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8 Cities and Sites to Visit in Southern Italy

Published On

December 13, 2021

May 14, 2024

Luxury Travel
minute read

Southern Italy covers the regions of Campania, Abruzzo, Molise, Calabria, Puglia, Basilicata, Sardinia and Sicily. Are ideal places to visit all year round. Every season is exciting and very different.

The summer offers Italys best beaches. To enjoy private yacht Vacations and day trips to islands like Capri or Elba. Spring is a celebration of colour and warm days to take in historical sites and ancient market places like the Capo Market in Palermo. Autumn is the wine and olive oil harvest. Winter is crisp and cool where you can even ski on Mt Etna or Sila in the Region of Calabria.

Here is a list of 8 Cities and Sites you can visi in Southern Italy

1. Matera

The Spectacular city of Matera located in the Region of Basilicata is a true gem.  A world heritage UNESCO site. This 'Sassi di Matera' is the ancient part of town.  The area includes ancient homes carved out of limestone.  The latest James Bond Movie 'No Time to die' was filmed  in Matera. When you visit be sure to pack your walking shoes for a visit with a local guide through the old town.

Take a day trip from Puglia (about an hour drive from Bari airport) or stay for at least three nights in one of the many boutique Hotels inside the Sassi.

Crisp dried sweet peppers are a typical tradition in Basilicata. You can find them in many of the regional dishes.  The product is cultivated and left to dry. Local producers include Agriturismo Fattoria bio Pucciarello a family run organic farm. Located in Satriano di Lucania in the province of Potenza⁠

Where to Stay in Matera: Daniele Kilghren is the founder of Sextantio Group. Creators of the 'Hotel diffuso' (Hotel Diffused) projects in Matera and Abruzzo.  That combines and respects original urban planning for specific historical sites.

The first project is located in a medieval village of Abruzzo called Santo Stefano di Sessanio. The Name Sextantio is an ancient latin name meaning 'six miles' which was precisely the distance of the village from San Marco, the most important district at the time between Castel del Monte and Rocca Calascio in the province of Aquila.

The rooms are in ancient cave dwellings. That face the Murgia Park and its rock-hewn churches. Restoration of every room. Included removing original stone flooring to add underground heating systems. These convivial spaces are simple. Light arrives from the main entrance. The candle light and dim lighting makes for a memorable stay. Recommended stay in the caves two to three nights.

2. The Beach town of Mondello

A 25 minute drive from Palermo to arrive at Mondello's clear waters and beach front.

Italian Luxury Travel Full day option:

Meet your chauffeur driver in Hotel lobby early morning. Meet expert hiking guide.  For a walk throught Monte Pellegrino, one of the most beautiful nature reserves.  That overlooks the picture perfect bay of Mondello.

Enjoy the afternoon at private beach club Lido Valdese. On your return to Palermo   stop by Five Star Luxury Hotel Villa Igea for aperitivo at the Igiea Terrazza before heading back to your accommodations in the city centre of Palermo.

Don't miss: An evening visit or lunch to enjoy an epic meal at Bye Bye Blues by Patrizia di Benedetto. The first female chef in Sicily to gain a michelin star.


Enjoy a picture perfect drive South of the Amalfi Coast to arrive in the coastal town of Cetara. A small fishing village with around 2000 inhabitants. The towns history goes back to over 1000 years.

Cetare is famous for it's 'colatura di alici' anchovy drippings. This local specialty dates back to Roman times and a favorite of top chefs around the world.

Enjoy a day trip to visit the beautiful beaches, historical sites and enjoy lunch at the many specialty fish restaurants.

Where to eat:

Hotel Convento  

Ristorante Torre Normana

Le Arcate

4. The Flavian Ampitheatre in Pozzuoli

The Flavian Ampitheatre of Pozzuoli is an exceptional example of Roman Architecture. This ampitheatre is the third biggest ever constructed after the Colosseum.

Built in 1AD and mainly used for Gladitorial Combats. With a capacity of 40,000 spectators.  Check out Tickets and Opening hours

Italy Group Travel Specialist option: Enjoy a day trip from Naples with chauffeur driver and expert guide.


