Mozzarella di Bufala (buffalo mozzarella) (mozzarella made from buffalo milk), fiordilatte ("flower of milk") a mozzarella made from cow's milk, ricotta from sheep or buffalo milk, provolone from cow milk, and caciotta made from goat milk. Buffalo are bred in Salerno and Caserta.
Several different cakes and pies are made in Campania. Pastiera pie is made during Easter. Casatiello and tortano are Easter bread-cakes made by adding lard or oil and various types of cheese to bread dough and garnishing it with slices of salami.
Babà cake is a well known Neapolitan delicacy, best served with Rum or limoncello (a liqueur invented in the Sorrento peninsula). It is an old Austrian cake which arrived in Campania during Austrian domination of the Kingdom of Naples and was modified there to became a "walking cake" for citizens always in hurry for work and other occupations. Sfogliatella is another cake from the Amalfi Coast, which is beginning to be known worldwide, as is Zeppole, which is traditionally eaten on Saint Joseph's day. Struffoli, little balls fried dough dipped in honey, are enjoyed during the Christmas holidays.
Another well-known Campanian dish is the so-called Russian salad (which is based on similar dishes from France), made of potatoes in mayonnaise garnished with shrimp and vegetables in vineger. The Russians call this same dish Olivier Salad, and the Germans called it Italian salad. Another French-derived dish is "gattò" or "gateau di patate" (oven-baked pie made of boiled potatoes).
Fish-based dishes, such as "insalata di mare" (seafood salad), "zuppa di polpo" (octopus soup), and "zuppa di cozze" (mussel soup), are popular. Other regional seafood dishes include "frittelle di mare" (fritters with seaweed), made with edible poseidonia algae, "triglie al cartoccio" (red mullet in the bag), and "alici marinate" (raw anchovies in olive oil). The island of Ischia is famous for its fish dishes, as well as for cooked rabbit.
"Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen blühn?" ("Do you know the land where the lemon-trees bloom?), Goethe, Mignon.
Rapini (or Broccoli rabe), known locally as friarielli, is often used in Campanian cooking. Campania also produces many nuts, especially in the area of Salerno and Benevento.
Campanian cuisine varies within the region. While Neapolitan dishes center around seafood, Casertan and Aversana rely more on fresh vegetables and cheeses. The cuisine from Sorrento combines the culinary traditions from both Naples and Salerno.
The region of Campania is rich with ancient history.
From the Greek colony of Elea, now Velia, in Campania came the philosophers of the Pre-Socratic philosophy school, Parmenides and Zeno of Elea, who came to prominence around 490 - 480 B.C. Zeno was famous for his paradoxes and called by Aristotle the inventor of the dialectic.
Ancient scientist Plinius Pliny the elder who wrote a "Naturalis Historia" ("Pliny's History of the Nature") studied the Mount Vesuvius and was poisoned and killed by gas emitted from the volcano during the famous eruption in 79 A.D.
His nephew Pliny the younger described the eruption and the death of his uncle in a famous letter to one of his friends.
At the end of the Middle Ages, the medical school of Salerno, which combined ancient Roman and Greek medicine with Arab medicine, was known throughout Europe and its methods adopted across the continent. Some have suggested that this may have been one of the first universities in Europe.
The first modern description and studies of the "camera obscura" ("dark chamber"), are firmly established in Italy with the availability of Giovanni Battista della Porta in its masterpiece Magiae Naturalis, ("Natural Magic") in 1558 . These studies then led to the first photo cameras in 1850 circa by French scientists Niepce and Daguerre.
In 1606 ca. the famous painter Caravaggio established his studio in Naples.
In the 18th century Naples was the last city to be visited by philosophers who created the "Grand Tour" which was the big touring voyage to visit all the important cultural sites of the European continent.
