The region was originally inhabited by Italic tribes, who were later joined by Greek, Etruscan and Samnite invaders in the 9th-5th centuries BCE. The Greek founded Naples and Paestum, among others, and the Etruscans founded Capua further north. From the 5th to the 3rd centuries BCE the region fell under Roman control and became a central part of the empire.
After the demise of the Roman Empire in the west, the region was first taken by the Longobards in the 6th century CE, and later by the Byzantine general Belisarius. In the 11th century the Normans invaded the region and formed a kingdom that would unite Southern Italy until the Italian unification in 1860. This kingdom was lead by various European royal families, such as the Spanish House of Aragona, and the French Houses of Anjou and Bourbon, except for a short period under the Napoleonic Wars, when first a republic and later a puppet kingdom were formed under a brother of Napoleon.
- The ancient city of Paestum (with thorough description)
- The city of Naples
- The ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples
- The royal palace, the Reggia, at Caserta