Campania is a region of southern Italy, covering about 5,250 square miles. Its terrain is varied, including coastal areas to the west where it meets the Tyrrhenian Sea and Apennine mountain range passes through the eastern part of the region. Naples is the administrative capital for the region's population of 5,800,000. The fields of Campania are fertile, with soil rich in minerals and watered by the Volturno and Sele rivers, and during antiquity the region was the most important agricultural area in Italy. Campania is home to the 'Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata' which since 1997 have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, while the historic centre of Naples has been a World Heritage Site since 1995.
Human activity in Campania extends back to the Palaeolithic. In the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. the Etruscans began taking control of Campania, which had previously been the domain of the Oscans. As well as Italian peoples, Ancient Greeks were active in the region, establishing trading colonies along the Campanian coast as early as the 8th century B.C. In the early 5th century B.C. the Samnites expanded into Campania, and in 424 B.C. captured the city of Capua. Soon after the region was under their control.
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- Domenico, The Regions of Italy: A Reference Guide to History and Culture, p. 55.
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