Learn more about this region and what to expect on our Southern Italy small-group tours below.
It varies depending on which region you're in, but Southern Italy is associated with its beautiful Mediterranean coastlines like the Amalfi Coast, seaside towns, and an abundance of archaeological and historic sites such as Pompeii and Herculaneum. Southern Italy is also notable for its regional cuisine, from limoncello to Naples pizza, and is a great place to try some of Italy's lesser-known wine varieties and grapes.
Each with their own regional cuisine, beautiful cities, and scenic landscapes, both Northern Italy and Southern Italy are well worth visiting. But if you love sunny beaches and warm weather, Southern Italy may be a better fit with its miles of coastline along the Mediterranean Sea and volcanic islands like Sicily. Southern Italy will also be a hit with history buffs thanks to its abundant historic sites like the ruins of Pompeii and the Greek temples and theaters of Sicily.
Spring, summer, and fall are the best times to visit Southern Italy to take full advantage of the warm weather, plentiful sunshine, and long days. While beautiful, summer marks the tourist high season and is when rates will be highest and popular destinations, like the Amalfi Coast, will be the most crowded. Winter is a pleasant time to visit with its mild temperatures, lower rates, and reduced crowds. But the spring and fall shoulder seasons offer the best of both worlds with good weather and not too many people.
Southern Italy and Sicily boast a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry, and sunny summers averaging in the 70s F and 80s F. Winters are mild with occasional cold snaps of averages in the 40s F. November is typically when the rainy season takes place with an average of 60F. During ‘Primavera’, or the spring season, you can expect averages of 65F.
If you only plan on sticking to a specific area like the Amalfi Coast or Naples, five days to a week should be enough. But if you want to explore multiple regions in one trip, you'll likely want to plan for up to two weeks of travel.
Most travelers arrive in Southern Italy via the Naples Airport, which is the biggest international airport in the region. From there, you can get around Southern Italy by bus, train, ferry, taxi, or car rental. Public transportation around Italy is well-connected and modern, making it easy to navigate the system. This makes Southern Italy, and Italy in general, a great destination for solo trips and self-guided walking tours, as you can take things at your own pace.
Depending on when you're visiting, what part of Southern Italy, and what sort of activities you may be doing, your packing needs may vary. But a general list will include:
• Comfortable , sturdy shoes for hiking,walking or cycling
• Layered Clothing
• Sun Protection (hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc.)
• Raingear (waterproof jacket)
You can find more tour-specific packing recommendations on your tour page.
American citizens can enter and explore Italy for up to 90 days as a tourist without a visa. You will need a valid passport.
Like the rest of the country, Southern Italy is a safe destination to explore either as part of a group or on your own. In cities like Naples, though, you should be wary of pickpocketing and petty theft, especially in crowded areas or popular tourist attractions.
Small group tours offer a more intimate and personalized way to explore Southern Italy. Along with an expert guide to shepherd you along during the trip, you have the benefit of having all your accommodations, transportation, and activities already arranged and booked for you. Going on a guided tour of Southern Italy is especially useful, as they can provide more information and history about the many ruins and historical sites you'll visit. Free time for shopping or exploring on your own is also built into each itinerary.
Specifics vary by tour, but all Southern Italy tours include transportation, accommodations and some included meals. Check the relevant trip page for which excursions and meals are included for each tour. On all small group tours, a knowledgeable guide who is local to the region will join you.
The question of which is better depends on what kind of travel experience you're looking for and what kind of traveler you are. With a tour guide, not only has the entire trip been planned and arranged for you, but you are accompanied for the full trip by a knowledgeable local.
Your tour guide can provide all kinds of background information about the places you visit, from historical facts to fun stories. Having access to so much additional information will help give you a more complete picture of the destinations on your Southern Italy trip.
Our self-guided Southern Italy tour options are ideal for travelers who prefer to make their own plans and move at their own pace. Even if you opt for one of the self-guided tours, we'll take all the stress and hassle out of trip planning by arranging all your accommodations and itinerary stops for you. We send the maps and information about the places visited, and even transport your luggage for you. You just have to show up at the place where your tour begins - you can set the pace and decide when to start, how fast you travel, and where to stop!
The walking and cycling tours in Southern Italy range in difficulty from easy to moderate, so travelers in good health and physical shape should have no issues. The exact level of physical difficulty varies by tour. The most difficult aspects are likely to be uneven terrain and short uphill climbs.