Welcome to Southern Italy


Gripping History

At the crossroads of civilisations for millennia, southern Italy is littered with the detritus of diverse and gilded ages, from Greek and Roman to Saracen, Norman and Spanish. Every carved stone and every frescoed palace tells a story, from fiery Carthaginian invasions and power-hungry kings, to the humble hopes of Roman slaves and gladiators. Here, ancient Greek temples are older than Rome, Byzantine mosaics attest to cosmopolitan encounters and royal palaces outsize Versailles. Southern Italy is home to no less than 13 Unesco World Heritage cultural sites, each laced with tales of victory, failure and timeless humanity.

Culinary Prowess

Italy's fertile south is a mouth-watering, belt-busting feast: bubbling, wood-fired pizza and potent espresso in Naples; long, lazy lunches at vine-framed Pugliese farmhouses; just-caught sardines on a Tyrrhenian island; luscious cannoli (pastry shells with a sweet filling) at a Taormina pasticceria (pastry shop). Should you go mushroom hunting in the wilds of Calabria? Taste-test your first red eggplant (aubergine) at an heirloom trattoria in Basilicata? Feast on fresh sea urchin on an Adriatic beach? Or just kick back with a glass of crisp local Falanghina as you debate who has the creamiest buffalo mozzarella: Caserta, Paestum or Foggia?

A Warm Benvenuto

You'll rarely be short of a conversation south of Rome. Southern Italians are naturally curious, famously affable and quick to share their opinion. Family and friends are sacred, and time spent laughing, arguing or gossiping is as integral to southern life as lavish Sunday lunches and long, sizzling summers. One minute you're picking produce at a street market, the next you're in the middle of a feverish discussion about who grows Italy's sweetest pomodori (tomatoes) – Sicily or Campania? No one is a stranger for long, and a casual chiacchiera (chat) could easily land you at the dining table of your new best friend.

Natural Highs

Rugged mountains, fiery volcanoes and electric-blue grottoes – southern Italy feels like one giant adventure playground waiting to be tackled. Crank up the heart rate rafting down Calabria's river Lao, scaling Europe's most active volcano, Stromboli, or diving into prehistoric sea caves on Puglia's Promontorio del Gargano. If you need to bring it down a notch, consider slow pedalling across Puglia's gentle countryside, sailing along the Amalfi Coast or simply soaking in Vulcano's healing geothermal mud. The options may be many, but there is one constant: a landscape that is beautiful, diverse and just a little ethereal.


Top experiences in Southern Italy

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Southern Italy activities

$106.03 Cultural & Theme Tours

Naples to Mt Vesuvius and Pompeii Day Trip with Admission

After pickup from your hotel or the Naples train station, take a 30-minute drive to Pompeii, an ancient Roman city that was entirely destroyed by the sudden eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD. The largest archaeological site in Europe, today Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.When you arrive, your guide will pick up your group’s pre-ordered tickets and lead you on a 2-hour walking tour of the fascinating grounds. Witness the destruction first-hand as you visit Pompeii’s most famous sites, including the Forum, the Thermal Baths, Vetti's House and the Lupanare brothel, giving you a glimpse into daily life during the Pax Romana. Today you can see shapes of objects — even bodies — that were buried beneath the volcanic ash and pumice.After your tour, enjoy a pizza lunch with your group followed by some free time to browse the shops. Then board the coach and drive 40 minutes to legendary Mt Vesuvius. Embark on a moderate hike up the volcano with your guide. When you reach the summit at 3,900 feet (1,200 meters), you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the picturesque Bay of Naples from east to west. Peer down into the crater and see plumes of steam issuing from the sleeping, but still active, volcano!There is a rest point where you can choose to wait for your group if you do not wish to climb all the way to the top, but the hike is worth the effort. After your Mt Vesuvius hike, relax on the drive back to Naples in the early evening.

$60.25 Day Trips & Excursions

Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello Private Tour from Naples

By taking a private tour, you have the option to spend as little or as much time as possible in the picturesque towns of Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, world-famous for their charm and colorful architecture.The villages scattered along the Amalfi Coast have always attracted visitors, bewitching all who visit. The charm lies not only in the towns themselves but also in their history and rich legacy of fine churches, villas and monasteries. See below for more information.

