Welcome to Acerra, a historic town located in the Metropolitan City of Naples in southern Italy. Situated just 15 kilometers (9 miles) northeast of Naples, Acerra is part of the Agro Acerrano plain, and boasts a rich history, delicious cuisine, and a variety of architectural styles. Join us as we discover the many hidden gems of Acerra and why it should be on every traveler’s radar.
Acerra is one of the oldest cities in the region, with its roots dating back to the Osci people who founded the city with the name Akeru. The city played a significant role during the great war of the Campanians and Latins against Rome, and was ultimately granted full rights over Roman citizens. Acerra was also a Roman base during the Social War in 90 BC, and was subsequently rebuilt after being destroyed by Hannibal in 216 BC.
Today, Acerra is a place of rich culture and history. The city boasts a variety of architectural styles, ranging from the ancient Roman Empire to the Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical periods. Notable sights include the Acerra Cathedral, as well as the more modern Napoli Afragola Station, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and constructed in 2017. Visitors to Acerra can also indulge in delicious local cuisine, including the famous Margherita pizza, which originated in nearby Naples, as well as Neapolitan pizza, a closed pizza filled with ricotta cheese, tomatoes, mozzarella, and peppers. Other must-try dishes include pasta, coffee, and caprese, all of which can be found in local shops like Pizzeria Attilio Albachiara Pummarò and Mormile Caffè.
Acerra’s economy has its stronghold on chemicals and textiles, as well as tourism. The area is also known for its production of products like olive oil, rice, tomatoes, and wine. However, the city has faced its share of challenges. From the 1990s to the 2000s, Acerra was plagued by a waste management crisis, mainly due to illegal dumping by the Camorra, a powerful organized crime syndicate. This resulted in a region between Acerra, Nola, and Marigliano being dubbed the Triangle of Death, with a 2004 study uncovering higher cancer rates in the area. In 2009, a €350 million Acerra incineration facility was completed to deal with the waste problem.
Acerra has also faced challenges during the coronavirus pandemic, with the town being locked down in March 2020. In late March, a woman arrived in town after travelling to Lombardy, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. Residents took to the streets to express their concern, and the woman responded by stating she followed all required precautions, including self-isolating. Despite these challenges, Acerra remains a beautiful and welcoming destination, with a warm and humid climate, monthly average temperatures ranging from 41 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit, and a variety of transportation options available to explore the city and its many attractions. While Acerra may not be the safest city, it is still a must-visit location, rich in history, culture, and delicious cuisine.