Southeast Italy Travel

Southeast Italy is a captivating region that offers travelers an array of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From the enchanting Amalfi Coast to the rich history of Matera, this area is brimming with cultural significance and natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures or indulging in authentic cuisine, Southeast Italy has something to offer every type of traveler.

As you venture into this picturesque region, it’s important to familiarize yourself with its geography and cultural significance. Nestled in the southern part of the country, Southeast Italy is characterized by its diverse landscapes, ranging from stunning coastal cliffs to rugged mountains and rolling countryside.

This region holds a deep historical importance, as it was once home to ancient Greek colonies known as Magna Graecia. The influence of these early civilizations can still be seen today through the many archaeological wonders scattered throughout the area.

One of the hidden gems of Southeast Italy is Puglia, a region that often goes unnoticed by tourists. With its whitewashed villages, olive groves, and miles of untouched coastline, Puglia offers a truly unique travel experience.

Hiking enthusiasts will be mesmerized by the Gargano Peninsula, a paradise for outdoor exploration with its lush forests and breathtaking beaches. Moreover, food lovers will delight in savoring the flavors of Calabria, as they embark on a culinary journey through the region’s authentic cuisine.

In this article series on Southeast Italy travel, we will dive deep into each section mentioned in our outline and unravel their secrets one by one. From exploring ancient cave dwellings in Matera to reliving the glory of Magna Graecia’s archaeological wonders; from embracing nature on the Gargano Peninsula to experiencing the devotion and culture of Bari at the Basilica of St. Nicholas – your travel adventure awaits.

So grab your suitcases and get ready to uncover the hidden treasures that await in Southeast Italy.

Getting to Know Southeast Italy

The Geography of Southeast Italy

Southeast Italy is located in the southern part of the country, encompassing the regions of Puglia, Campania, Basilicata, Calabria, and parts of Molise. The region is characterized by its diverse landscapes, from stunning coastlines to rolling hills and majestic mountains. Its strategic location in the Mediterranean has contributed to its rich history and cultural significance.

The Adriatic Sea borders the eastern side of Southeast Italy, while the Ionian Sea lies to the west. This has resulted in a plethora of beautiful beaches and picturesque coastal towns that attract travelers from all over the world. In addition to its stunning coastline, Southeast Italy also boasts national parks with untouched wilderness and wildlife, hidden caves begging to be explored, and charming fishing villages that seem frozen in time.

The Cultural Significance

Southeast Italy is a melting pot of different cultures that have shaped its unique identity. Its location on the crossroads between Europe and North Africa has brought influences from various civilizations throughout history, including ancient Greeks, Romans, Normans, Byzantines, Arabs, and more.

The region’s history is brought to life through its magnificent architecture, archaeological sites, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Visitors can explore ancient ruins such as Pompeii and Paestum or marvel at enchanting historical cities like Matera. Each town has its own distinct character and traditions that reflect this cultural mosaic.

Furthermore, Southeast Italy is known for culinary delights that highlight local ingredients and traditional recipes passed down through generations. From fresh seafood dishes along the coast to hearty pasta dishes inland and flavorful olive oil produced in abundance, food lovers will find themselves indulging in an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

By getting acquainted with the geography and cultural significance of Southeast Italy, travelers can gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty and heritage that awaits them in this captivating region. Whether it’s exploring ancient ruins, discovering hidden villages, or indulging in authentic cuisine, Southeast Italy promises a travel experience unlike any other.

Unveiling the Charm of Puglia

Puglia, located in the heel of Italy’s boot-shaped peninsula, is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered. This region offers visitors a unique and off-the-beaten-path travel experience, with its stunning landscapes, rich history, and delicious cuisine. Whether you’re seeking picturesque beaches, ancient sites, or charming towns, Puglia has it all.

Exploring Historic Towns

One of the highlights of visiting Puglia is immersing yourself in its historic towns and villages. The region is known for its “trulli,” which are cone-shaped houses made out of limestone. Alberobello is one such town where you can admire hundreds of these unique structures that have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Another must-visit town is Ostuni, often referred to as the “White City” due to its gleaming white buildings. As you stroll through its narrow alleys and winding streets, you’ll be transported back in time. Lecce is yet another gem renowned for its Baroque architecture and impressive monuments.

Indulging in Mediterranean Cuisine

Puglia’s culinary scene is a feast for the senses. The region’s cuisine highlights simple yet flavorful dishes made with local ingredients such as olive oil, seafood, vegetables, and fresh pasta. Do not miss trying the famous orecchiette pasta with broccoli rabe or ricotta-filled pastries known as “pasticciotti”.