Italian architect Luigi Vanvitelli son of Dutch architect Kaspar van Wittel build the Kingdom Palace in Caserta in 1750 circa. He contributed to the construction of many neoclassic-style palaces in which the nobles of Naples spent their holidays. These palaces are now known worldwide as "Ville Vesuviane".
Raimondo di Sangro, prince of Sansevero, was a scientist and one of the last alchemists.
German writer Goethe visited Campania and Naples in 1786 and was amazed by the beauty of it.
German archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann also visited Naples, Paestum, Herculaneum and Pompeii in 1748 and later, studying how where conducted acheological surveys in kingdom of Naples. He was one of the first to study drawings, statues, stones, and ancient burned scrolls made of papyrus found in the excavations of city of Herculaneum.His masterpiece, the "Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums" ("History of Ancient Art"), published in 1764, was soon recognized as a significant contribution to European literature.
Archaeological excavations in Pompeii were initiated by King Charles III of Naples in 1748. He issued the first modern laws in Europe to protect, defend and preserve archaeological sites.
Musician Rossini lived many years in Naples, where he wrote numerous compositions.
Italian poet and writer Giacomo Leopardi established his home in Naples and Torre del Greco lived there at the end of his young brief life. It was there that he wrote the Ode to the Ginestra flower. He died in Naples in 1837 .
The first volcano observatory, the Vesuvius Observatory, was founded in Naples in 1841.
British statesman William Ewart Gladstone (1809-98), exposed in newspaper articles the horrors of the prison system of the Kingdom of Naples in the mid-nineteenth century. His pamphlets gave enormous help to the cause of re-unification of Italy in 1861 and increase notheworthy his reputation in homeland, as representative of the British Parliament to be then elected as Prime Minister. It was later discovered that he never visited any neapolitan prison, neither investigated upon that jail system. He simply reported voices and wannabe testimoniances. These articles, containing a long list of absurd lies and propagandistic inventions, and probably were made to support invasion and annexion of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies by the Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont), with the following foundation of modern Italy.
French writer Alexandre Dumas, père was directly involved in the process of re-unification of Italy, and sojourned two or three years in Naples, where he wrote many historical novels regarding that city. He was also a known newspaper correspondent.
German scientist Anton Dohrn founded in Naples the first public aquarium in the world and laboratory of study of the sea known as Maritime Zoological Station.
Also famous is Astronomic Observatory of Capodimonte founded by King Gioacchino Murat general of French emperor Napoleon in 1816. The observatory it is now the site hosts the Italian Laboratory of Astrophisics.
Doctors and surgeons Antonio Cardarelli, and Giuseppe Moscati were ensign representatives of the medicine studies in Naples. Their life was an example for all city and the entire nation.
Famous worldwide are the schools of sightseeing pictures known as "School of Posillipo" and "School of Resina" out of period from 1800-1900 circa. There were famous painters like Giacinto Gigante, Raffaele Carelli, Teodoro Duclère, Achille Vianelli, Vincenzo Franceschini, Alessandro La Volpe, Giuseppe Bonolis, Giuseppe Fagnani, Salvatore Fergola, Emile-Jean-HoraceVernet, Gonsalvo Carelli, Achille Carelli, Giuseppe Carelli, Filippo Palizzi, Nicola Palizzi, Federico Cortese, Simone Campanile, Domenico Morelli, Saverio Altamura, Giuseppe De Nittis, Francesco Sogliano, Michele Cammarano, Eduardo Dalbono, Vincenzo Gemito, Antonio Mancini, Gennaro della Monica, Raffaello Pagliaccetti, Teofilo Patini, Francesco Paolo Michetti, Costantino Barbella, Pasquale Celommi, Gaetano Esposito, Giuseppe Casciaro, Federico Maldarelli, Giuseppe De Simone.
Amongst the painters who inspired directly these schools, we remember Salvator Rosa, Pierre Jacques-Antoine Volaire who became famous for his gouaches, Anton Sminck van Pitloo who preferred to live his remaining life in Naples.
