Main Births etc
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Coat of arms
Country Italy
Capital Naples
 • President Vincenzo De Luca (Partito Democratico)
 • Total 13,590 km2 (5,250 sq mi)
Population (30-04-2012)
 • Total 5,833,891
 • Density 430/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
GDP/ Nominal € 96.3[1] billion (2008)
GDP per capita € 16,400[2] (2015)

Campania (Italian pronunciation: [kamˈpaːnja]) is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country.[3] Located on the Italian Peninsula, with the Mediterranean Sea to the west, it includes the small Phlegraean Islands and Capri for administration as part of the region.

Located on the Italian Peninsula, Campania was colonised by Ancient Greeks and was part of Magna Græcia. During the Roman era the area maintained a Greco-Roman culture. 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, Paestum and Velia. 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.[4]


Ancient tribes and Samnite Wars[]

Temple of Hera, Paestum, built 550 BC

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.[5] 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.[6] Another Oscan tribe, the Samnites, moved from central Italy down into Campania. Since the Samnites were more warlike than the Campanians, they easily took over the cities of Capua and Cumae, in an area which was one of the most prosperous and fertile in the Italian Peninsula at the time.[7] During the 340s BC, the Samnites were engaged in war 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.[8]

The major remaining independent Greek settlement was Neapolis, and when the town was eventually captured by the Samnites, the Neapolitans were left with no other option than to call on the Romans, with whom they established an alliance, setting off the Second Samnite War.[7] The Roman consul Quintus Publilius Filo 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.[9] The Second Samnite War ended with the Romans controlling southern Campania and additional regions further to the south.[8]

Roman period[]

Campania was a full-fledged part of the Roman Republic by the end of the 4th century BC, valued for its pastures and rich countryside. Its Greek language and customs made it a centre of Hellenistic civilization, creating the first traces of Greco-Roman culture.[10] During the Pyrrhic War the battle took place in Campania at Maleventum in which the Romans, led by consul Curius Dentatus, were victorious. They renamed the city Beneventum (modern day Benevento), which grew in stature until it was second only to Capua in southern Italy.[11] During the Second Punic War in 216 BC, Capua, in a bid for equality with Rome, allied with Carthage.[12] The rebellious Capuans were isolated from the rest of Campania, which remained allies of Rome. Naples resisted Hannibal due to the imposing walls.[10] Capua was eventually starved into submission in the Roman retaking of 211 BC, and the Romans were victorious.[12]

The Last Day of PompeiiKarl Briullov

The rest of Campania, with the exception of Naples, adopted the Latin language as official and was Romanised.[13] As part of the Roman Empire, Campania, with Latium, formed the most important region of the Augustan divisions of Italia; Campania was one of the main areas for granary.[13] Roman Emperors chose Campania as a holiday destination, among them Claudius and Tiberius, the latter of whom is infamously linked to the island of Capri.[10] It was also 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, and there were also several martyrs during this time.[14] Unfortunately, the period of relative calm was violently interrupted by the epic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 which buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.[15] 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.[10]

Feudalism in the Middle Ages[]

The area had many duchies and principalities during the Middle Ages, in the hands of the Byzantine Empire and the Lombards. Under the Normans the smaller independent states were brought together as part of the Kingdom of Sicily, before the mainland broke away to form the Kingdom of Naples. It was during this period that elements of Spanish, French and Aragonese culture were introduced to Campania.

The Kingdom[]

Norman to Angevin[]

Early kings ruled from Castel Nuovo

After a period as a Norman kingdom, the Kingdom of Sicily passed to the Hohenstaufens who were a powerful Germanic royal house of Swabian origins.[16] 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.[17] Conflict between the Hohenstaufen house and the Papacy, led in 1266 to Pope Innocent IV crowning Angevin Dynasty duke Charles I as the king.[18] Charles officially moved the capital from Palermo to Naples where he resided at the Castel Nuovo.[19] During this period much Gothic architecture sprang up around Naples, including the Naples Cathedral, the main church of the city.[20]

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.[18] 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.[18] Despite the split, Naples grew in importance, attracting Pisan and Genoese merchants,[21] Tuscan bankers, and with them some of the most championed Renaissance artists of the time, such as Boccaccio, Petrarch and Giotto.[22] Alfonso I conquered Naples after his victory against the last Angevin king, René, and Naples was unified for a brief period with Sicily again.[23]

Aragonese to Bourbon[]

Revolutionary Masaniello

Sicily and Naples were separated in 1458 but remained as dependencies of Aragon under Ferrante.[24] 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.[25] During 1501 Naples came under direct rule from France at the time of Louis XII, as Neapolitan king Frederick was taken as a prisoner to France; this lasted four years.[26] Spain won Naples at the Battle of Garigliano and, as a result, Naples then became part of the Spanish Empire throughout the entire Habsburg Spain period.[26] 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.[27]

Caserta Palace, inside

During this period Naples became Europe's second largest city after Paris.[28] During the Baroque era it was 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 lasted only a few months before Spanish rule was regained.[26] 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.[29] 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.[30]

Ferdinand, Bourbon king.

