Two weeks is an ideal amount of time to explore this culturally and naturally rich region. You'll be able to see some of the best artistic treasures in Italy, but you can also relax and enjoy the sea, coastline, and mountains. We have organized this itinerary so that you can choose whether to rent a car or to use public transportation. If you decide not to rent a car, you can skip the countryside and concentrate on the main destinations, which are all well connected by public transportation. Should you change your mind, you can always hire a car with a driver for a day or two, or rent a car in any big town.
Day 1: Sorrento
Fly into Naples and take either the bus or a limo service to Sorrento (you could rent a car at the airport, but you won't need one until Day 3). Recover from jet lag while relaxing in this splendid resort town: Take in the sights, do some shopping, have a swim.
Day 2: Capri
Take a ferry to Capri, where you'll spend the night: You'll have a full day to explore this unique island, hike, swim, sunbathe, and shop.
Days 3 & 4: The Sorrento Peninsula & the Amalfi Coast
Take a morning ferry to Positano, where you'll visit the town and pick up your car (you can also use public transportation for your exploration, but you'll have to keep a stricter schedule). Spend Days 3 and 4 taking in Amalfi, Ravello, and the lesser-known towns both along the coast and in the interior.
Day 5: Salerno & Paestum
Arrive in Salerno in the morning. This town makes a good base for your explorations: Plan to spend 2 nights here.
After a stroll along the lungomare, head for the medieval town to visit the splendid cathedral and have lunch. In the afternoon, arrive in Paestum, with its unique temples: Be sure to stay until sunset to enjoy the views.
Day 6: Padula & the Cilento
Hire a car to explore the National Park of the Cilento and its memorable coast in the morning. Then make your way to the Certosa di San Lorenzo for an afternoon visit, crossing through the imposing Cilento massif, with its eerie caves and soaring peaks. You could rely solely on public transportation here, but you'll have to keep to a strict timetable.
Days 7 & 8: Avellino & Benevento
Dedicate Days 7 and 8 to Avellino and Benevento. These two towns are each the capital of a sub-region rich in cultural, natural, and artistic heritage. You could easily dedicate a few days to each; but if you're on a strict schedule, you'll have to satisfy yourself with the highlights. Having a car will allow you to make the most of the area, and you can add a quick tour of the countryside. We recommend that you make time for a visit to the little town of Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi, with its castle and famous abbey. Spend Day 8 in Benevento, taking in the town's attractions.
Day 9: Caserta & Surroundings
Leave early in the morning for Caserta and start with a visit to the awesome Reggia and its gardens. We suggest you also visit the Cathedral of Casertavecchia and the Belvedere di San Leucio, maybe taking in a concert there if you are visiting during the season and have planned in advance for tickets.
Day 10: Pozzuoli, Cuma & the Phlegrean Fields
Arrive in the morning in the splendid Bay of Pozzuoli, home to treasures from antiquity and views beloved by Neapolitans. Spend the day visiting the Parco Archeologico Subacqueo di Baia and the Acropolis of Cuma. In the evening, catch a ferry from Pozzuoli to have dinner on the island of Procida, where you can spend the night.
Day 11: Ischia
From Pozzuoli (or Procida), catch a ferry to Ischia. On the island, hire a local taxi to take you on a tour, or use the excellent public bus system. Then spend a few hours in Giardini Poseidon -- our favorite outdoor spa on the island -- or pick one of the indoor ones we recommend. Then head for the beach: Spiaggia di Citara and Spiaggia dei Maronti are the best on the island. For dinner, sample the local cuisine and wines.
Days 12 & 13: Naples
In the early morning, catch a ferry to Naples; arrive in its famous harbor under the towering shadow of Mount Vesuvius before the sun rises too high, and enjoy the scene in its best light.
At this point you'll be ready for the big city and its vast artistic riches. Start your visit with the Maschio Angioino, not far from the harbor. You might have time for a short visit to both Palazzo Reale and the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte before you call it a day. Head down to the lungomare to enjoy the panoramic views of Borgo Marinari over a well-deserved dinner.
On Day 13, have a pizza lunch in one of the nearby historical pizzerie to round out your Old Naples experience. Spend the afternoon at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in preparation for your last day.
Day 14: Herculaneum, Pompeii & Mount Vesuvius
For a relaxing, quiet excursion, catch a train on the Circumvesuviana railroad to Herculaneum; or go to Pompeii, if you like grandiose stretches of excavations. Both sites offer enormous amounts to see -- covering both in 1 day is impossible, and we don't recommend trying. Use the other half of your day to climb Mount Vesuvius, the burning heart of Campania, and visit one of the ancient Roman villas that lies in its shadow.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.