Just a 40 minute train ride from Montesanto in Naples. The Cumana Railway in Naples connects the historic center to the entire Phlegraean coast: from Montesanto it reaches Torregaveta, a hamlet in the municipality of Bacoli, passing through Fuorigrotta and Pozzuoli. It is one of the oldest public transport lines in the Neapolitan capital: inaugurated in 1892, it was electrified in 1927.

Pozzuoli is the main city of the Phlegrean Peninsula. The Peninsula on the Tyrrhenian Coast is part of the Gulf of Naples.  Pozzuoli overlooks the Phlegraean Islands an arcipelago that includes Ischia, Procida, Vivara and Nisida.

Where to Eat:

Baia Marinella

La Taverna del Re Leone Pozzuoli

What to eat:  

Pasta Fagioli with mussels, Rabbit Ischia Style,  Phelgraean Fields Broad Beans

Check out:

The Wine Road of Campi Flegrei

Contrada Salandra

Polyphemos Enoformaggeria Flegrea

5. Marmorata

The small town of Marmorata is located below the Hill town of Ravello. Just a few minutes drive from the pretty towns of Minori & Amalfi. With daily Departures from the small port of Minori for Capri, Positano and Sorrento.

Our two favorite places to stay include:  

Luxury option - Stay at Palazzo Avino in the hill town and you have access to the club house by the sea.

Boutique Hotel option is Ravello Art Hotel Marmorata. Choose from a variety of rooms or apartments. With private beach access, swimming pool, a delicious restaurant and valet parking

6. San Gregorio D'Armeno

Nativity scenes hand made by local artisans on Via San Gregorio Armeno. Better known as the Christmas Alley.  San Gregorio D'Armeno is a street where artisans have been making hand made figurines for 200 years!

Like Fratelli Capuano! Vincenzo & Luciano represent the fourth generation of hand made master artisans of navitiy scenes. The company started in 1840 and has been past down from generation to generation

In 2016 the stylists Dolce & Gabbana celebrated Sofia Loren and the City of Naples with a Catwalk show on Via San Gregorio Armeno ⁠

Enjoy a lovely walk with a local guide touring down San Gregorio Armeno to discover the many artisans and stories about the Nativity Scenes. A great tour for kids you can stop at the delicious street food stands and pastry shops with Neopolitan sweets like Sfogliatelle, Pastiera and BaBà

7. 'La Cattolica' in the hill town of Stilo

Located in the heart of the Calabrian Serre. The hill town of Stilo is located in the Province of Reggio Calabria. The town is part of a collection of 'the most beautiful villages in Italy'. The home of Italian philosopher Tommaso Campanella.

The town cascades from the slopes of Monte Consolino dotted with olive groves and vineyards. A thriving destination from the 7th century for hermits and basilian monks. That lived in monasteries and grottoes during Byzantium.  This is when the masterpiece church 'Cattolica' was erected. A truly unique gem of Byzantine Architecture.

8. Tormaresca

The Antinori celebrate 30 generations of Wine Making. Pietro Antinori and his incredibly talented daughters own wineries all over the world. In Italy their Fifteen Wine Estates branch from the birth place of Antinori - Florence and Tuscany's famous Wine Regions. As far as the heal in the region of Puglia.

When it became known that California's main grape varietal 'zinfandel' and 'Primitivo' from Puglia have the same DNA Profile. The wine industry in Puglia gained a lot more attention.  Up until the 1990's Puglia produced mostly industrial and table wines.  Today you can find a famous Hollywood stars that own Estates in Puglia.

The Tormaresca winery is made up of two structures. Masseria Maime is located in the Salento DOC area.  Vineyards and Olive Groves are divided between woodlands of pine forests that merge to the sea.

Grape Varietals include Puglia's ambassadors. Primitivo, negroamaro and fiano del salento. To produce Masseria Maime, Torcicoda, Roycello, Calafuria & Fichimori

The second Estate Bocca del Lupo is in the countryside of Minervino Murge. The vineyards grow at about 300 meters above sea level.  Wine Tours are available with appointment only.

The varieties present are Aglianico, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Fiano Pugliese, Moscato Reale and Nero di Troia. To produce Bocca di Lupo, Pietrabianca, Trentangeli and Kaloro.

Linda Sorgiovanni
Italy Customized

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