Welcome to the enchanting South of Italy, where history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes await you! In this 10-day itinerary, we’ll take you on an unforgettable journey through the best of South Italy.
From the ancient ruins of Naples to the coastal paradise of Positano, the cave dwellings of Matera, the baroque beauty of Lecce, and the coastal charms of Bari, every moment of your trip will be filled with wonder and delight. So fasten your seatbelts, grab your camera, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!
How many days should you stay in South Italy?
We recommend spending at least 10 days in South Italy to fully immerse yourself in the rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes of this region. With 10 days, you’ll have enough time to explore each destination at a leisurely pace and truly experience the essence of South Italy.
When is the Best Time to Visit South Italy
To make the most of your South Italy adventure, consider the following month-by-month breakdown of weather, special events, and days of rain.
10 °C to 15 °C (50 °F to 59 °F)
New Year's Celebrations
10 °C to 16 °C (50 °F to 61 °F)
12 °C to 16 °C (54 °F to 64 °F)
Feast of San Giuseppe
15 °C to 21 °C (59 °F to 70 °F)
Easter Celebrations and Settimana Santa
18 °C to 24 °C (64 °F to 75 °F)
Infiorata di Noto (Flower Festival)
22 °C to 28 °C (72°F to 82 °F)
Luminara di San Ranieri
25 °C to 31 °C (77 °F to 88 °F)
Feast of Santa Rosalia
25 °C to 31 °C (77 °F to 88 °F)
22 °C to 27 °C (72 °F to 81 °F)
Grape Harves and Sagra dell'Uva (wine festival)
18 °C to 23 °C (64 °F to 73 °F)
Almond Blossom Festival
15 °C to 20 °C (59 °F to 68 °F)
All Saints' Day Celebrations and Sagra della Castagna
12° C to 17° C (54 °F to 63 °F)
Christmas Markets and New Year's Eve
The best times to visit South Italy are in the spring (April to June) and the fall (September to October). During these months, the weather is mild and pleasant, making it ideal for exploring the stunning landscapes, historic cities, and coastal gems. Additionally, you can immerse yourself in the region’s vibrant festivals and cultural events, enhancing your overall experience.
Day 1-2: Naples – Unveiling Ancient Treasures
Exclusive Hotel Recommendation: Grand Hotel Vesuvio ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Begin your adventure in Naples, the vibrant and historic city that serves as the gateway to South Italy. The Grand Hotel Vesuvio offers luxurious accommodations with breathtaking views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius, setting the perfect tone for your journey.
Naples is a city of intriguing contrasts, where ancient ruins coexist with modern-day life. Explore the UNESCO-listed historic center, a treasure trove of narrow alleys, historic churches, and bustling markets. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the world-famous Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo, and indulge in local delicacies like fogliatella and gelato.
Venture to the nearby archaeological wonder of Pompeii, where time stands still amid the well-preserved ruins of an ancient Roman city. Or take a day trip to the picturesque Amalfi Coast, where the cliffside village of Positano beckons with its colorful houses and azure waters.
- Tip: For a truly local experience, explore the vibrant neighborhood of Quartieri Spagnoli, known for its lively atmosphere, street art, and authentic Neapolitan vibes. The locals’ favorite pizzerias and trattorias can be found hidden in these charming streets.
Day 3-4: Salerno – Coastal Paradise Awaits (56 km(Miles)
Hotel Recommendation: Hotel Olimpico ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Journey to Salerno, a picturesque city along the Amalfi Coast. Stay at Hotel Olimpico, offering tranquility and a private beach for a perfect seaside escape. Salerno, often overshadowed by its glamorous neighbors, offers a more authentic and less crowded experience.
Explore the historic old town of Salerno, boasting charming squares, medieval churches, and vibrant street life. Visit the Salerno Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece adorned with stunning bronze doors and impressive mosaics. Stroll along the elegant Lungomare Trieste, a seafront promenade offering panoramic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Embark on a boat tour to explore the hidden coves and crystal-clear waters of the Amalfi Coast. Take a swim in the emerald sea and savor local seafood delicacies at one of the family-owned La Botte.
- Tip: Don’t miss the enchanting gardens of Villa Rufolo in Ravello, a town renowned for its stunning views and cultural events, such as the Ravello Festival featuring classical and chamber music concerts.
Day 5-6: Matera – The Ancient Sassi District (181 km (miles))
Hotel Recommendation: Palazzo Gattini Luxury Hotel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Head to Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its ancient cave dwellings and fascinating history. Stay at Palazzo Gattini Luxury Hotel, an elegant oasis in the heart of Matera. Matera is a city unlike any other, characterized by its Sassi, a complex network of ancient cave dwellings carved into the cliffs.
Explore the Sassi di Matera, a labyrinth of cave dwellings that have been transformed into unique hotels, restaurants, and galleries. Walk through the narrow alleys and passages to uncover the city’s rich past. Discover the unique charm of this ancient city and its intriguing rock-cut churches, such as the Church of San Pietro Caveoso and the Church of Santa Maria de Idris, adorned with stunning frescoes.
For a different perspective of Matera, head to the Belvedere di Murgia Timone, a stunning natural park that offers breathtaking vistas over the city and the surrounding landscape. This scenic spot is perfect for capturing postcard-worthy photos and enjoying the tranquil beauty of Matera.