For seafood lovers, a visit to Gallipoli is a must. This coastal town boasts an abundance of seafood restaurants serving up freshly caught fish and shellfish delicacies. Additionally, Puglia’s countryside is home to many wineries where you can sample excellent wines such as Primitivo or Negramaro.

Unspoiled Beaches and Natural Beauty

Puglia offers some of the most pristine and unspoiled beaches in Italy. From the stunning sandy stretches of Punta Prosciutto to the rocky coves of Polignano a Mare, there is something for every beach lover. Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve is a protected area that boasts crystal-clear waters and sandy dunes, perfect for snorkeling and bird-watching.

Apart from its beautiful coastline, Puglia also offers breathtaking natural landscapes inland. The Alta Murgia National Park is renowned for its rugged terrain and picturesque hiking trails. Here you can explore caves, discover ancient dolmens, and spot unique flora and fauna.

The Enchanting Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast, located in the region of Campania in Southeast Italy, is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking sun, sea, and breathtaking beauty. This enchanting coastal area stretches for about 50 kilometers along the southern edge of the Sorrentine Peninsula, offering stunning panoramic views of the turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the rugged cliffs that rise majestically from the coastline.

One of the highlights of a visit to the Amalfi Coast is exploring its charming towns and villages. The town of Amalfi itself, from which the coast gets its name, is a popular tourist spot known for its picturesque streets and alleys lined with pastel-colored buildings.

Positano, with its colorful buildings tumbling down towards the sea, is another iconic town that visitors should not miss. Ravello, perched high above the coast on a cliff edge, offers breathtaking views and is famous for its music festivals.

In addition to its charming towns, the Amalfi Coast boasts incredible natural beauty. One way to experience this beauty is by taking a boat tour along the coast or renting a kayak to explore hidden coves and caves.

The Path of Gods (Sentiero degli Dei) is a famous hiking trail that offers mesmerizing views of both land and sea. And of course, there are numerous beaches where visitors can relax under the sun or take a refreshing dip in crystal-clear waters.

To truly immerse oneself in the enchantment of the Amalfi Coast, it is recommended to indulge in some local cuisine. Here, seafood dishes reign supreme; don’t miss out on trying specialties such as spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams) or zuppa di cozze (mussel soup). Lemon-based desserts are also popular in this region known for its lemon groves; try some delicious limoncello or a slice of traditional lemon cake.

Overall, the Amalfi Coast offers a perfect blend of stunning natural beauty, rich cultural history, and delicious cuisine. Whether you’re looking to relax on pristine beaches, explore charming towns, or embark on scenic hikes, this must-visit destination has something to offer for every type of traveler.

Discovering the Rich History of Matera

Matera, located in the southern region of Basilicata, is a city with a rich and fascinating history. It is known for its unique and ancient cave dwellings, known as Sassi di Matera, which have been inhabited since prehistoric times. In recent years, Matera has gained international recognition and was even named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993.

Exploring the Sassi di Matera

One of the main attractions in Matera is the Sassi di Matera, which are cave dwellings carved into the rocky landscape. These ancient structures are made up of houses, churches, and monasteries, some dating back to over 1,000 years ago. Exploring the intricate maze-like streets and alleys of the Sassi di Matera offers a glimpse into what life was like in this historic city.

The History and Evolution of Matera

With evidence of human settlement dating back to the Palaeolithic era, Matera has a long and complex history. Throughout its history, it has been influenced by various civilizations including Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Normans, and Arabs. The unique architecture of Matera’s cave dwellings developed over centuries as locals adapted to their surroundings.

In recent history, Matera faced significant challenges due to poverty and neglect. However, efforts have been made to preserve and restore these historic sites. Today, visitors can witness firsthand how this once impoverished area has transformed into a vibrant cultural destination.

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Immersing Yourself in Ancient Culture

To fully immerse yourself in the rich history of Matera, exploring its many museums is a must. Museo della Civiltà Contadina showcases artifacts related to peasant life throughout different eras in Southern Italy. The National Archaeological Museum “Domenico Ridola” houses an impressive collection of archaeological finds from throughout Basilicata.

Additionally, Matera hosts a number of cultural events and festivals throughout the year. The Festa della Bruna is one of the most popular festivals, celebrated in honor of the patron saint of Matera, Madonna della Bruna. The festival includes a procession through the city streets, fireworks, and various traditional performances.

