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Campania as a region is rich in history. From its founding in Greek times its capital, Naples, has always been a highly important city because of the huge natural harbour and,  just across the gulf, the mountainous island of Capri was where the first Roman emperor Augustus had his summer palace. It is only a short boat trip away but it is still very exclusive with very high fashion outlets, both commercially and topographically. The University of Naples was founded by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1224 which makes it the oldest non-sectarian university in the world. Frederick himself spoke six languages including Greek, Latin and Arabic which meant he knew three completely different alphabets. As an alternative to the tourist-drenched site of Pompeii try Herculaneum, another city buried by the eruption of 79 AD but for me more interesting. The carbonised wooden furniture is a fascinating insight into domestic Roman life. Finally, a visit to the National Archaeological Museum in Naples will not disappoint.

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