Southern Italy and Islands
Millions of people are drawn to Southern Italy every year for its long, sandy beaches and world-famous archaeological sites. It is also home to Vesuvius, the only active volcano in mainland Europe, and sites of great natural beauty, including Abruzzo, Molise, Apulia, Basilicata, and Campania with its stunning Amalfi Coast.
Separated from the mainland by a strait only 1.9 miles wide, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and one of the most diverse in terms of geography, flora, and fauna. With sea vistas, active volcanoes, prehistoric villages, walking trails, and superb seafood, the main island and Aeolian Islands are an ideal setting for a holiday.
Southern Italy and its islands produce a dazzling array of sun-kissed flavours and products so entwined with the landscape they have geographic protection. These include fresh cheese such as mozzarella in Campania and burrata in Apulia, the chocolate of Modica, and the onions of Calabria. Sicily alone is home to a wealth of unique delicacies, including regional sweets cannoli, cassata siciliana, and pasta di mandorle, and street food like arancini and panelle.
Long associated with Italy’s cucina povera, the cuisine of Southern Italy and the islands has made an art of highlighting the best of all that’s available. Exploring this part of Italy, with its acres of lemon and orange groves, salt harvested from the sea, and an abundance of fish in the waters, you are aware of the intimate connection between the beauty of your surroundings and the rich traditions behind what’s on your plate.
Take a look at some of our favourite experiences in Southern Italy and its islands:
Wander through the ancient city of Syracuse with Fabio, exploring remnants of ancient culture, including a Roman amphitheatre and Greek theatre. Immerse yourself in the narrow streets of Ortigia, the city’s labyrinthine heart, nestled between two natural harbours, and discover the secrets of this unique place that has thrived for three millennia. Don’t miss the outdoor market, full of fresh fish, fruit, vegetables, and local charm.
Enjoy an unforgettable hike on the sentiero dei limoni, the lemon path along the stunning Amalfi Coast. Inhale the scent of blossoming lemons as you’re greeted by Giovanni who guides you through his garden, explaining to you what makes the Amalfi lemon so special. You’ll also have a chance to taste this refreshing fruit in a variety of forms.
In Ravello, cheesemaker Biagio will welcome you into his little store to make mozzarella together. Once a byproduct only consumed by dairy farmers, mozzarella has been manufactured in Campania for hundreds of years. You’ll learn where it got its name, as well as why it is so creamy and special, before having the unique opportunity to make your own traditional mozzarella. Just make sure you eat it within a couple of days!
A truly memorable meal awaits you in Salina, on the Aeolian Islands. Martina Caruso and her family invite you to a Michelin-star dinner made with only local products. Martina is the youngest chef to be given a Michelin star for her work, and has also received the precious green star for sustainability. You’ll feast on fish, capers, and vegetables from her father’s garden, along with a selection of great wines from Salina.