Savoring the Flavors of Calabria

Calabria, located in the southernmost region of Italy, is known for its rich culinary traditions and delectable dishes. A journey through this region offers a unique opportunity to savor the authentic flavors of Calabrian cuisine. From fresh seafood to flavorful vegetables and aromatic spices, the cuisine of Calabria is a true reflection of its vibrant culture and bountiful land.

One of the highlights of Calabrian cuisine is its focus on simplicity and quality ingredients. Traditional dishes are often prepared using locally sourced produce, such as tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers, which thrive in the region’s fertile soil. Seafood also plays a starring role in Calabrian cuisine, with fresh fish and shellfish being main ingredients in many coastal dishes.

One must-try dish in Calabria is ‘nduja, a spicy spreadable salami that originated in the region. Made from pork fat, red chili peppers, and a mixture of spices, ‘nduja adds a fiery kick to any dish it accompanies. Another popular local specialty is Cipolla Rossa di Tropea IGP (Red Onion of Tropea), known for its sweet flavor and mild crunch. This onion variety can be enjoyed raw or used as an ingredient in various Mediterranean dishes.

To truly experience the flavors of Calabria, one should also indulge in the region’s famous pasta dishes. Pasta alla Norma is a delightful combination of pasta tubes tossed with tomato sauce, fried eggplant pieces, ricotta salata cheese, and basil leaves. Another beloved pasta dish is Fileja con la Sardella e la Mollica di Pane Fresco Fileja – handmade twisted long fusilli pasta topped with homemade sardella sauce made from salted sardines.

In addition to these tantalizing dishes, Calabria boasts a variety of desserts that are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. For instance Lamezia Terme, famous for its tartufo di Pizzo. This delicious treat consists of a ball of chocolate and hazelnut ice cream encased in a crispy chocolate shell. Another specialty is Pitta ‘mpigliata, a rolled pastry filled with dried fruits, nuts, and honey.

A culinary journey through Calabria offers an unforgettable experience of the region’s vibrant flavors and cultural heritage. Whether it’s savoring the heat of ‘nduja, delighting in the sweetness of Red Onion of Tropea or indulging in mouthwatering pasta dishes and desserts, travelers can truly immerse themselves in the authentic culinary traditions that make Calabrian cuisine so unique.

Reliving the Glory of Ancient Greek Colonies in Magna Graecia

The southeastern region of Italy, known as Magna Graecia, is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders that offer a glimpse into the glorious past of ancient Greek colonies. This area was once inhabited by Greek settlers who established thriving communities and left behind a rich cultural legacy. Exploring the archaeological sites in Magna Graecia is a fascinating journey back in time, where visitors can marvel at well-preserved temples, amphitheaters, and ruins that tell stories of ancient civilizations.

One must-visit destination in Magna Graecia is the city of Syracuse in Sicily. With its impressive UNESCO World Heritage-listed archaeological park, Syracuse offers visitors the chance to explore renowned landmarks such as the Temple of Apollo, the Greek Theatre, and the Ear of Dionysius. The ancient ruins in Syracuse provide a remarkable insight into the advancements made by ancient Greeks in fields like architecture and theater.

Another significant site worth exploring in Magna Graecia is Paestum in Campania. This ancient city was originally founded by Greek settlers from Sybaris and later conquered by the Romans. The remains of Paestum include three remarkably preserved Greek temples, which are among the best-preserved Doric temples anywhere in the world. Walking amidst these towering structures provides a profound sense of awe and appreciation for the architectural prowess of the ancient Greeks.

For those interested in delving deeper into history, Locri Epizephiri in Calabria offers intriguing insights into daily life during ancient times. Locri was an important economic and cultural center during Magna Graecia’s heyday and remains one of the most impressive archeological sites in Italy. Visitors to Locri can explore its well-preserved artifacts and ruins, including evidence of architectural innovations such as early examples of urban planning.

To make the most out of your visit to Magna Graecia’s archaeological wonders, it is advisable to plan ahead and consider guided tours that provide expert insights and historical context. Additionally, ensure to check the opening hours and accessibility of the sites you wish to visit. As you explore the ancient cities of Magna Graecia, take a moment to soak in the ambiance and imagine what life was like for the Greeks who once called this region home.


– Must-visit destinations in Magna Graecia:

  • Syracuse in Sicily.
  • Paestum in Campania.
  • Locri Epizephiri in Calabria.

