Southern Italy has so much to offer. It is different from the north but has great places to see, great food to taste and wonderful people to meet. First let’s look at some of the differences:
- Fish – Is the main food in the south. There are meat dishes but great fresh fish is so prevalent.
- Language – Italy is barely 150 years old. It was formed by individual and warring states (small countries). As the Italian country was formed, Italian became the official language as it was spoken in Bologna. Each small state had their own languages and dialects. To this day the dialect is still spoken.
- Beaches – The south has many of its cities built on the coast. Beaches are important. Each seaport had a walled castle town in the mountains nearby. These would protect the people from pirates. These have become major resort areas for Italians and other Europeans.
- Wines – Wines and Olive Oil are a local made commodity throughout Italy. They differ by region and should be experienced as you travel. Always order the local wine.
The main places that should be on your bucket list are:
- Naples – Modern Naples is trying to clean up its act as a dangerous city. It is very old and poor but there is so much to see here. Most of what we think is Italian in America comes from the south and much of it from Naples. This is the birth place of Pizza and spaghetti with red sauce.
- Amalfi Coast – This very rich area is the vacation spot of the rich and famous. The island of Capri, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello are very beautiful. Each town is built on a mountain side and worth a visit. This is an area of ferries, steps and steep hills.
- Casal Velino Marina & Ascea – Two resort towns with beautiful sandy beaches. Ascea has a train station and Casal Velino Marina is very close to the north.
- Alberobello – A very unusual town with dome-shaped homes. You can not change the architecture of a building in this town. These homes are called Trulli.
- Sicily – This is a beautiful island with many ruins, great cities and an active volcano. Many Italians argue it is not part of Italy.
- Ischia Island – This is a beautiful island off the coast of Naples in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Ischia is the name of the main port town on the island. The architecture is old and city is beautiful.
- Procida Island – Is another island between Ischia and Naples. The architecture is middle ages and a great place to explore.
- Matera – A town in the region of Basilicata southern Italy. The historical center is well-known and called the Sassi. Homes were built into the side of a mountain. This is one of the oldest civilizations on Earth. It is dated from the Paleolithic Period.
There so many other small mountain and beach towns that are worth a mention but too numerous to list. Just get out and explore each region.
George & Jo Anne