Dine at the contemporary Ristorante Soul Kitchen and get pampered with fresh, seasonal and innovative dishes!
- Tip: To experience Matera like a local, visit the local markets early in the morning. Here, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as locals shop for fresh produce and traditional products. Try the local bread, Pane di Matera, known for its crunchy crust and soft interior, and pair it with a slice of local cheese for a truly authentic Matera breakfast.
Day 7: Lecce – Baroque Beauty (220 km(Miles))
Hotel Recommendation: Risorgimento Resort ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Spend the day exploring the artistic wonders of Lecce, a city renowned for its stunning Baroque architecture and rich cultural heritage. The Risorgimento Resort offers a luxurious and comfortable stay in the heart of the city.
Lecce, often referred to as the “Florence of the South,” boasts a wealth of ornate buildings, including the Basilica di Santa Croce, a true masterpiece adorned with intricate carvings. As you stroll through the historic streets, you’ll encounter charming piazzas and hidden gems at every turn.
Indulge in the vibrant local food scene, and don’t miss the chance to try the famous “pasticciotto leccese,” a delightful pastry filled with custard. Help yourself to a sacrilegious meal at La Cucina di Mamma Elvira – A beloved local spot where you can enjoy classic Apulian dishes made with love and care.
- Tip: To experience the authentic spirit of Lecce, visit the bustling market of Piazza del Duomo. Here, you’ll find fresh produce, traditional crafts, and an array of local products. Engage with the friendly vendors, and perhaps take home a unique souvenir to remember your time in Lecce.
Day 8-9: Otranto – The Gateway to the East
Hotel Recommendation: Masseria Longa Boutique Hotel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Venture to Otranto, an enchanting coastal town located about 50 km from Lecce. Otranto’s strategic location has made it a historical crossroads between the East and the West. The Masseria Longa Boutique Hotel provides a delightful stay in this picturesque seaside destination.
Explore the captivating old town, enclosed by ancient walls, and uncover its rich history through landmarks like the Otranto Cathedral, boasting a stunning mosaic floor depicting biblical stories.
For a unique experience, consider taking a walking tour along the beautiful coastline near Otranto. From the water, you’ll have the chance to admire the stunning natural formations and hidden caves that dot the shoreline. With the sea breeze in your hair and the crystal-clear waters below, it’s a truly magical way to discover the region’s coastal beauty.
In Otranto, you’ll find an array of restaurants offering delicious seafood dishes and traditional Apulian cuisine. Be sure to try “pezzetti” at Ristorante dal Capitano, small cubes of meat or fish cooked with tomatoes and spices, a local favorite.
As you explore the town, keep an eye out for the Torre Matta, an old watchtower offering sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. For a truly serene experience, consider taking a boat tour from Otranto to explore the hidden coves and crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea.
- Tip: To experience a slice of local life, head to the lively market in Piazza della Repubblica. Here, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, interact with friendly locals, and shop for fresh produce and regional specialties.
Day 10: Bari – Coastal Charms and Authentic Delights
Hotel Recommendation: Grande Albergo delle Nazioni ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
End your journey in Bari, a coastal city known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and authentic Italian charm. Grande Albergo delle Nazioni offers a beautiful hotel with sea views and a convenient location near the historic center.
Start your day at the Basilica di San Nicola, an impressive Romanesque church that houses the relics of Saint Nicholas. Explore the winding streets of Bari Vecchia, the city’s old town, and admire the traditional whitewashed buildings and quaint alleys.
Don’t miss the chance to visit the Castello Svevo, a medieval fortress that offers panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea. For a taste of Bari’s culinary delights, head to the Mercato del Pesce, the city’s fish market, and indulge in freshly caught seafood dishes.
As the day winds down, take a leisurely stroll along the Lungomare Nazario Sauro, a scenic promenade with stunning sea views. Relax at the hidden food gem of the Osteria delle Travi and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere with an excellent selection of wines.
- Tip: For a unique and immersive experience, consider taking a pasta class in Bari to learn how to make traditional Apulian dishes. From orecchiette pasta to “taralli” (savory biscuits), you’ll have the opportunity to learn the secrets of Italian pasta from a local chef.
The most frequent asked questions about south Italy
Where to go in south Italy?
South Italy offers a plethora of stunning destinations. Naples, with its ancient history; Positano, the coastal paradise; Matera, known for its ancient cave dwellings; Lecce, the Baroque beauty; and Otranto, a gem on the Adriatic coast, are must-visit spots.
How long is Italy north to south?
Italy stretches approximately 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) from its northernmost point to its southern tip. This vast expanse encompasses diverse landscapes, from the snow-capped Alps in the north to the stunning coastline and islands in the south, offering a wide array of experiences for travelers to explore.
What sea is south of Italy?
The Mediterranean Sea lies south of Italy, caressing its scenic coastline and enchanting visitors with its turquoise waters. This captivating sea is a playground of relaxation, offering idyllic beaches, vibrant marine life, and a perfect backdrop for a memorable Italian getaway.
Ich liebe die Vielfalt Europas und kann von Edinburgh, Lissabon und London nicht genug bekommen! Aber mein größtes Glück ist immer noch das schöne Schweden. Eines Tages werde ich nur noch in meiner einsamen Hütte an einem See mitten im Nirgendwo zu finden sein ...