Region of southern Italy, comprising the provinces of Avellino, Benevento, Caserta, Naples, and Salerno; area 13,595 sq km/5,249 sq mi; population (2007 est) 5,790,200. The administrative capital is Naples; industrial centres include Benevento, Caserta, and Salerno. Agriculture is important; wheat, citrus fruits, wine, vegetables, tobacco, and hemp are produced. The volcano Vesuvius is near Naples, and there are ancient sites at Pompeii, Herculaneumm, and Paestum.
Physical Campania includes parts of the southern Apennines and a coastal strip along the Tyrrhenian Sea consisting of plains interrupted by hills, some of them volcanic (the Flegrian Fields and Vesuvius). There are two main river systems: the Volturno and its tributary the Calore draining north; and the Sele and Tanagro in the south, which flow into the Gulf of Salerno, below the Bay of Naples.
Economy On the coast intensive crops are raised; the interior produces wheat and tobacco around Caserta and Benevento. Campania is the most densely populated region of Italy, especially in Naples province. It contains a large industrialized zone stretching from Caserta round the Bay of Naples to Salerno, including Pozzuoli, Naples, Torre Annunziata, and Castelammare di Stabia. The main resort towns are Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, and Sorrento.
Early history Under the Roman Empire Campania, together with Latium (modern Lazio), formed the first Augustan regio (administrative district), but Diocletian included it in Latium. The main towns were Capua, Cumae, Neopolis (modern Naples), and Pompeii.
Natural disaster Mudslides in Campania in May 1998 claimed 118 victims in what was the country's worst natural disaster in decades. The Italian government declared a state of emergency after torrents of mud and water unleashed by two days of incessant rain engulfed hundreds of homes in the Sarno Valley in Campania. Rivers of mud burst into town centres, tearing apart houses and bridges and sending panicked residents fleeing. For many years, environmentalists had warned that of the 24% of Campania's territory likely to collapse through land slippage, the Sarno Valley area was most at risk. There had been rampant deforestation, uncontrolled building and removal of scrub on the fragile clay mountainsides.