Best places to visit in the South of Italy

Best places to visit in the South of Italy

Last Updated on January 23, 2023 by Maria Kennedy

The south of Italy is home to many beautiful and historically significant places to visit. With different customs, different foods, and even different dialects, the South of Italy can sometimes feel utterly different from the North. In this article we will share some of the best places i†o visit in Southern Italy – including the best food to try to really get a handle on the spectacular Southern Italian culture!

Southern Italy can offer travelers a plethora of magnificent offerings; beautiful coastline, white sand beaches, and historic cities and towns. So much so that a trip to Southern Italy will be a true adventure for any and all type of tourist. Italy tours are a great way to explore this part of the country , follow these tips and you won’t miss out on anything Southern Italy has to offer!

Here are some of the best places to visit in the South of Italy:

Naples

One of the largest cities in the country, this historic city is known for its art, architecture, and delicious Neapolitan pizza. Some of the main sights to see in Naples include:

The Royal Palace of Naples: a grand palace that was the main residence of the Bourbon kings of the Two Sicilies.
The Castel dell’Ovo: a castle that sits on an island in the Gulf of Naples and offers great views of the city and the sea.
The Catacombs of San Gennaro: an extensive network of underground tombs that date back to the early Christian era.
The Museo Archeologico Nazionale: a large museum that houses an extensive collection of Roman and Greek artifacts from the region.
The Cathedral of San Gennaro: a beautiful church that houses the remains of the city’s patron saint, San Gennaro.
Piazza del Plebiscito: a large square that is the heart of the city’s political and cultural life.

When it comes to pizza, Naples is considered the birthplace of pizza. Here are some of the best places to eat pizza in Naples:

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele: A famous pizzeria that has been open since 1870 and it is considered one of the best places to eat pizza in Naples.
Pizzeria Brandi: another historic pizzeria that claims to have invented the Margherita pizza.
Pizzeria Trianon da Ciro: a well-known pizzeria that is known for its wood-fired oven and traditional Neapolitan pizza.
Pizzeria Di Matteo: a popular pizzeria that is known for its delicious pizza and friendly service.
Pizzeria La Notizia: a trendy and modern pizzeria that is known for its creative and delicious pizza toppings.

It is worth noting that all these pizzerias are very popular, so expect a queue or a wait for a table, but it is worth it.

Naples is also just 26 kilometers from Pompeii, making these harrowing ruins great for a day trip.

Pompeii

Pompeii is an ancient Roman city that was buried by ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

As a result, the city has been preserved in excellent condition and offers a unique glimpse into ancient Roman life. Some of the main sights to see in Pompeii include:

The Forum: the main square of the city, which served as a center of political and economic activity.
The Basilica: a large public building that served as a court of law and a meeting place for the city’s elite.
The Temple of Jupiter: a large temple dedicated to the Roman god Jupiter.
The Villa of the Mysteries: a large, well-preserved villa that is thought to have been a place of religious rituals.
The Amphitheater: a large arena that could seat up to 12,000 people, used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles.
The Lupanar: a brothel that contains well-preserved frescoes depicting sexual acts.
The Thermal Baths: the ancient Roman’s place for socializing and relaxation, containing different rooms for different purposes such as hot and cold rooms, tepid rooms, and also a gym.
The Villa of the Faun: one of the largest and most opulent villas in Pompeii, containing a large garden and a collection of sculptures and frescoes.

The Isle of Capri

Head to Capri to explore the gorgeous town and marina, or take a boat trip around the breathtaking Blue Grotto caves. While you’re in Capri, don’t forget to try their most famous dish: ravioli capresi. Made with a simple pasta dough, the ravioli is filled with parmigiano, aged caciotta cheese and marjoram, before being tossed with fresh tomato sauce! Absolutely delicious, and great for vegetarian travellers, as well.

You can find many restaurants on the island that serve traditional Italian cuisine, including pasta dishes. Some popular restaurants on the Isle of Capri include La Capannina, Ristorante Pizzeria Aurora, and La Carbonara. It is recommended to do some research or ask locals for recommendations before choosing a restaurant.

Matera

Matera is an ancient city in the region of Basilicata, known for its cave dwellings called the Sassi, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Sassi are a series of cave dwellings carved into the tuff rock of the Murgia plateau. Visitors can explore the ancient cave houses, churches, and streets that make up the Sassi.

Another popular attraction in Matera is the Cathedral of Matera, which is a Gothic-style church built in the 13th century. The church features a beautiful rose window and a frescoed ceiling.

The Park of the Rupestrian Churches is another must-see attraction in Matera. The park contains over 150 rock-cut churches and chapels, many of which date back to the 9th century.

Additionally, the Matera Museum is another great place to visit for those interested in the history and culture of the area. The museum has a large collection of artifacts and artworks that document the history of the city and the surrounding region.

Lastly, Matera is a great place to explore on foot, as the city is filled with narrow streets, staircases and alleys that offer beautiful views of the city and the surrounding landscape.

The Valley of Temples

The Valley of Temples is an archaeological site in Agrigento, Sicily, Italy that contains some of the most well-preserved ancient Greek temples in the world. The most famous of these is the Temple of Hera, also known as the Temple of Concordia, which is considered one of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples in existence.

Other notable temples in the valley include the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Heracles, and the Temple of Asclepius. The valley also features a number of other ancient ruins, including the remains of a theater, a gymnasium, and a necropolis. Visitors to the valley can also take guided tours to learn more about the history and significance of the temples and ruins.

Bari

 

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Halfway up the Adriatic coast, you can find the amazing coastal town of Bari. Spend a few days exploring the extensive harbour, sunbathing on the numerous beaches, and getting lost in the historic town centre. Looking for something typical to sink your teeth into? Try burrata (a soft and gooey mozzarella-esque cheese), panzarotti (a savoury turnover stuffed with traditional fillings), and orecchiette alle cime di rape e salsiccia (orecchiette with sausages and turnips.)

The Royal Palace of Caserta

The Royal Palace of Caserta is an 18th-century palace in Caserta, Campania, that was a principal residence of the Bourbon kings of Naples. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its impressive architecture and beautiful gardens.

Visitors can take guided tours of the palace to see the grand halls, state apartments, and royal private quarters, as well as the palace’s impressive art and decor. The palace is surrounded by beautiful gardens, which include waterfalls, fountains, statues, and a large lake. Visitors can take a stroll through the gardens to enjoy the scenery and the palace’s impressive architecture.

The towns of the Amalfi Coast

Last but not least, the towns of the Amalfi Coast provide travellers with some dramatic scenery, gorgeous picture-perfect multi-coloured houses, and most importantly – some of the world’s finest fish cuisine. While you’re taking in all the idyllic coastal towns of Amalfi, Erchie, Minori and Positano have to offer, don’t forget to stop and order a fresh plate of scialatielli ai frutti di mare, a typical dish of fresh pasta – and all the best seafood caught that day.

There are plenty of reasons why the South of Italy should be on your travel bucket list. With spectacular sands, captivating towns full of history, and of course, some of the best Italian food in the country, this is your sign to start looking for your flight!

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About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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