10 Best Places To Visit In South Italy
The warm weather is not over yet. There is still time and a good reason to visit South Italy this month! South Italy has some amazing offerings. The Best Places to visit in South Italy include; beautiful stretches of dramatic coastline, picture perfect beaches, charming coastal islands and a plethora of historic cities and towns. It was hard to narrow our list down to just 10, but here are 10 best places to visit in South Italy.
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1. The Amalfi Coast
What is a trip to Italy without visiting the Amalfi Coast? This particular region of Southern Italy is one of the most beautiful and world renowned! Stretching from Naples to Salerno, the Amalfi coast offers dramatic scenery, gorgeous towns that hug the mountains, and some interesting historical sites.
This protected region features some idyllic coastal towns such as Amalfi, Erchie, Minori and Positano – these towns have a series of multi colored houses that stack up against the hillsides and provide picture perfect photo opportunities.
Furthermore, sites such as Villa Rufolo in Ravello provide unrivaled views across to the Mediterranean Sea.
Sorrento has both the amenities that tourists find comforting as well as unique and higher end antiquities for sale in the old town. A ferry leaves from here to the isle of Capri, and it is a great jumping off point for Pompeii. However, Sorrento is also known for excellent gourmet cuisine, stunning cliff dwellings (though no beaches), and stunning views of Mount Vesuvius.
This medieval town is positioned along the rocky coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. Its ritzy harbor is one of the top hotspots in Italy. If you want to stay here during the summer you may have to book well in advance to secure your chosen hotel as rooms book up FAST. As we are nearing the end of the warm season, you may have some luck with last minute bookings!
Some cool history, Paestum is a town on Italian soil, but it was founded by the ancient Greeks when they were in control of this part of Italy! Then it was known as Poseidonia after the god of the sea.
The Greek architecture alone is worth a visit so be sure to put that into your itinerary in addition to visiting the three well preserved Greek temples that you have to see. The oldest was built about 550BC (give or take a year) and is the Temple of Hera which is amazing.
5. Best Places To Visit In South Italy: Naples
Naples, or Napoli, depends on what language, is the third largest city in Italy. To be honest, there are some very opposing views on this part of South Italy. To some it is huge, filthy, crime ridden and falling apart, to others it is edgy and atmospheric. Whatever blows your hair back, we guess? One thing is for sure though. This coastal Southern city has its own personality!
Many favorite Italian foods originated in Naples and its surrounding areas such as pizza, and spaghetti. These dishes are taken seriously here and usually feature fresh, locally grown ingredients. Tourist attractions in Naples include a huge medieval castle, Castel Nuovo, as well as the seaside fortress of Castel del Ovo. The city is also next to the Vesuvius, the only active volcano on the European continent.
6. Best Places To Visit In South Italy: Alberobello
The town of Alberobello is unique in that it is the best preserved example of Trulli architecture to be found in all of Italy (well, so I was told).
Homes built in the Trulli style are made with conical stone roofs without using mortar (though, I am no builder so do not quote me on that). The oldest homes date from the 14th century and totally stunning, making it one of the must see and beautiful towns in Southern Italy to visit.
7. Best Places To Visit In South Italy: Tropea
Look, I am warning you in advance. The photo opportunities in this place are insane. Be careful that you do not miss out on the real thing! The beautiful ancient town of Tropea is perched on top of some sheer cliffs and across the road from a narrow sandy beach, it is said to have been founded by Hercules himself.
If you are sightseeing, there are two gorgeous churches in Tropea too, the Santa Maria del Isola is a medieval church that was built on an island although years of siltation has resulted in a land bridge forming between the island and the mainland. The other is the cathedral; it has two unexploded bombs dating from WW2 sitting just outside the church door. Locals believed the building was protected by the patron saint so watch your step!
The churches alone make this one of the most beautiful towns in Southern Italy. You will love it!
8. Best Places To Visit In South Italy: Capri
Technically a small island, Capri has a gorgeous town and marina that you have to explore. The whole island is rich in history and mythology and one lovely spot you have to visit when in the region.
If you are looking for things to see, The home of Roman Emperor Tiberius (Villa Jovis) is still one of the major spots to see on the island and so is the Blue Grotto. The waterfront cave is only accessible by boat and only when there are favorable tides (so be prepared for cancellations).
9. Best Places To Visit In South Italy: Pompeii and Herculaneum
Pompeii and Herculaneum were two Roman towns and villages that were obliterated when Mount Vesuvius erupted all the way back in 79 AD.
Probably the most famous of the two is the town of Pompeii, which you can now wander around and explore when you are in the area. An awful 3,000 people perished in the town, but the hot ash immortalized the ruins into what it is today. Be warned, it can get pretty busy here, so plan accordingly and remember you might have to queue for a ticket to enter.
Oh, also the nearby town of Herculaneum is smaller and was a wealthier district and gives an example of how the wealthy Romans once lived. Make sure to visit the Herculaneum Archaeological Area if you are a history buff!
10. Best Places To Visit In South Italy: Aeolian Islands
Last on our list of Best Places to visit in South Italy. The Aeolian Islands! They are known as the Hawaii of Italy. It is a string of islands north of Sicily, and it is silly gorgeous. As amazing as it may be, hardly anyone knows about it. But the ones who do keep coming back. Because they know they will have the place all to themselves.
Renting scooters to zip around beautiful black beaches. Sunset aperitivo in Pollara. Boating around the surrounding islands of Stromboli, Panarea, and Lipari. Getting steamy with sulfur water spas in Vulcano. The Greek vibes (no surprise – the islands were named for Aeolus, the god of the winds, by Greek settlers). Salt eroded houses spilling down to the shore. And feeling like you are in on a big secret that you only wanna share with your loved ones!
Insider tip: travel here between Easter-October and Book in advance if you want to visit in August!
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