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A month in Southern Italy

dallas/fort worth
Level Contributor
187 posts
50 reviews
A month in Southern Italy

Just us oldrr girls going. What are must sees? Any place we should plan on spending more time? We love the sea and small villages. Want to interact with locals! Luxury not required. Any tips or ideas would be appreciated!

22 replies to this topic
Naples, Italy
Level Contributor
2,520 posts
32 reviews
1. Re: A month in Southern Italy

What time of the year? Are you willing to rent a car or do you prefer public transport? Do you contemplate hiring a driver too?

A month can be easily filled in the Bay of Naples and Amalfi Coast alone, or touring around Sicily. An agriturismo experience ( agriturismoitalia.gov.it/flex/… ) is probably the best way to interact with locals.

Naples, Italy
Level Contributor
675 posts
12 reviews
2. Re: A month in Southern Italy

Great Idea!

14 days Naples & Amalfi Coast:

-Naples, Procida, Capri, Ischia, Sorrento, Positano, Ravello, Amalfi, Salerno & Paestum

5 days Cilento Park:

-Acciaroli, Castellabate, Pisciotta, Acquafredda, Maratea

11 days Puglia:

Gallipoli, Lecce, Otranto, Ostuni, Cisternino, Alberobello, Matera (Basilicata), Polignano a mare, Bari, Vieste & Gargano.

Akron, Ohio
Level Contributor
1,561 posts
495 reviews
3. Re: A month in Southern Italy

Do answer questions presented in response # 1. Response # 2 has much good guidance and helpful information for developing a preliminary itinerary. Many words of praise for your intentions. Do not over do or pro-long your stay in places that readily attract large crowds like Amalfi area or Sorrento. Do spend time in Cilento park which is a regional park in southern part of Salerno area in southern Campania region on the way to Basilicata. Take the train from Naples areas to Agripoli southward along the coast to Agropoli on the way to Basilicata. From there you can get to places like Giugano located near or in the park at the bottom of a short cliff so to speak. Ten days in Puglia should get you to see many major sites including those listed in the response #2. Maybe six days in Basilicata if you stay in Matera. See the Sassi houses. Inland from Naples is the city of Caserta with a school where a work famous classical guitarist works and teaches. The city of Caserta has many artistic treasures worth seeing. In fact these areas inland from Naples deserve your attention for many of the same reasons. Gargano peninsula deserves your attention for reasons more than just being close to the sea. Train line for reliable rail transportation from Naples area through Caserta to Foggia will get you to Puglia and all the principal five or six cities in that picturesque region. Busses are available elsewhere. My preferences would be for spending more time in in Basilicata and Puglia as well as inland from Naples in Campania and the Cilento Park. Hope this helps.

Virginia
Level Contributor
4,409 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: A month in Southern Italy

First stop I would recommend is the Lonely Planet Guide to Southern Italy.

In addition to questions above, what places have you identified as must see to you already? Where do you fly in and out of?

dallas/fort worth
Level Contributor
187 posts
50 reviews
5. Re: A month in Southern Italy

Wow! Grazi for your answers. We will be traveling mostly in May. Not driving ourselves so public and maybe hire a driver. Everything mentioned thus far sounds great! Any local festivals/fairs/celebrations? So much to think about. Want to be careful not to overplan. Thank you all again.

Naples, Italy
Level Contributor
2,520 posts
32 reviews
6. Re: A month in Southern Italy

"We will be traveling mostly in May"..."Not driving ourselves so public and maybe hire a driver. "

Good to know. This cuts several destinations off your itinerary and makes your planning easier. If you're not relying on public transport, you may want to avoid Cilento, Puglia's Ionian coast, Calabria and the most of inner Sicily. Also May is a perfect month to explore lesser islands, and in the South we have iconic little islands, like Capri, Ischia (which is actually one of the biggest among lesser islands), Stromboli, Salina or Favignana. Matching major cities/towns and lesser islands can be a good way to have a memorable Southern experience.

By public transport you have relatively freedom in the Bay of Naples/Amalfi Coast (traffic jams, delays and the like may represent an issue), and can also enjoy some major sights in Sicily. These are some places you may want to visit:

Campania:

- Naples

- Pozzuoli and the Archaeological Sites in the Phlegraean Fields (in Greek and Roman mythology this area was considered one the Gates of Hell, also it was a popular seaside area among aristocracy in Ancient Rome)

- The Royal Palace of Caserta

- Pompeii and Herculaneum

- Ancient Capua sites at Santa Maria Capua Vetere

- Benevento

- Sorrento

- The Islands of the Bay (Capri, Ischia, Procida)

- Amalfi Coast (mainly Amalfi, Ravello, Positano, also lesser villages/towns like Atrani, Cetara, Conca dei Marini and Praiano)

You can visit many places in Sicily too relying on public transport or easy connections through buses and ferries, like:

- Palermo

- Lesser towns in Palermo area like Castelbuono (uphill) and Cefalù (seaside)

- Trapani

- Erice

- Mazara del Vallo

- Egadi Islands (Favignana, Marettimo, Levanzo)

- Agrigento and The Valley of the Temples

- Catania

- Taormina

- Siracusa (Ortigia is the historical part of the city you may want to see)

- Baroque towns in South-Eastern Sicily, like Noto and Modica

- Aeolian Islands (Lipari, Salina, Stromboli etc.)

This is a sample of the places you can easily manage without hassle. In one month you can have a great trip spending two weeks in Campania and two weeks in Sicily. You can also dedicate the full month to Campania or to Sicily. Other users may come up with other suggestions. Decide what you want to prioritize, read, as suggested by other users, guidebooks (possibly serious ones with some intellectual authority in it) and plan your itinerary.

Don't hesitate to ask for further suggestions, hope I've been helpful.

Edited: 20 March 2018, 03:07
ischia
Level Contributor
1,197 posts
27 reviews
7. Re: A month in Southern Italy

Definitely Naples, Amalfi Coast, Capri, Ischia, Procida, Pompei, Ercolano, Mt. Vesuvius, Cilento and last week in Sicily ( by night ferry from Naples ).

A lot to discover, great food, Wonderful beach, the best trekking ( path of god ), amazing art and culture, cheap prices.

If you need info about off the beaten places send me a message.

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
1,14,658 posts
8. Re: A month in Southern Italy

Hi morethanjustok,

Have you purchased your airline tickets, and where would you arrive and depart Italy?

You can easily spend two weeks each in Campania, Puglia, or Sicily.

With perhaps only a week in Sicily, then consider either Eastern or Western Sicily.

May is early for the islands, and given your allocated time, perhaps fly or take the overnight ferry from Naples to Catania, and then enjoy Siracusa and Ragusa.

Or skip Sicily, and focus on Campania and Puglia.

Vagabonda

dallas/fort worth
Level Contributor
187 posts
50 reviews
9. Re: A month in Southern Italy

Thank you vagabonda. We are in and out of naples. It seems like so many great options! Will we be ok with mostly english? I'm desperately trying to learn some italian! Please keep the suggestions coming. The research is making me want to be there!

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
1,14,658 posts
10. Re: A month in Southern Italy

Hi morethanjustok,

You're fine with English in touristy areas, but you've indicated an interest in small villages and interacting with locals, and then you would appreciate some command of the language.

What time are you arriving and departing?

With an early arrival, you might begin further afield, and then see Campania at the end of your route to position for your departing flight.

Campania is a given destination, and so then decide between Puglia or Sicily.

Vagabonda

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