– Notable landmarks at Syracuse’s archaeological park:

  • Temple of Apollo.
  • Greek Theatre.
  • Ear of Dionysius.

– Impressive features of Paestum:

  • Best-preserved Doric temples.
  • Architectural prowess of ancient Greeks.

– Highlights of Locri Epizephiri:

  • Insight into daily life during ancient times.
  • Well-preserved artifacts and ruins.

– Tips for visiting Magna Graecia’s archaeological sites:

  • Plan ahead and consider guided tours.
  • Check opening hours and accessibility.

Embracing Nature in the Gargano Peninsula

Nestled in the southeastern corner of Italy, the Gargano Peninsula is a hidden gem that offers a paradise of natural beauty and outdoor adventures. This stunning region is known for its picturesque landscapes, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife, making it an ideal destination for travelers looking to embrace nature. Whether you’re an avid hiker, beach lover, or wildlife enthusiast, the Gargano Peninsula has something to offer for everyone.

One of the main attractions of the Gargano Peninsula is its extensive network of hiking trails. From gentle coastal walks to challenging mountain climbs, there are trails suitable for all levels of experience and fitness.

As you explore the rugged terrain, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of towering cliffs, sweeping valleys, and crystal-clear waters. The famous Sentiero Italia long-distance trail also passes through this region, offering hikers a chance to embark on an epic journey and immerse themselves in the beauty of the peninsula.

For those seeking sun and sand, the Gargano Peninsula boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. With its turquoise waters and golden sands, Peschici Beach is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike. If you’re looking for a more secluded spot, head to Baia delle Zagare or Vieste Beach where you can relax in tranquility surrounded by stunning coastal scenery.

Beyond its captivating landscapes, the Gargano Peninsula is also home to a rich variety of wildlife. The Foresta Umbra Nature Reserve is a haven for nature enthusiasts with its ancient woodlands teeming with flora and fauna.

Keep your eyes peeled for rare bird species such as eagles and woodpeckers or try your luck spotting wild boars and roe deer roaming freely through the forest. For a unique wildlife experience, take a boat tour to the Tremiti Islands which are home to colonies of dolphins and endangered monk seals.

With its abundance of natural wonders waiting to be explored, the Gargano Peninsula offers a true haven for nature lovers. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping hikes, relaxing beach days, or encounters with wildlife, this region will leave you in awe of its beauty and diversity. Embrace the serenity of nature in the Gargano Peninsula and create unforgettable memories as you immerse yourself in its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant ecosystem.


  • Hiking trails offering stunning views of cliffs, valleys, and waters
  • Peschici Beach and Baia delle Zagare for sun-soaked relaxation
  • Foresta Umbra Nature Reserve with its diverse flora and fauna
  • Tremiti Islands for dolphin-watching and monk seal spotting

A Spiritual Pilgrimage to the Basilica of St. Nicholas

Located in the heart of the charming city of Bari, the Basilica of St. Nicholas is a significant pilgrimage site for Catholics and a remarkable cultural landmark for visitors to Southeast Italy. This ancient church holds great religious importance as one of the most revered shrines dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors, merchants, and children. A spiritual pilgrimage to the Basilica of St. Nicholas offers a unique opportunity to experience both devotion and culture in Bari.

As you step into the basilica’s grand entrance, you will be captivated by its stunning Byzantine architecture adorned with intricate mosaics and beautiful frescoes that date back to the 11th century. The interior of the church holds an ethereal atmosphere where visitors can pause for prayer or quiet reflection amidst richly decorated chapels.

One of the highlights of a visit to this sacred place is witnessing devotees paying tribute to Saint Nicholas at his crypt. Descend into the crypt beneath the basilica, where you can view the silver reliquary containing his remains. It is an awe-inspiring experience to witness pilgrims from all over the world leaving prayers, notes, and offerings at this holy site.

For those seeking a deeper understanding of local culture, exploring Bari’s vibrant streets surrounding the basilica is highly recommended. Immerse yourself in the daily life of locals as you wander through narrow alleys lined with charming whitewashed houses adorned with brightly colored balconies overflowing with flowers. Don’t forget to try some local delicacies such as orecchiette pasta or indulge in traditional street food like sgagliozze (fried polenta) or panzerotti (fried dough stuffed with different fillings).