The world renowned opera singer Enrico Caruso was also a native of Naples.
From Naples came the mathematician Renato Caccioppoli, nephew of Russian anarchic revolutionary Michael Bakunin. Born in 1904 he committed suicide in 1959. His life was represented in a movie "Morte di un matematico napoletano" ("Death of a neapolitan mathematician") by Mario Martone in 1992.
The first President of the Italian Republic in 1946 (with a pro-tempore mandate of six months) was lawyer Enrico De Nicola from the city of Torre del Greco. He was famous for his studies regarding the Constitutions.
Campania gave two other Presidents to Italy: Giovanni Leone was various times Prime Minister and then became elected the 6th President of the Republic; and the actual 11th President Giorgio Napolitano. Curiosity: President Napolitano is a former representative of Italian Communist Party (PCI).
Famous Neapolitan artists, actors, playwriters, and showmen were Eduardo De Filippo worldwide known for its theatre works such as "Filumena Marturano" (filumena), and "Questi fantasmi" (a.k.a. "Souls of Naples)", Peppino De Filippo and their sister Titina De Filippo.
The prince Antonio de Curtis was one of the most important comedians in Naples in the 20th century. Known around the world by his art nickname of Totò he worked with Pier Paolo Pasolini in the movie "Uccellacci e uccellini". He is also known for the song "Malafemmena".
Recent Campanian writers are Curzio Malaparte and Domenico Rea.
Recent and modern Italian singers and musicians from Campania are Peppino di Capri, Renato Carosone, Edoardo Bennato, Eugenio Bennato Mario Merola, Sergio Bruni, Aurelio Fierro, Roberto Murolo, E.A. Mario, Eugenio Bennato Tony Tammaro, Teresa De Sio, Eduardo De Crescenzo, Alan Sorrenti, Jenni Sorrenti, Toni Esposito, Tullio De Piscopo, Gigi Finizio, Massimo Ranieri, Pino Daniele, James Senese and his group Napoli Centrale, Enzo Avitabile, Enzo Gragnaniello, Maria Nazionale, Nino D'Angelo, Gigi D'Alessio, the music groups of 99 Posse, Almamegretta, Bisca, 24 Grana la "Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare". remember all it is almost impossible.
Well known and deservers its place in the history of music it is the music genre called neapolitan song. Famous worldwide are O sole mio (a.k.a. "It's Now or Never"), Funiculì, Funiculà, O Surdato nnamurato, Torna a Surriento, Guapparia, Santa Lucia Reginella, Marechiaro, Spingule Francese. Famous titles are hundreds. Neapolitan songs are thousands.
Even singers and music directors who do not have Campanian origins wrote Neapolitan songs Paolo Conte, Lucio Dalla, or adapted it to English, like Elvis Presley or Bryan Adams. There are some who perhaps just played neapolitan songs, such as for example Mia Martini or Domenico Modugno. Lyric artists Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli performed it various times.
There are also famous film artists who directed movies about Naples or actors who played famous movies in Campania, or even interpreted famous Neapolitans on-screen, including directors and actors Vittorio De Sica, Nanni Loi, Domenico Modugno, Renzo Arbore, Lina Wertmüller, Mario Lanza as "Caruso", Clark Gable in "It Started in Naples", Jack Lemmon in the movies "Avanti!" and "Maccheroni" (a.k.a."Macaroni") played together with Marcello Mastroianni.
Campania is very famous in Italy for its football teams, water polo, volleyball, and more recently for basketball and tennis.
The school of swords in Naples is the oldest in the country and the only in Italy in which a swordsman could acquire the title of "master of swords" and then teach the art of fence.
The sail clubs in Naples "Circolo Savoia" and "Canottieri Napoli" are both very ancient in Italy and famous for their regattas, and are also home for the main water polo teams.
Many sailors from Naples and Campania participate as crew to "America's Cup" sailing championship.
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