On foot or by bike trails and paths of Campania
Campania is a perfect land where to enjoy authentic and genuine experiences at an exquisitely slow pace. Scenic paths and more or less long and demanding walks await you for total immersion in a land full of surprises. Whether you've overdone it with pizza and pasta frittatas from the tiny, overcrowded friggitoria opposite your B&B, you can immediately dedicate yourself to a remise en forme in grand style in one of Italy's most beautiful natural landscapes.
Visit Naples unveils for you five routes to walk or ride. Create an itinerary that works for you according to your athletic ability, the time you have available and the amount of fried food you swallowed. Go ahead and find more.
5. Via Francigena del Sannio
It is the pilgrimage trail par excellence, the most famous together with Santiago de Compostela. From Rome, the Via Francigena crosses Italy in 32 stages to Brindisi before continuing to Jerusalem. The section in Campania is called Cammino dell'Anima, a relatively simple well-signposted route.
If you want to spend a weekend stretching your legs and getting to the heart of such a rich land, then these 55 kilometres in the Benevento area from Faicchio to Pietrelcina are for you. Whether you set off with the spirit of a devotee or like a true explorer, you can undertake the Cammino on foot or by bicycle. For sure, it will be a crossing dotted with history and beauty.
You will come across historical remnants of the Samnites, Lombards and Normans; relax in a spa in Telese Terme and sip fine wine in Castelvenere. Explore the archaeological area of ancient Telesia; visit the small village of San Lorenzo Maggiore and the city of witches, Benevento, a real gem to be discovered.
Here, in the capital of the Sannio region, you will be surprised by the chilled out atmosphere of a town that may feel off the beaten track but undoubtedly full of charm. The end of the journey is in Pietrelcina, the village famous as one of the most popular destinations for religious tourism.
4. Sentiero dei gelsi
This romantic hike is a 9-kilometre walk in the land beloved by Queen Maria Carolina, a pride of the Bourbon silk production. The path is easy to reach and connects the station of Capua, in the province of Caserta, to the Carditello Royal Palace, an ancient residence in the neoclassical style used in Bourbon times mainly as a base during hunting trips and as an experimental farm.
In about an hour and a half, you can experience an enjoyable outing in the open air. The stroll is easy and suitable for everyone, and the height difference is more or less negligible.
In the past, the mulberry trees lining the Carditello estate were used to support the sericulture essential to the renowned silk production of the nearby Reale Seteria e Colonia of San Leucio. Today, about a thousand plants have been planted in this corner of the Caserta countryside to bring beauty and life back in a longly neglected place in the heart of Campania Felix.
The Carditello Foundation, set up by the Ministry of Culture, is committed to managing and enhancing the estate, which is one of the "Real delizie" (royal delights) of the Bourbon sovereigns, places that the royal family loved to visit for hunting and recreation.
3. Cammino di San Nilo
Between the mountains and the sea in the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, a MAB Biosphere Reserve since 1997 and a UNESCO Geopark since 2010.The Cammino di San Nilo crosses the Cilento area from Sapri to Palinuro in 8 stages, covering 118 kilometres. In between, 14 villages framed by a breathtaking panorama.
You will move through beech, chestnut, holm-oak and olive groves, retracing the steps of Nicola Malèinos (St. Nilus), who undertook this same journey between the 5th and 4th centuries. The route is mapped and well signposted, so you won't have much difficulty crossing it on your own.
History, nature, spirituality and traditions make the Path of San Nilo one of the most interesting routes in the region. What will you encounter? First of all, a lot of greenery (the Mediterranean maquis is a glorious sight), caves, magnificent streams, picturesque villages and, finally, the beautiful beaches of Palinuro.
Before you set off, be sure to apply for the pilgrim credential, which will give you access to reduced prices for meals and accommodation. Also, once you arrive at your destination, this small paper book enables you to obtain the Testimonium.
2. Via Silente
When you say Cilento, you think of the crystal-clear sea that makes this part of Campania one of the most beautiful places in the region. Indeed, limiting the exploration to just the - albeit magnificent - coastal resorts would be a pity. The Cilento hinterland is, in fact, a gem waiting to be uncovered. The Via Silente crosses it for about 600 kilometres in the silence of its small villages and sparkling nature.
Warning: the itinerary has been designed as a bike path, and for this reason, the distance between the various stages (15 in total) is rather long. However, if you prefer walking shoes to two wheels, you can also plan a hiking trip following the same roadmap.
90% of the route is on asphalt, but there is very little traffic on the roads, and along the way, you will come across many villages where to stop for refreshments. Also in this case, a kind of pilgrim passport is recommended: the so-called Silentina will get you a 20% discount on overnight stays.
The Via Silente is a ring-route entirely included in the Cilento National Park, with departure and arrival from/in Castelnuovo. Obviously, if your time is limited, there is no reason why you can't plan a mini-tour covering just a few stages.
You will go from the coastal landscape to the mountains, reaching the Alburni, Vallo di Diano, and the highest peak in Campania, Mount Cervati; you will pass by the Padula Charterhouse and the numerous villages that animate valleys and hills.
1. Valle delle Ferriere
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, the Amalfi Coast needs no introduction. To get a feel for the exceptional nature of the landscape, we recommend a trek close to Amalfi that will leave you speechless. The deep valley where you will venture is not only a charming and primitive setting but also an unusual example of a proto-industrial centre.
The vegetation has now taken over the ancient industrious past of these places. Today, the ruins of the great ironworks and mills dating back to the Duchy of Amalfi are all that remains of a fascinating period. Also, the production of the fine handmade paper (“charta bambagina”) used by the aristocracy since the Middle Ages took place here.
Our recommended itinerary starts at Pontone, a district in the municipality of Scala, Salerno province. The walk that takes to the Valle delle Ferriere will welcome you with a panoramic view on the terraces overlooking the Coast, the traditional "Chiazze", with their gardens, vineyards, olive groves and fragrant citrus orchards.
By continuing through chestnut groves, streams and rocks fabulously modelled into spurs, caves and arches, you will reach the "Valle delle Ferriere" Natural Reserve, an incredible place perfectly described with the expression "out of time”.
This biogenetic reserve (there are 41 in Italy) features a particular microclimate, the ideal habitat for rare and primitive species. Real living fossils such as the Woodwardia radicans, a giant fern typical of the preglacial era.