Once a part of ancient Greece, the Mezzogiorno region of Italy, which refers to the southern section of the country, is a tourist hotspot. And it’s really not difficult to see why. This historically and artistically important part of the nation boasts some of the oldest cities in Italy. The warm Mediterranean climate and island lifestyle make this area a heavenly vacation paradise. Here is a look at some of the best places to visit in southern Italy.
One of southern Italy’s top resort sites, Maratea’s medieval town, and beautiful rocky Mediterranean coastline make it highly appealing for visitors. The town is seasonal, with many attractions closing between October and March, so be sure to pre-plan the visit and book ahead to secure a top spot. Upmarket amenities, watersports, and sunbathing are some of the spectacular activities that visitors can look forward to experiencing.
Capturing a beautiful blend of old Italian city living and tourist resorts is Sorrento. The city itself is an antiquer’s dream for shopping and is well known for its incredible gourmet cuisine. Lodgings in the area are situated on the cliff sides with the most stunning views of Mt Vesuvius imaginable. The city offers easy access to Naples via rail, and a ferry can be taken to visit the isle of Capri. While there are no sandy beaches available for lounging around, the resorts make up for this with poolside opulence.
Originally known under ancient Greek rule as Poseidonia, meaning “god of the sea,” Paestum is well known for its three well preserved Greek temples. The Temple of Hera, the oldest of the temples, was built by Greek colonists around 550 BC. There is also a museum, buffalo farms, and some very good hotels in the area. While site seeing is rather limited to the above-mentioned items, Paestum is exquisitely serene and a great spot to totally relax and unwind in.
Almost any film ever to portray Italy will have some shots taken along the Amalfi Coast. The picturesque patchwork of colorful buildings amongst the dense forest trees on the cliff sides makes these towns a stunning backdrop for any occasion. The many towns along this coast offer brilliant beaches, stunning shoreline excursions, and snorkeling while exploring the cave systems. Catch a decadent feast with a wide variety of eating establishments that dive deep into the rich culture of the area through culinary expression.
A shining example of Trullo architecture, the homes of Alberobello are known for their conical stone roofs. Made without water, these dry stone buildings are constructed with local limestone and line the Itria Valley in Apulia. While this form of architecture is a tourist attraction on its own, the town is also known for allowing tourists to experience the culture first hand. Olive oil and mozzarella making, as well as local traditional cuisine cooking classes are a few of the great ways to experience life in Alberobello and make some new friends.
Perfect weather, out of this world food, and pure scenic beauty are just a few of the things that await travelers in southern Italy. Just be sure to book well in advance and go at the right time of the year for the most perfect vacation imaginable. Benvenuto in Italia!