$61.59 Shore Excursions

Private Naples Shore Excursion: Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi

By taking a private tour, you have the option to spend as little or as much time as possible in the picturesque towns of Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello world-famous for their charm and colorful architecture. The villages scattered along the Amalfi Coast have always attracted visitors, bewitching all who visit. Worry-free Shore Excursion: We will ensure your timely return to the Naples port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

$70.69 Cultural & Theme Tours

Naples to Pompeii Half-Day Trip with Priority Admission Ticket

Following an early morning pickup from your Naples hotel, meet your guide and travel onward by minivan for the 35-minute journey to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was here — on a summer’s day in the year 79AD — that Mount Vesuvius erupted, spewing volcanic ash over the prosperous city of Pompeii. Unaware of the imminent danger, most people continued on with their daily lives. As a result, the entire town and around 20,000 of its inhabitants were buried under tons of ash and burning pumice. Almost 2,000 years later, ancient Pompeii remains preserved and the artefacts on display provide a fascinating insight into life in the Roman-era. Enter the ancient site with your guide and see first-hand the houses, streets and public buildings locked in time by the volcanic ash. See Pompeii’s ancient piazza and Forum, where business dealings, elections, speeches and processions would have played out during Roman times. Wander the site, marvel at the ancient limestone columns still standing today and capture the centuries-old scenery on camera. Continue onward with your guide to the thermal baths, where many of the townsfolk would have bathed, chatted and lived out their daily lives before the eruption. Wander down Via degli Augustali and discover the Lupanare, Pompeii’s brothel. A 2-storey building with five rooms on each floor, the Lupanare is decorated with some of the city’s most lustful frescoes.Explore the Casa dei Vettii (Vetti's House), a luxury residence in the town. Careful excavation has revealed a number of beautiful frescoes on the walls of the house, evidence of the wealth and stature of its former inhabitants. Your exact route will depend on the crowds and weather conditions. At the end of your time in Pompeii, travel back to Naples by minivan where your tour will come to an end.

$133.13 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Sorrento Farm Tour with Tastings, Pizza Making, and Limoncello

After a pickup from your Sorrento hotel in the morning (or afternoon), start your day with a visit to a local farm, Limoneto Storico 1894. Enjoy a walking tour of the citrus and olive groves, and learn about the farm’s history, production and traditional farming techniques. Then, head to the tasting room to sample the farm’s fresh products: lemonade, sliced lemons with sugar, fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil and lemon and orange oil on homemade bread.Your next stop is Il Turziello cheese factory to watch a demonstration on how to make treccia (braided mozzarella-like cheese) and caciotta (a soft and mild regional cheese). Enjoy a tasting of fresh provolone with salami, accompanied by a glass of wine. After teasing your palate, it’s time for some classic Italian pizza. Head to Da Francesco restaurant, in the historical center of Schiazzano, for a hands-on pizza-making class. Learn how to make a typical Neapolitan pizza, and then sink your teeth into your creation, followed by homemade dessert and coffee.Back at Limoneto Storico 1894, top off your gastronomic journey with fresh limoncello, the quintessential Italian liqueur. You’ll even learn the family recipe! With a satisfied belly, relax on the journey back to your hotel.

$176.72 Day Trips & Excursions

Capri and Blue Grotto Day Tour from Naples or Sorrento

Your tour starts by meeting your guide at the port in Naples or Sorrento for the boat ride to Capri by jetfoil. Arrive in Marina Grande, the main port of the island, where you can admire the view of sailing vessels moored at the pier. A visit to the Blue Grotto is possible if the weather permits, but if the cave is closed, you can take a group boat ride around the island to see other caves.To explore the island, hop aboard a minibus with your guide, who takes you along scenic routes including the Mamma Mia Road to Anacapri for spectacular views. Take some time to discover the picturesque village of Anacapri, with its narrow streets and typical small squares. This spot was the favorite place of Swedish doctor Axel Munthe, who fell in love with the ruins of an ancient chapel and built Villa San Michele. Then head to the main town of Capri and La Piazzetta, the center of life on the island. Sit and relax in the sun, or wander the streets marked by hotels, restaurants, and open-air cafes. Next up are the Augustus Gardens. Originally known as the Krupp Gardens, these botanical gardens were established by German industrial Friedrich Alfred Krupp. From here, look down upon the legendary Faraglioni limestone rocks, one of Capri’s best-known landmarks. At this point, you will have free time to explore.Finally, return to Marina Grande port for one last trip in a jetfoil back to Naples or Sorrento. During the tour, your guide will also give you suggestions on how and where to sample local specialties.The tour lasts 8 hours total.