Dramatic cliffs and azure oceans in the Amalfi Coast, stunning scenery in Sicily, exceptional history in and around Naples and Pompeii, and unique Italian cuisine in the rural interior. Whatever you are planning on seeing, doing or eating, our Southern Italy travel guide will help you discover the best of this area in Italy.
From the tiny islands of Lampedusa and Linosa in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea to the beautiful countryside of the Molise region on the mainland, Southern Italy has plenty of diversity to offer holidaymakers. While the hustle and bustle of the northern cities may not be so much in evidence, it is not true to say that the southern part of the Italian peninsula is anything like a backwater. Naples, Bari and Foggia as well as Palermo on the island of Sicily are all major population centres. What's more, as we discovered from our local hoteliers, the southern way of life is often centred around local cuisine making every part of it worth exploring.
Transports in South Italy and Islands
Buy a Campania Unico ticket if you are in that region because it lets you use all of the local public transport services. The main ports to get to the southern islands are Naples, Salerno and Villa San Giovarno which links the mainland with Sicily via Messina. The A14 and the E45 are the two major trunk roads in the area.
When to go to South Italy and Islands
It gets very hot in August this far south so unless you are a sun worshipper, try to book your break in May or June. Taranto, in the heart of Puglia, has a rowing festival that takes place around this time of year. Naples International Film Festival is put on annually in October and the city also hosts numerous street food and pizza festivals throughout the year. Palermo is full of celebrations at Easter as well as staging a Renaissance music festival in August.
There are many exciting, unique and fascinating things to do in Southern Italy. Here’s our hoteliers’ pick of unmissable local activities.
In Sicily's interior, there is more and more land being devoted to wine production and many visitors to this part of the world choose to embark of organised tours of some of the vineyards to sample the local produce.
Pompeii, close to the city of Naples, is one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the whole of the country, offering a fascinating insight into the lives of ordinary citizens of the Roman Empire.
There are many diving schools along the coast of Southern Italy where you can explore Southern Italy from an underwater perspective. Some great ones are on the eastern facing coast of the Adriatic Sea.
With so much great food on offer, it is hard to know where to start. A good place would be Giglio Rosso in Catania, serving typically Sicilian cuisine on the island's east coast. Visitors to Naples must try the pizza. Arguably the ‘original’ pizza, our hoteliers recommend trying and deciding for yourself.