Portrait of the Regions - ITALY - CAMPANIA - Geography and history

Portrait of the Regions - ITALY - CAMPANIA - Geography and history

CAMPANIA - Geography and history

Campania has an area of 13 595 Km2 and a coastline of 350 Km on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Campania is famous for its gulfs (Naples, Salerno and Policastra) as well as for three islands (Capri, Ischia and Procida).

The mountainous area is fragmentised in separate massifs, rarely reaching 2000 metres (Miltetto of 2050 m), whereas close to the coast there are volcanic massifs: Vesuvio (1277 m) and Campi Flegrei.

The climate is typically Mediterranean along the coast, whereas in the inner zones it is more continental, with low temperatures in winter. 51% of the total area is hilly, 34% mountainous and the remaining 15% is made up of plains. There is a high 'seismic' risk in the area of the region.

The region has a dense network of road and motorways, a system of maritime connections and an airport (Napoli Capodichino), which connect it rapidly to the rest of the Country.

Campania has a series of historical problems and internal contrasts, although they are improving. The regional capital, Naples, one of the most populated and interesting cities in Italy, rich in history and natural beauty, both artistic and archaeological, still represents the centre of regional life.

The port connects the region with the whole Mediterranean basin, and brings tourists, as well as to the archaeological sites, to the cities of art (Naples and Caserta), to the beautiful coastal areas and to the islands.

Although tourist perception of the region is of a happy land, negative elements persist in the region, such as chronic unemployment and criminality.

The region, with a population of 5 725 098 inhabitants, is divided in five provinces: Naples, Benevento, Avellino, Caserta and Salerno. Over half of the population is resident in the province of Naples, where there is a population density of 2 626 inhabitants per km2. Within the province, the highest density can be found along the coast, where it reaches 16 thousand inhabitants per km2 in the city of Portici, one of the most densely populated cities on the planet. The region, which was characterised until recently by an acute contrast between internal and coastal areas also under the economic aspect, in the last decade has shown an improvement thanks to the development of the provinces of Benevento and Avellino. At the same time, the provinces of Naples, Caserta and in part Salerno, have developed a variety of activities connected to advanced types of services.

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Text finalised in March 2004