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.[31] 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.[31] The Republicans conquered Castel Sant'Elmo and proclaimed a Parthenopaean Republic, secured by the French Army.[31] 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.[31]

Ferdinand IV was restored as king; however, after only seven years Napoleon conquered the kingdom and instated Bonapartist kings including his brother Joseph Bonaparte.[32] 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.[32] The Congress of Vienna in 1815 saw the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily combined to form the Two Sicilies,[32] with Naples as the capital city. Naples became the first city on the Italian peninsula to have a railway in 1839,[33] there were many factories throughout the kingdom making it a highly important trade centre.[34]

World War II, "Salerno Capital"[]

In September 1943, Salerno was the scene of the Operation Avalanche and suffered a great deal of damage. From February 12 to July 17, 1944, it hosted the Government of Marshal Pietro Badoglio. In those months Salerno was the temporary "Capital of the Kingdom of Italy", and the King Victor Emmanuel III lived in a mansion in its outskirts. Salerno received the first "Tricolore" in an official ceremony on 7 gennaio 2012 from the premier Mario Monti, to celebrate the glorious story of Italy with her old capitals.


Campania has an area of 13,595 sq km (5249.06 sq mi) and a coastline of 350 km (217.48 mi) on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Campania is famous for its gulfs (Naples, Salerno and Policastro) as well as for three islands (Capri, Ischia and Procida).

Four other regions border Campania; Lazio to the northwest, Molise to the north, Apulia (Puglia) to the northeast and Basilicata to the east.

The mountainous interior is fragmented into several massifs, rarely reaching 2,000 metres (Miltetto of 2,050 m), whereas close to the coast there are volcanic massifs: Vesuvio (1,277 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 agro-food industry is one of the main pillars of industry of Campania. The organisation of the sector is improving and leading to higher levels of quality and salaries. Campania mainly produces fruit and vegetables, but has also expanded its production of flowers grown in greenhouses, becoming one of the leading regions of the sector in Italy. The value added of this sector represents around 6.5% of the total value added of the region, equalling €213.7 million. Campania produces over 50% of Italy's nuts and is also the leader in the production of tomatoes, which reaches 1.5 million tonnes a year. A weak point however for the region's agriculture is the very reduced size of farms, equal to 3.53 hectares. Animal breeding is widespread (it was done in 70,278 farms in 2000) and the milk produced is used to process typical products such as mozzarella. Olive trees cover over 74,604 hectares of the agricultural land and contribute by €620.6 million to the value added of agriculture, together with the production of fruit. Wine production has increased, together with the quality of the wine.[35]

The region has a dense network of road and motorways, a system of maritime connections and an airport (Naples Airport), 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 to the archaeological sites, the cities of art (Naples and Caserta), to the beautiful coastal areas and to the islands. The services sector makes up for 78% of the region's gross domestic product.[35]


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1861 2,402,000
1871 2,520,000 +4.9%
1881 2,660,000 +5.6%
1901 2,914,000 +9.5%
1911 3,102,000 +6.5%
1921 3,343,000 +7.8%
1931 3,509,000 +5.0%
1936 3,697,000 +5.4%
1951 4,346,000 +17.6%
1961 4,761,000 +9.5%
1971 5,059,000 +6.3%
1981 5,463,000 +8.0%
1991 5,630,000 +3.1%
2001 5,702,000 +1.3%
2011 5,834,000 +2.3%
Source: ISTAT 2001

The region, with a population of over 5.8 million 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 13,000 inhabitants per km2 in the city of Portici. The region, which was characterised until recently by an acute economic contrast between internal and coastal areas, 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.[36]

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 1.7% of the total regional population.[37] 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.

Government and politics[]

The Politics of Campania, takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democracy, whereby the President of Regional Government is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the Regional Government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Regional Council.

The Regional Council of Campania (Consiglio Regionale della Campania) is composed of 60 members, of which 47 are elected in provincial constituencies with proportional representation, 12 from the so-called "regional list" of the elected President and the last one is for the candidate for President who comes second, who usually becomes the leader of the opposition in the Council. If a coalition wins more than 55% of the vote, only 6 candidates from the "regional list" will be elected and the number of those elected in provincial constituencies will be 53.[38]

Map of region of Campania, Italy, with provinces-en.svg

Administrative divisions[]

Campania is divided into five provinces:

Province Area (km²) Population Density (inh./km²)
Province of Avellino 2,792 425,662 157.5
Province of Benevento 2,071 300,091 139.6
Province of Caserta 2,639 943,285 342.3
Province of Naples 1,171 3,175,010 2,625.9
Province of Salerno 4,923 1,155,601 224.5



An authentic Neapolitan pizza

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.

