Southern Italy

For many tourists visiting Italy, Rome is about as south as they get. Northern Italy is by far the most visited region. There is hardly a path that hasn't been beaten in the north. For the adventurous looking for things to do away from large crowds, southern Italy tours are a must. Southern Italy travel is not on most visitor's radars, yet it is the south that offers a true look at Italy through history and culture. In the south, there are fewer visitors than anywhere else in Italy, making southern Italy vacations the best way to get immersed in the Italian way of life.

Anyone spending a fair amount of time in Italy will notice the northern Italians and southern Italians don't exactly think too highly of each other. There is an unmarked divide between the two regions with central Italy split between them. Many of the cities in southern Italy developed around Naples. The region has always been predominantly agricultural and less dependent on trade. Being agriculturally focused means southern Italy travel reveals a world of epicurean delights, where food is always fresh when dining.

Tourists embarking on southern Italy tours—that have visited northern Italy before—will notice a definitive difference in cultural influences. The south of Italy has, to some degree, been shaped by the prominent Greek settlements that once existed throughout the region. Sicily itself is home to a number of significant Greek ruins and was also home to a massive eighth-century Greek colony. The south is also influenced a little bit by North Africa, where visitors may notice evidence of the Islamic faith and North African flavors arising in some southern Italian dishes.

There are a great number of attractions to see and things to do during southern Italy travel. There are eight regions that together make up the south. They include Basilicata, Abruzzo, Campania, Puglia, Molise, Sicily, and Sardinia. Each region features unique attributes and features. Calabria is renowned for its beautiful beaches. It comprises the "toe" of "The Boot" and is almost entirely enveloped by water. This region's main feature though is mountains, where numerous Italy ski resorts are located. Campania is another notable region to visit during southern Italy vacations. It is also the most popular stop for anyone venturing south of Rome. Campania is home to Naples, the Amalfi Coast, the Greek ruins at Paestum and Cumae, and the Sorrento peninsula. It is also home to the famous island of Ischia and Capri.

Though certainly not a popular stop during Italian vacations, Sardinia is an excellent vacation destination with many great qualities. Beautiful beaches, the Alghero Marine Reserve, the Roman-Phoenician port city of Tharros, Coste Verde, the caves of Anghelu Ruju, and Neptune's Grotto are only a few of the many places to see. The region of Puglia in southern Italy also has many magnificent beaches, both on the Gulf of Taranto and the Adriatic Sea. Historic monuments and ancient cities are also highlights in this agricultural area.

Sicily is about as Italian as it gets. This region is well-known around the world. Sicily is also the biggest island in the Mediterranean. There are many excellent beach resorts in Sicily as well as several important Roman and Greek ruins to explore. The cities of Palermo, Taormina, Agrigento, and Trapani are located here. Southern Italy tours offer an intense Italian experience. For an authentic look at Italian life, travel to the south is as necessary as it is exciting.

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