Southern Italy Vacations -
Tours, Hotels, Map of Southern Italy
Southern Italy has so much to offer
for vacations. When
we traveled through this lovely part of Italy we were amazed at just
how many lovely tourist
attractions there are, but that many were mostly undiscovered. When
Italy, they often just visit the main cities or landmarks and often the
rest of Italy gets sadly
If you are looking for budget travel
come to the south. Everything is so much cheaper than its
northern cousins from the food, to the wine, clothing, even
accommodation. And the weather is better too. It certainly doesn't rain
half as much as central or northern Italy and the olive oil that is
here is wonderful.
Did you know that you can go skiing in
Well, you can! Those are just some of the many surprises that this
sadly neglected part of Italy by the traveler has to offer.
Regions of Southern Italy
- Apulia (Puglia)
its quaint architecture with the trulli in Alberobello and many
traditions and superstitions carried over from times of witchcraft.
It is interesting to see that at Orsara di Puglia, in the
Province of Foggia they have been celebrating Halloween for the past
1,000 years. However, their celebration takes place on the evening of
the 1st November instead of 31st October, and is more a
dedication to the dead, but does included pumpkins.
has wild and largely uninhabited landscapes, and one of the
most stunning mountain ranges is the Gran Sasso.
But it is also here that a strange festival takes place called the
Procession of the Snakes, where people on the first Thursday in May
join a religious procession drapped with snakes follow an effigy of St.
Dominic through the streets of Cocullo,
which is also drapped in poisonous vipers.
has caves at Matera that had been lived in for 9000 years until the
1950s, although people are now buying these up to live in once more.
has mountains that dip their toes in the crystal clear waters of the
coast. Grapes for wine making have been grown in Calabria
since the times of the Greek invasions.
has some of the best food of Southern Italy and is my pick of which
regions to visit if you have just one region in Southern Italy that you
have time for. This is home to Naples and
the pizza, Pompeii, the beautiful Amalfi Coast, and the best
preserved Greek temples outside of Greece at Paestum.
A visit to Pompeii
is a must, and
while you are in the region look for lemoncello
a liqueur made from
lemons - it's delicious over ice cream if you get the creamy version,
and the buffalo mozzarella
which fantastic and pseudo versions you find in supermarkets
around the world pale in comparison.
The Amalfi Coast
sublime, that is if you can take your eyes off the road long enough to
enjoy the view. The roads are narrow and twisty, large tourist buses
swing around tight corners into your path and vespers built for 2 but
carrying 3-5 pass you at frightening speeds. The drive is not for the
faint-hearted! You have been warned. :)
You can also go skiing
in Southern Italy at Laceno - a top
destination if you are looking for a cheap
family skiing holiday!
vastly uninhabited by
comparison to the rest of the country. However, in Molise you can ski
at two of the most important skiing restorts in the south of Italy;
Campitello Matese and Capracotta.
one of those islands that is steeped in thousands of years of history
seen today in the way the people look, the type of dishes they prepare
and their architecture. The Arabs invaded Sicily along with
the Moors, and many others before and after that. Sicily also
has a dark side as the Mafia still has roots deeply embedded here,
although as a tourist you wouldn't notice, nor would you be affected in
has so many beautiful beaches with waters that are crystal clear.
However, it isn't just the coast that is worth a visit. Take a trip to
the interior and buy some local Pecorino cheese made from those woolly
Sardinian sheep that you will see dotting the landscape. If you are
really brave try some Casu Marzu! Mmm! Don't you just love those
Italy with Mount Versuvius in the Background
Regional Food of Southern Italy
The food of Southern Italy can
certainly be more spicy than food in the north, particularly if you are
in Sicily. And if you are in Molise and Abruzzo, although the food is
very similar, dishes in Molise have far more herbs than dishes in
Abruzzo. characteristic of this area consists of
tomatoes, olives, anchovies, capers, garlic, herbs, chillies, seafood
had some amazing meals in the south. Two meals stand out particularly.
One was in a restaurant that we had found by chance. It over looked the
Bay of Naples with a view similar to the picture above and it was
filled with patrons sitting inside cheering on the local football team
of an important match. We, on the otherhand, sat outside and enjoyed
the view and the best frutti di mare we had ever tasted. With just a
hint of chili to lift the dish - it was superb!
other meal in Southern Italy that was equally memorable was after a day
of visiting Pompeii. It was 3 :00 p.m. by the time we had finished
looking around this not-to-be-missed heritage site when we realized
that it was late and restaurant after restaurant turned us away as they
were packing up for the afternoon.
