In my previous blog I mentioned all the activities going on in December in Napoli. But there are also many more things to do in the areas outside of Napoli.
One of the most popular and amazing experiences are the lights in Salerno. Salerno is a city about an hours drive south of Naples. It is also has a mainline train station. It's more than just a city with standard Christmas decorations. Artists Lights (Luci d'artista) is an event that has been going on for many years. The whole city is decorated with amazing light displays which last from November 5th until January 22nd. It is very popular and so very busy, but it is definitely worth the visit!.
The old town turns into a wondrous labyrinth, a secret garden of magical trees with flowers coming out from the windows of the houses, and flying carpets hanging above our heads. There is a park which is transformed by famous scenes from the Disney movies. Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio's whale, Cinderella's pumpkin coach and the stunning captain Hook's galleon. Describing it doesn't do it justice, but I strongly recommend going.
For more info about Salerno and how to get to it, check their website out - Comune di Salerno
This year there are also new Christmas markets and a presepe (nativity) created completely in sand, a giant ferris wheel and several concerts. As in the past, the decorations follow a theme and this year the theme is 'The Christmas, The Myth, The Dream and The Time'.
Sorrento is a popular holiday destination in December as well as in the summer. I'm not surprised because Sorrento is charming and elegant all year round. The city at Christmas is absolutely stunning, starting from the Christmas tree in the main square, piazza Tasso and all the decorations around the restaurants, bars and alleys and the cloister of San Francis. There are many events, concerts, street food stalls, Christmas markets and much more. Also very atmospheric are the classical and jazz concerts in the Cathedral and in many other churches. For the full program of events check the website of the Comune di Sorrento.
Pompeii is not only a historical place to visit for the roman city, but during Christmas the modern town hosts events and concerts with some big names of the Neapolitan music scene. There is also jazz, world and mediterranean music, as well as exhibitions of presepi, ancient roman cooking demonstrations, carols from the Renaissance times and visits to Babbo Natale's (Santa Claus) house. All the events are for charity to help raise money for the people who's homes were destroyed by the earthquake in central Italy this year. For more info & contacts visit the website of the Comune di Pompei
If you haven't visited the stunning Royal Palace in Caserta this is a good time to go. The admission fee will only be €3 from the 7th of December until the 6th of January. During this period there will be an amazing light show through all the palace including the fountains and lakes made by the artist Francesco Capotorto. Info here - Reggia di Caserta.
On the island of Ischia, tradition and modernity meet. There will be music on the beaches, Christmas carols in the old town, artists performances, living presepi and codfish will be cooked on the streets. Don't forget that Ischia is famous for its spas since the Roman times. It could be a good present to yourself! For more info check the official website of the Comune di Ischia.
If you are a Christmas market lover you shouldn't miss the ones around the Campania region, in the other towns and villages in the countryside and along the coast.
Bacoli is a lovely city located about 15km west of Naples and will hold a Christmas village in the centro storico, with handicraft shops, food and local wine stands. There will also be a Babbo Natale house and street artists and music sessions.
The lovely medieval village Sant' Agata dei Goti, near Benevento, is ready to welcome tourists by lighting up it's Christmas Grotto, where all the small yards, gardens and houses will reveal their secrets and mysteries through the night.
At the magical castle of Limatola, near Benevento, there is a Christmas market where there are stands with local products, food, home decorations, nativity scenes, presepi, antiquities and much more. The market will be open every day from 10 in the morning until midnight.
As you can see, there is a great choice of atmospheric events in all the Campagnia Region and most of them are free. What more can you can ask for?. The food and drink are heaven and in every place there is something that you will never ever find anywhere else. What are you still doing at home?. If it is too late for this year, it might be a good idea for next year. Travelling is always a good present. And if you travel to Campania, it is even better!