Whether you approach your visit with religious devotion or cultural curiosity, a spiritual pilgrimage to the Basilica of St. Nicholas will leave a lasting impression on your Southeast Italy travel adventure. As you depart Bari, carrying both the spirit of Saint Nicholas and the vibrant culture of the city, you will have gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for the devotion and rich heritage that permeates this enchanting destination.

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What to Do in Bari

  • Explore the narrow streets of Bari Vecchia (Old Town) and admire the local architecture.
  • Visit Bari Cathedral, located nearby, to see another beautiful religious site.
  • Discover local traditions at Bari’s open-air markets, such as Il Mercato del Pesce (Fish Market) or Il Mercato Coperto (Covered Market).
  • Take a leisurely stroll along Bari’s seafront promenade, known as Lungomare Imperatore Augusto.
  • Experience the lively atmosphere during the Festa di San Nicola (Feast of St. Nicholas) held annually on May 9th.

Tips for Visiting

  • Modest attire is required when visiting religious sites in Italy, so dress appropriately.
  • Check the basilica’s website or with local tourism offices for any time restrictions or special events that may affect visiting hours.
  • Consider taking a guided tour to learn more about the history and significance of the basilica.
  • Be respectful towards those who are observing their religious practices and maintain a quiet demeanor while inside the church.

Southeast Italy’s Festivals and Cultural Events

Southeast Italy is not only known for its breathtaking landscapes and historical sites, but also for its vibrant festivals and cultural events that celebrate the region’s rich traditions. From religious processions to lively street parties, these events offer visitors unforgettable experiences that showcase the unique culture of Southeast Italy.

One of the most famous festivals in the region is the Tarantella Dance Festival in Puglia. This traditional dance event takes place in different towns and villages throughout the summer months, attracting both locals and tourists. The tarantella is a lively folk dance characterized by fast-paced movements and infectious rhythms. The festival features performances by local dance groups, music concerts, and workshops where visitors can learn to dance this iconic Italian folk dance.

Another popular event in Southeast Italy is the Festa del Pesce (Fish Festival) in Amalfi. This annual festival celebrates the region’s deep connection with the sea and its abundant seafood. For two days, the streets of Amalfi are filled with stalls offering fresh seafood dishes prepared by local chefs.

Visitors can savor delicious treats such as fried calamari, grilled octopus, and spaghetti alle vongole (clams pasta). In addition to indulging in mouthwatering seafood, attendees can also enjoy live music performances and participate in fishing competitions.

In Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its ancient cave dwellings called Sassi, the Festa della Bruna (Festival of Madonna della Bruna) takes place every July. This centuries-old festival honors Matera’s patron saint with religious processions, fireworks displays, traditional parades, and horse races called “carrette.” The highlight of the festival is the “cavalcata,” where locals dressed in period costumes ride through the city on splendidly decorated floats carrying statues of saints.

These festivals and cultural events provide a glimpse into Southeast Italy’s vibrant traditions and offer visitors unique opportunities to immerse themselves in authentic Italian culture. Whether you’re interested in dance, food, religion, or history, there is something for everyone to enjoy and celebrate in this captivating region.

Tarantella Dance FestivalPuglia (Various towns and villages)Summer months
Festa del Pesce (Fish Festival)AmalfiAnnual
Festa della Bruna (Festival of Madonna della Bruna)MateraJuly

Helpful Tips and Resources for Planning Your Southeast Italy Travel Adventure

Planning a trip to Southeast Italy can be an exciting adventure, but it’s important to be prepared and organized before embarking on your journey. This section will provide helpful tips and resources for planning your travel adventure in Southeast Italy.

Firstly, it is essential to research and plan your itinerary well in advance. Southeast Italy is home to a plethora of hidden gems, so make sure you allocate enough time to visit all the places that interest you. Consider the duration of your trip and prioritize which destinations you want to explore within the region.

When it comes to transportation, it is recommended to rent a car if possible. This will give you the flexibility and freedom to travel at your own pace, especially when visiting off-the-beaten-path destinations. However, do keep in mind that driving in some cities, such as Naples or Bari, can be quite challenging due to heavy traffic and limited parking options. Therefore, consider using public transportation or hiring a local driver in larger cities if necessary.

In terms of accommodation, Southeast Italy offers a wide range of options including hotels, bed and breakfasts, agriturismos (farm stays), and Airbnb rentals. It is advisable to book accommodations in advance, particularly during the peak tourist season from May to September. When choosing where to stay, take into consideration proximity to attractions you plan on visiting and amenities that are important to you.

