Beyond the usual clauses of "firm and inviolable peace" the treaty passed a number of Austrian territories into French hands. Lands claimed included the Austrian low countries (Belgium) and certain islands in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic. Venice and its territories (Venetia) were divided between the two states. The Cisalpine Republic was made independent of Austria. The treaty also contained non-public clauses, which divided up certain other territories, made Liguria independent, and also agreed to the extension of the borders France up to the Rhine, the Nette, and the Roer. The French Republic had been expanded to its "natural" boundaries and in Italy beyond them.
The treaty was composed and signed after five months of negotiations. It was basically what had been agreed earlier at the Peace of Leoben in April, 1797, but the negotiations had been spun out by both parties for a number of reasons. During the negotiating period the French had to crush a royalist coup in September. This was used as a cause for the arrest and deportation of royalist and moderate deputies in the Directory.
Campo Formio is a village in northern Italy; the treaty was signed at an inn there.