Pizza was conceived in Naples. Historical and original pizzas from Naples are pizza fritta (fried pizza); Calzone (literally "trouser leg"), which is pizza fritta 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. Neapolitans were among the first Europeans to use tomatoes not only as ornamental plant, but also as food and garnish.

Spaghetti is also a well-known dish from southern Italy and Campania. Traditionally in Naples pasta must be cooked "al dente".

Spaghetti alla puttanesca, a spicy pasta dish made topped with a sauce made of tomatoes, olives, anchovies and capers, and which is a dish originally from Campania.

Campania produces wines and is likewise known for its cheeses, including Lacryma Christi, Fiano, Aglianico, Greco di Tufo, Pere 'e palomma, Ischitano, Taburno, Solopaca, and Taurasi. The cheeses of Campania consist of 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 a hurry for work and other pursuits. 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.

Dried red peppers and lemons hanging from a shop in Amalfi.

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 vinegar. Russians call this same dish Olivier Salad, and Germans call it Italian salad. Another French-derived dish is "gattò" or "gateau di patate" (oven-baked pie made of boiled potatoes). As with the Russian salad, Campania is home to other seafood-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" (fresh anchovies in olive oil). The island of Ischia is famous for its fish dishes, as well as for cooked rabbit. Campania is home to the beautiful and tasty lemons of Sorrento, which were much loved by German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: "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.

Ancient, medieval, and early arts[]

The grand gardens of the baroque Palace of Caserta

The region of Campania is rich with a vast array of culture and 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 BC. Zeno was famous for his paradoxes and called by Aristotle the inventor of the dialectic. The Latin poet Virgilius (70 BC–19 BC) loved Campania so much that he decided to settle in Naples. Many parts of his epic poem and immortal masterpiece Aeneid are located in Campania. Ancient scientist Plinius Pliny the elder who wrote a "Naturalis Historia" (Natural History) studied Mount Vesuvius and was poisoned and killed by gas emitted from the volcano during the famous eruption in 79 AD. His nephew Pliny the younger described the eruption and the death of his uncle in a famous letter to one of his friends.

In Naples in 476 AD, Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, died as a prisoner of the German general Odoacer. In the Middle Ages, the artist Giotto made some frescoes in Castel Nuovo. These works of art were subsequently destroyed by an earthquake.

In Olevano sul Tusciano, on Monte Raione, there's an ancient cave called "Grotta di San Michele Arcangelo". It is a complex religious cave with five "martyria" inside. The cave is of 9th-10th century and is in vision at UNESCO. The legend says that in this place Michael (archangel) fought against the Devil.

By 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 were adopted across the continent. Some have suggested that this may have been one of the first universities in Europe. Boccaccio, the Tuscan poet, visited Naples on various occasions, and in the Decameron described it as a dissolute city. He also wrote a love story involving a noble woman close to the King of Naples.

Pulcinella with a guitar

In 1570, the famous writer Cervantes, who wrote the romance novel "Don Quixote", served as a Spanish soldier for a period in Naples and said that it was the most beautiful city he had ever visited. Poet Torquato Tasso author of the epic poem la "Gerusalemme Liberata" was born in Sorrento in 1575. Years earlier in 1558, 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"). These studies then led to the first photo cameras in c. 1850 by French scientists Niepce and Daguerre.

Philosopher Giordano Bruno was born in Nola. He was the first to theorize infinite suns and infinite worlds in the universe. He was burnt in Rome by Spanish Inquisition in 1600. Later, in c. 1606 the famous painter Caravaggio established his studio in Naples. Famous Italian architect Cosimo Fanzago from Bergamo decided to live his life 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 built the Kingdom Palace in Caserta in c. 1750. 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".

The island of Capri, often seen as a cultural symbol of Campania.

Raimondo di Sangro, prince of Sansevero, was a scientist and one of the last alchemists. Around this time, in 1786, German writer Goethe visited Campania and Naples 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 archeological surveys were conducted in the 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 the 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. There were famous Neapolitan musicians of that period including Niccolò Antonio Zingarelli and Giovanni Paisiello.

The 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 brief young 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. Geologist Giuseppe Mercalli, born in Milan in 1850, was a director of the Vesuvius Observatory.

British statesman William Ewart Gladstone (1809–98), in newspaper articles, exposed the horrors of the prison system of the Kingdom of Naples in the mid-19th century.[39] His pamphlets gave enormous help to the cause of re-unification of Italy in 1861 and made his reputation more noteworthy in his homeland. It was later discovered that he never visited any Neapolitan prison, nor investigated the jail system. He simply reported imagined testimonials. These articles, containing a long list of absurd lies and inventions, probably were made to support invasion and annexation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies by the Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont), followed by the 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. Francesco de Sanctis, writer, politician and twice Minister of Instruction after the re-unification of Italy in 1861, was born in Morra De Sanctis near Benevento.

