INTRODUCING SOUTHERN ITALY
Centuries of culinary traditions. Legendary mountains and ancient sites with stories to tell. A long, sparkling coastline dotted with colourful buildings. Few regions can match Southern Italy for romance or relaxation. Whether on the mainland or islands, in beach retreats or village hideaways, an escape here is the stuff Italian dreams are made of.
A laid-back spirit and ancient soul amid some of Italy’s most sensational scenery.
Things to do
Pull up a chair. Tuck in your napkins. Because food is the beating heart of Southern Italy. You’ll know what part of the region you’re in by the shape of the pasta. Puglia’s calling card is orecchiette (‘little ears’), often served with broccoli. Sicilians pair pasta with fresh seafood like sardines, tuna roe and anchovies and Sardinians use semolina to make little ‘shots’ called fregola. While in Naples, pizza is the word on everyone’s lips. Savour the ultimate Neapolitan, served straight out of wood burning brick ovens.
Southern Italy is brimming with UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some are vast, such as Naples’ labyrinthine historic centre and the exquisite Amalfi Coast. Others are lesser-known treasures. Seek out cone-topped trulli in Alberobello, near Monopoli, and ancient dwellings called sassi in Matera. When it comes to castles you’d be hard pressed to beat octagonal wonder Castel del Monte. The same goes for the Valley of the Temples near Agrigento in Sicily. Of course, a trip to Southern Italy wouldn’t be complete without seeing the eerie magnificence of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
BEACHES & WATER
Blue dominates the palette of Southern Italy. Soak up the cerulean charms of Sardinia and its paradise coves. Sail the seas along the Amalfi Coast, past pastel-hued towns from Positano to Sorrento. Or seek out tiny bays lapped by turquoise water in Puglia. But it’s not all about beaches. In Capri’s Grotta Azzurra, the ‘blue cave’, intense sapphire water lights up the shadowy cavern. Getting here is an adventure – your skipper will ask you to lie flat as he rows you through the mouth of the cave.
A shopping trip in Southern Italy puts you on the trail of style icons – from Audrey Hepburn to David Bowie. Step into chic boutiques for classic Capri pants, silk ties or handmade leatherwork in Naples.
Top tip from SLH