Not giving up,
as we also had 3 children in the back seat who were not very quiet in
telling us how hungry they were, we finally came to a restaurant that
had a lot of cars outside. We went in only to find that we had invaded
the tail-end of a wedding celebration. There sat the bride in all her
finery, along with her groom and the rest of the party. As we were
about to beat a hasty retreat we were stopped by the manager who
insisted that we take up a spare table.
greetings all round from the happy gathering to us, and vice versa, we
enjoyed a wonderful meal in such a happy environment that it was
contagious. We left feeling very euphoric, although that might have had
something to do with several free shots of lemoncello that the manager
insisted on giving us!
That was our introduction
to lemoncello, and has become a firm favorite, followed by bellini's
but then I digress, as that's a drink that comes from the north.
is fair to say that each region of the area has its own specialities.
If you go to Apulia their orecchiette (little ears) pasta is unique.
And it is Apulia where you can find some of the best olives in the
whole of Italy.
But because many of the regions have a coast
line, this part of Italy serves some of the best seafood dishes.
Grilled swordfish, sardines, lobster, prawns, squid, tuna,
anchovies and mussels all find their way to the tables, as well as good
Vegetables are plentiful in the south of Italy, but
there are a few that occur again and again in meals; tomatoes,
zucchinis, eggplants, red peppers, artichokes and garlic.
you walk in Southern Italy you will come across yellow globes of fruit
weighing down the branches of lemon trees. Lemons are used a lot in
food in Southern Italy from the lemoncello drink to cooking lemons,
preserving lemons or just having lemons on the side with their fish
Lemons aren't the only garnish you will come across.
Rosemary, sundried tomatoes, capers and oregano are added to dishes to
give them that distinct taste and flavor.
Wine of Southern Italy
here offer cheap and surprisingly good wine, one of my favourite wines
from this area is Montepulciano d' Abruzzo; cheap and very drinkable.
However, it is Marsala from the Port of
Marsala in Sicily that it is famous for. This
thick, strong wine has been around for nearly 300 years and drunk
throughout the Southern parts of Italy. However, it is not just Marsala
that is worth drinking in Sicily. There are serveral other Sicilian
wine producers of note; Corvo and Regaleali are two others.
mentioned earlier, Apulia is a wine producing region, producing more
wine here than any of its neighbors, and indeed more than any other
region in Italy, and has been doing so since the Bronze Age.
The best thing about buying wine in the
south is that it is so much cheaper than buying it in the
Italy Grapevine Tip: Buy your wine like a local. Buy a 5
liter glass or plastic container and head for the
local cooperative or cantina where they will dispense the wine for you
into your container. So much cheaper than buying by the bottle and some
of it is really good stuff!
Weather of Southern Italy
of Southern Italy is mild in winter and balmy in summer. With
fewer rainy days in the south than most other parts of Italy you can
bank on the weather being great for most parts of the year except for
October through to January when more rain falls than other times of the
Weather for Bari, Apulia (Puglia)
Weather for Naples, Campania
Weather for Palermo, Sicily
Weather for Cagliari, Sardinia (Sardegna)
Tours of Southern Italy
We have partnered with Viator to offer you some great tours of Southern
Tours of Sicily
Tours of the Amalfi Coast
Tours of Sorrento
Tours of Solerno
Map of Southern Italy
Map of Sardinia
Map of Sicily
This page is for
Southern Italy travel and for those who want to share their travel
experiences in Southern Italy for others to read. We have pages here
for accommodation reviews, restaurant reviews, and even a place where
you can submit your favourite Italian cooking recipes. So please drop
by, tell us about your top travel spots in Southern Italy and come and
write your travel review.
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Visitors Have Added about these Places
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for Greek Temples in Italy
Not rated yet
While staying in Laceno we decided to meander down the coast a little
further south to explore Paestum for Greek Temples in Italy.
Few people know ...
Family Skiing in Southern Italy at Laceno
Not rated yet
Some many years ago we ended up staying at Laceno. It is a small
village tucked up high in the mountains not far from Bagnoli Irpino,
and Avellino. We ...