Travel Tip Tuesday: Five Reasons to Visit the Bottom of the Boot

Rome. Florence. Venice. Tuscany. The Riviera … maybe even Milan.

That’s what most people list off when they think of Italy and where many travelers focus their time in the bel paese. But are they missing out by not heading south?

I honestly don’t know.

What I do know is that southern Italy is open and warm, loving, generous and forgiving … and I’m not just talking about her inhabitants.

For this Travel Tip Tuesday, I’d like to share five reasons you should visit southern Italy.

1. The “Old Italy” Experience

and no, I’m talking authenticity here. I’d be rightly offended if someone suggested my experience in Italy was anything less than the real deal, so I refuse to think you can’t experience “Italy” in the tourist hotspots.

It’s just a bit more difficult.

That being said, southern Italy is overflowing with medieval villages and seaside towns that exude our idea of old Italy. Throughout the south, shops still close at lunch, people nap in the afternoons and you can’t find a decent place to eat until after 8:00 (if you are an early bird).

2. Slower Lifestyle

Long lunches and afternoon naps might be part of that slower lifestyle, but the mentality of slowing down and enjoying life don’t stop there. While it could be frustrating to travelers who are accustomed to opening and closing hours being posted-and followed- on a museum’s door, there is something enlightening about waiting 20 minutes while the cashier is on coffee break.

It is something we experience all of the time in southern Italy and it offers you, the traveler, a glimpse into what a southern Italian lifestyle would look like for you.

3. Shhh … It’s a Secret

Everyone likes to feel like they’ve been let in on a little secret … that’s why middle-school girls gossip and men, of all ages, chat it up in the locker room. Travelers are no different.

When you visit southern Italy, you’ll feel like you’ve been let it on a little secret. You won’t find an overflow of tourists in many places and when you get back home, you’ll be the one with all of the cool, new Italy stories from the south.

4. No inglese?

Continuing on with that little secret, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that many people in southern Italy do not speak English. When you travel to southern Italy you can immerse yourself into the language of the country because, well, really you won’t have a choice.

… and for me, that’s part of the fun

5. Genuine Interest

Unlike the citizens in Rome and Florence, most of southern Italy isn’t accustomed to seeing tourists-so when you are here, you are loved. If you have even a basic level of Italian and try to hold a conversation with the locals, you’ll discover more about the region than you ever imagined.

They know the south is a great place to be-and they’re thrilled someone else finally realized it.

What did I leave off? Why else do you think people should head to the bottom of the boot?

Until next time … Buon Viaggio!

Traveling to southern Italy? Click here to see how I can help you plan the trip of a lifetime.

9 Responses
  1. You forgot one of the most important reasons, at least for us: southern Italy is still a bargain! We’ve also heard the food is absolute;u amazing!

    Altho we won’t visit Calabria this year, (sorry! 🙁 ) we will be staying at a friend’s house in Puglia, and the two things they’ve told us about Ostuni, and Puglia in general, are that the food is incredible and everything is much less expensive! We’re excited to find out for ourselves in October!

    You are right-it IS cheap down here, at least in most places and at least compared to the north and don’t get me started on the food … we add chili pepper to everything. Seriously.

    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..A GUEST BLOGGER FROM CALABRIA =-.

  2. There two huge reasons to visit southern Italy that you didn’t mention – the natural beauty is incredible; and, as they say in Basilicata, “l’ospitalita’ e’ sacra” (hospitality is sacred), meaning you’ll be welcomed warmly. We have found that to be so beautifully true.

    Definitely the people are often happy to see new tourists, especially those who are excited to learn about their country!

    .-= Valerie´s last blog ..Visual Basilicata =-.

  3. get out of tuscany people! there’s more to italy 🙂 i so agree, the beaches of the south are incredible and the people would never let you go hungry. in ischia, in september, you could rent an entire apartment for a month in a beautiful area for around 1200 euro. that’s a bargain.

    And I’d think Ischia is even more expensive than here in Calabria! (And yes, you can’t go hungry here … ha ha)

    .-= tracie p´s last blog ..Newlywed Couple Thoroughly Enjoying Registry Gifts (Austin, TX) =-.

  4. Love this post. I get so sick of seeing sites just dedicated to Florence, Venice, Rome and Milan. There is so much more to Italy, especially down south. I love the whole less English inundation as well. I’ll never forget a friend of mine studying in Florence came down to visit me in Sicily. She walked up to order her gelato at this small gelateria saying, “Can I get two scoops?”. I almost died because the woman looked at her like she was an alien.

    Ouch! I had a friend who did that all of the time when we lived in Paris, too.
    .-= Suzy´s last blog ..Where are you going? Swimming in Disappointment and the Waters of the Blue Grotto on the Isle of Capri =-.

  5. I agree with Barbara I found a leather purse for half the price compared to Florence, even thought not quite southern, visiting San Gimignano, was a real treat and shops are open only 10 to 6, so tourists get your shopping early.

    I’ve heard great things about that place! Thanks for the info.

    .-= Elisa´s last blog ..Road trip to Italy: Tuscany =-.

  6. Southern Italy is Italy’s best kept secret! Tranquil and rich in culture this unspoilt and beautiful region of Italy boasts such of most fascinating landscapes of the entire country. My parents were both born and bred in small mountain top village called San Mauro Forte which is a province of Matera, famous for its Sassi and part in filming of the blockbuster Mel Gibson film, The Passion of the Christ.

    The people share a warmth that I have always found endearing. Always welcoming and always willing to make you comfortable whatever your needs. My memories of visiting the area to see my grandparents will live with me forever.

    The freshness of the air and the stunning scenery of the neighbouring mountain top villages at night were a spectacular sight which I will never forget.

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