German scientist Anton Dohrn founded in Naples the first public aquarium in the world and laboratory for the study of the sea known as Maritime Zoological Station. The Astronomic Observatory of Capodimonte was founded by King Gioacchino Murat, general of French emperor Napoleon, in 1816. The observatory now hosts the Italian Laboratory of Astrophysics. Doctors and surgeons Antonio Cardarelli, and Giuseppe Moscati were ensign representatives of medical studies in Naples. Their lives were an example for the city and the entire nation.

Contemporary and modern arts[]

Famous worldwide are the schools of sightseeing pictures known as "School of Posillipo" and "School of Resina" out of period from 1800–c. 1900. There were famous painters like Giacinto Gigante, Federico Cortese, Domenico Morelli, Saverio Altamura, Giuseppe De Nittis, Vincenzo Gemito, Antonio Mancini, Raffaello Pagliaccetti.

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.

In Capri lived for a certain time the Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin.

From Naples came the mathematician Renato Caccioppoli, nephew of Russian anarchic revolutionary Mikhail 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 is also home to former Prime Minister and 6th President of the Republic Giovanni Leone, as well as the current (11th) President, Giorgio Napolitano.

Rococo art inside the Palace of Caserta.

The 20th century's best known philosopher and literate in Naples was Benedetto Croce, famous for his studies in aesthetics, ethics, logic, economy, history, politics.

Famous Neapolitan artists, actors, playwrights, 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".

Pop artist Andy Warhol created two famous paintings of Irpinia Earthquake of 1980: Fate presto and Vesuvius. Both originals are hosted in the exhibit Terrae Motus in King's Palace of Caserta.

Oscar–winning actress Sophia Loren grew up in Pozzuoli.

Oscar and David-winning[40] film producer Dino De Laurentiis was born in Torre Annunziata. One of his grandchildren is Food Network personality Giada De Laurentiis.

Recent Campanian writers are Curzio Malaparte and Domenico Rea.

Recent Campanian actors and directors are Francesco Rosi, Iaia Forte, Pappi Corsicato, Teresa De Sio, Lello Arena, Award winning actor Massimo Troisi, Award winning director Gabriele Salvatores.

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".

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.

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, Plácido 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.

Since 1971 is famous in all the world the international Giffoni Film Festival; is the first and most important festival for a young public. In U.S.A. has started the collaboration "Giffoni Hollywood Film Fastival".


Campania is famous throughout Italy for its football teams, water polo, volleyball, and more recently for basketball and tennis.

The fencing school in Naples is the oldest in the country and the only school in Italy in which a swordsman can acquire the title "master of swords", which allows him or her to teach the art of fencing.

The "Circolo Savoia" and "Canottieri Napoli" sailing clubs are among the oldest in Italy and are famous for their regattas. These are also home of the main water polo teams in the city. Many sailors from Naples and Campania participate as crew in the "America's Cup" sailing competition.

The Abbagnale brothers (Giuseppe Abbagnale and Carmine Abbagnale), who are famous rowers, were born in Castellammare di Stabia, and were four times rowing world champions and Olympic gold medalists.

The football teams in Campania include:

  • S.S.C. Napoli playing in Serie A, and the only team in the south of Italy to have won the Serie A title.
    • S.S. Juve Stabia from Castellammare di Stabia currently playing in Serie B
      • U.S. Avellino, formerly of Serie A, currently playing in Lega Pro Prima Divisione
      • Benevento Calcio who play in the Lega Pro Prima Divisione
      • A.S.G. Nocerina from Nocera Inferiore currently playing in the Lega Pro Prima Divisione
        • U.S. Salernitana 1919, formerly of Serie A, now playing in the Lega Pro Seconda Divisione
          • A.S.D. Battipagliese, playing in Serie D
          • A.C. Savoia 1908, runners-up of an early equivalent of the Serie A in 1924, who are currently playing in Serie D


Twenty most common surnames in the Campania region.

  • 1. Esposito
  • 2. Russo
  • 3. Romano
  • 4. Coppola
  • 5. De Rosa
  • 6. Giordano
  • 7. Sorrentino
  • 8. De Luca
  • 9. Ferrara
  • 10. Marino

  • 11. Ruggiero
  • 12. Fusco
  • 13. Gallo
  • 14. Napolitano
  • 15. Gargiulo
  • 16. Vitale
  • 17. Santoro
  • 18. Izzo
  • 19. Palumbo
  • 20. Varricchio


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External links[]

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