Campania was been steadily frequented by Eurasian peoples since prehistory. In the 9th-8th centuries BC, the Grecians founded colonies Ischia, Cuma, Capri, Sorrento, and along Cilento's coast. The Grecians were in contact with Etruscan, Ausonian, Irpinian, and Sannitian villages; they introduced in Cuma the Calcidian alphabet. In the other cities they built temples and monuments, installing a civility that will amaze the same Rome that will respect the uses and the language. In fact some terms originally taken from the Greeks are still present in the Language of Campania.
The long history tells of conflict between the peoples of intern lands and those of the coasts, about Sannite wars, about big and epic battles (such as those of Benevento, Forche Caudine, and Vesuvio won by Narsete). The long history tells about the conflict between Norman, Angevin, Aragonese and French to arrive to the war of Italian unity of Volturno, to the bloody fights after the disembarkment of allied forces in Salerno. A "fil rouge" that unwound itself through 30 centuries, that is as impressed on the stone, on the homes, along the ways and in the atavic memory of the people. Definitively, it's a history that emerges event by event and transmits itself in the visitor who treads the ground of Campania.
It's . . . a very ancient land, forged by the ice of glacial Ages and by the fire of Vulcans, modeled by the course of rivers and by the flood tide of the sea. It is a territory that probably is the most numerically represented in all the world: in North and South America, in Australia, in Europe there are thronged colonies of peoples from Campania that preserve without change their traditions.
Campania has more than 500 km of coasts, two vast level areas, various hills that gradually become high peaks toward intern lands. It is home to vegetation typical of the mountain lands; islands that have fashioned well known people, enchanted and suggestive places that transmit myth and millenary legends; rivers, lakes, towns that preserve the unmistakable traits of middle age villages, a luxuriant farmland, generous of fruits with typical fragrances and tastes.
Campania is characterized by 10 great Archaeological Areas, an infinite number of monuments, of middle ages villages, of places of cult that have in their stones the same history of religions, from pagan to Christianity, enchanted places that have fashioned peoples from all the world and illustrious names of humanity, a nature generously hospitable of its inhabitants. Thousands and thousands of kinds to manifest themselves in the rituals of ancient holidays, thousands and thousands of kinds to transmit sensations by the tastes of a gastronomy that the science has judged as the most salutary. To tell about traditions of Campania is to tell of its culture. So strict is the bond and the matrices of rituals which have their roots in pagan ages and of the monuments, of the immense patrimony kept in the museums. It's the same thread which ties in an indissoluble way the literature, the theatre, the music, the folklore, the habits, and the gastronomy in its great variety and diversification.
A wonderful place, ancient history dense with events, a sense of hospitality like no other, riches cultural and environmental--declared World Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO: Campania is all this and still more. It perpetuates in the harmony of its language and of the natural born sensibility to sing, to create music and to dance the myth of the sirens that have populated It. A land to disclose, to visit, to live place by place, time by time.
("History," "Morphology," and "Traditions" adapted from http://www.giubileo.regione.campania.it/campamia/) 2/1/01