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Things to Do in Naples - page 3

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Avellino
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2 Tours and Activities

Located in the Campania region, Avellino is not nearly as well-known as its seaside neighbor Naples. History buffs may recognize the name, as Avellino was heavily bombed area during World War II. Today, it’s a nice getaway for visitors looking to trade coastal views for scenic countryside mountain views.

Agriculture is important in Avellino. Wine grapes, tobacco and hazelnuts are important crops here. That said, Avellino is a fairly modern city, having survived and rebuilt after several earthquakes.

Visitors can hike to the Montevergine Sanctuary, visit Avellino Cathedral or see the remains of the Lombard Castle in Piazza Castello (Castle Square). The main street or promenade is car-free, making wandering and window shopping easy. Avellino also has its own basketball club, so if you’re a basketball fan, it’s worth checking the schedule for any games while you are in town.

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Mt. Terminio (Monte Terminio)
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Monte Terminio is located near Avellino, in the small town of Serino. One of the taller peaks of the Picentini Mountains, it’s a popular place for outdoor enthusiasts and families to spend a morning or afternoon.

Hiking is popular activity, and there are numerous well-marked trails to choose from. Those who make the climb to the summit are rewarded with amazing views. If you are interested in a calmer, relaxing experience, it’s also a great place to just bring a picnic and enjoy the fresh air. There is also a riding school on Mt. Terminio if horseback riding is on your vacation must-do list.

Campania's famed truffles grow at the foot of Mt. Terminio. Hunters use specially trained dogs to go truffle hunting in the mountain forest area.

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Mergellina
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The historic center of Naples tumbles so effortlessly downhill toward the sea that you might not know the seafront area actually has a different name all its own—Mergellina.

Mergellina actually used to be a separate town, but when Naples grew it was eventually subsumed by the expanding metropolis in the early 20th century. Today, this neighborhood sits between the foot of the Posillipo Hill and the Bay of Naples. There are many restaurants and hotels in the area, and it's ideal for an evening stroll in the summer.

If you're taking a ferry from Naples out to Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast or any of the islands, it's likely that your departure dock will be in Mergellina. It's not the main port for the big cruise ships, but it's where many of the small hydrofoils and other smaller boats depart.

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La Mortella Gardens (Giardini La Mortella)
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Created in 1958 by Lady Susan Walton, La Mortella Botanic Gardens were developed over the course of 50 years on the island of Ischia. Considered one of the most beautiful private gardens in Europe, it was built on land that was once covered in volcanic rocks. Today, the botanic gardens are divided into a valley garden and a hill garden, each with a distinct character. The hill garden features Mediterranean vegetation and architectural elements that reflect the history and archaeology of Ischia. It is dominated by the Greek Theater, an auditorium that was carved out of the slope of the mountain with a stage overlooking the Bay of Forio.

The valley garden is home to a wide variety of trees and flowers, including ginkgo biloba trees, magnolias, hydrangeas, tree ferns, geraniums, Brahea palms, yucca, aloe and water lilies. It also features 65-foot tall trees that produce yellow flowers similar to tulips.

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Picentini Mountain Regional Park (Parco Regionale di Monti Picentini)
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The Monti Picentini Regional Park is a nice daytrip for outdoor lovers looking to take a break from city life in Naples. Located in Campania, the park is more than 150,000 acres (62,220 hectares) in size.

Popular with hikers and bikers, many of the climbs enjoy the bonus of small waterfalls that offer an inviting spot to cool off. At the foot of Mt. Terminio, in Monti Picentini Regional Park is the town of Volturara Irpina. The town and surrounding countryside is a popular locale for truffle hunters to search for Campania's famous truffles.

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