Additionally, make sure to familiarize yourself with local customs and etiquette before traveling to Southeast Italy. Italians appreciate polite behavior such as greeting people with a friendly “Buongiorno” (good morning) or “Buonasera” (good evening) and dressing modestly when visiting religious sites. Learning a few basic Italian phrases can also go a long way in helping you navigate through the region.

Lastly, don’t forget about travel insurance. It’s always wise to have peace of mind knowing that you are protected against any unforeseen circumstances during your trip.

By following these helpful tips and utilizing available resources such as guidebooks, travel blogs, and tourism websites, you can ensure that your Southeast Italy travel adventure will be well-planned and enjoyable. Now that you have all the necessary information at your fingertips, it’s time to embark on a memorable journey filled with beautiful landscapes, rich history, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality.


In conclusion, Southeast Italy offers a vibrant travel scene that captures the essence of the region’s rich history, captivating landscapes, and unique cultural experiences. From the hidden gems of Puglia to the enchanting Amalfi Coast, there is something for every traveler seeking sun, sea, and scenic beauty. The ancient cave dwellings of Matera provide a glimpse into the past, while Calabria tantalizes with its authentic cuisine.

For those interested in archaeology and ancient civilizations, Southeast Italy is home to Magna Graecia, where you can explore the glorious remnants of Greek colonies. The Gargano Peninsula beckons nature enthusiasts with its hiking trails, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife. And no visit to Southeast Italy would be complete without a spiritual pilgrimage to the Basilica of St. Nicholas in Bari, immersing oneself in the devotion and culture of this revered saint.

Furthermore, Southeast Italy’s festivals and cultural events add an extra layer of vibrancy to any travel adventure in the region. Whether it’s celebrating traditional customs or partaking in unforgettable experiences, these festivities offer insight into the local way of life.

In planning your Southeast Italy travel adventure, be sure to take advantage of the helpful tips and resources available. From transportation options to accommodation recommendations and insider guides to local attractions, these resources will help ensure a smooth and enriching journey through this captivating region.

Overall, Southeast Italy is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. From its hidden gems to its bustling festivals and everything in between, it offers a vibrant travel scene that promises countless unforgettable experiences for every kind of traveler. So pack your bags and get ready to capture the essence of this remarkable destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is South East Italy worth visiting?

South East Italy definitely deserves a visit for those seeking to explore the country beyond the typical tourist destinations. This region, also known as Mezzogiorno, is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. One of the highlights is Puglia, with its charming white-washed towns like Alberobello and Ostuni, surrounded by olive groves and beautiful beaches. The Salento Peninsula offers crystal-clear waters and a vibrant nightlife.

Calabria, located at the “toe” of Italy’s boot, boasts stunning coastal landscapes and untouched villages like Tropea. Additionally, the lesser-known Basilicata captivates visitors with its fascinating cave-dwelling town of Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overall, South East Italy rewards travelers with an authentic Italian experience away from bustling crowds.

What is the best way to travel Southern Italy?

The best way to travel through Southern Italy greatly depends on your preferences and time constraints. If you have limited time or prefer a hassle-free experience, flying into a major city like Naples or Bari could be a good option. From there, you can rent a car or use public transportation to explore the surrounding regions at your own pace.

Renting a car provides flexibility and allows you to venture off the beaten path to discover hidden gems throughout Southern Italy’s beautiful countryside. However, keep in mind that parking can be challenging in cities and driving within historic centers may not be allowed or advisable due to narrow streets. Alternatively, using trains or buses is another viable option for traveling between cities and towns in Southern Italy without worrying about navigating busy urban areas.

What is southeastern Italy known for?

Southeastern Italy is known for its beautiful coastline along the Ionian Sea and Adriatic Sea, making it a popular destination for beach lovers. This region encompasses well-known destinations such as Puglia (Apulia), Calabria, Basilicata (Lucania), and parts of Campania (including the Amalfi Coast). Each area has its unique appeal: Puglia, known as the “heel of the boot,” boasts olive groves, historic towns with characteristic whitewashed buildings, and stunning coastline. Calabria offers picturesque beaches and rugged mountains, with charming villages overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Basilicata mesmerizes visitors with its ancient cave dwellings in Matera and breathtaking landscapes in the Pollino National Park. Lastly, Campania presents the iconic Amalfi Coast, Mount Vesuvius, and the vibrant city of Naples. Southeastern Italy perfectly harmonizes natural beauty with historical sites that showcase Italy’s diverse culture and heritage.

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