Your Southern Italy travel guide
Where the pasta is fresher, the cannolis are sweeter, the espresso is stronger and the wine is simply “bellissimo”… 👌 Italy, how we love you. You could go sightseeing for years across this beautiful country in Europe and still never discover (or taste!) everything it has to offer — but we will most certainly try. We hope this Southern Italy Travel Guide is the perfect starting point for discovering everything from the world-famous to the off-the-beaten-path bucket-list destinations across the Southern Italian regions. But above all, toss the guidebook and simply wander. Step aside, Florence, Venice and Cinque Terre, because we’re flying south. “Andiamo!” 🧳
Photo: Guido in Rome for Flytographer. Doreen celebrates her birthday in Rome with a Modern Headshot photoshoot.
1. Know before you go
What is the best time of year to go to Southern Italy?
The south of Italy is generally mild, with a typical Mediterranean climate. Neither the hot, dry summers nor the mild, rainy winters are unbearable, although the shoulder seasons are perfect for sunny days where your gelato won’t melt too quickly. 😉
Photo: Barbara and Claudio on the Amalfi Coast for Flytographer. Tiffany and their family capture memories on their trip to Amalfi with a family photoshoot overlooking the Amalfi Coast.
What to pack for your trip to Southern Italy:
- First and foremost, pack a water bottle! Most Italian cities have beautiful, quaint public drinking fountains scattered across the city, and they are not like the drinking fountains from your high school hallways. Think: cold, fresh water flowing from the mouth of an intricate lion carved into the stone walls. ⛲️
- You’ll want comfortable walking shoes because cobblestone streets are not kind to heeled shoes.
- Bring a crossbody bag or backpack (preferably with a zipper) to keep your items safe and secure while you’re gazing up in wonder. 🎒
- From wine tasting in a flowy dress to hiking the Path of the Gods — definitely not in a dress — it’s best to pack light layers to transition from warmer days to cooler nights with ease.
Photo: Francesca V. in Rome for Flytographer. Charles captures memories in Rome with a Modern Headshot photoshoot.
2. Central Italy
From the magnificent wonders of Ancient Rome that are still standing today, like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, to innovative restaurants, fashion and technology, Rome is a masterful blend of the old and the new. In the morning, you can visit the awe-inspiring Vatican City and see world-famous art and architecture. In the afternoon, get lost among the small, winding streets of the charming Trastevere neighbourhood for hole-in-the-wall pizza and hidden gems. You could run yourself ragged trying to see all of the sights, but our top tip? Live la dolce vita — do as the Romans do and sip on wine in a small piazza. 🍷
You can find local tips from our very own Flytographers in our Rome Local Guide featuring the best things to eat, see and do in Rome. The next time you order a coffee back at home, make it an espresso with your “I’d Rather Be in Rome” t-shirt or crewneck on, and you’ll feel that much closer to Italy. With our Rome city prints, you don’t have to wait up at the crack of dawn for an empty view of the Trevi fountain either.
Krista’s Travel Tip for Rome
“I also highly recommend going where the locals go — totally immersing yourself in the local culture is the best way to really experience a new city. Ask your concierge where THEY go to get dinner/drinks — not the regular touristy places, but the hole-in-the-wall, off the beaten path, hidden gems — THAT is where the magic truly happens. You will not regret it!” – Krista
Read more Rome Travel Tips from Flytographer customers.
Photo: Roberta in Rome for Flytographer. Bayu and Ivony celebrate their honeymoon in Rome with a couple photoshoot at the Roman Forum.
Photo: Francesca V. in Rome for Flytographer. Suzanne and their family capture memories in Rome with a family photoshoot at the Colosseum.
Photo: Guido in Rome for Flytographer. Carly and their family capture memories in Rome with a family photoshoot at the Pincio & Villa Borghese.
3. Province of Naples
Nestled in the fertile Campania region and along the Bay of Naples, this beautiful city is best known for feeding your soul and your stomach. The best pizza is found in Naples, and of course, your visit isn’t complete without sampling Neapolitan-style pizza. 🍕 (Side note: we wholeheartedly approve if your “sample size” is an entire pie!) The only thing up for debate is how you choose to consume your slice — the half-fold, quad-fold or with a fork & knife? But don’t be completely distracted by the food. Naples is neighboured by the active Mount Vesuvius volcano and the famed city of Pompeii for an explosive dose of history.
Mariya’s Travel Tip for Naples
“Take a stroll to Ischia Ponte and enjoy the beautiful narrow streets and colourful shops, try amazing pizza and Ischian rabbit in a local restaurant, such as Aglio, Olio & Pomodoro, and visit the Aragon Castle. Also don’t miss the thermal spas around the island. We visited the Negombo park and it’s 12 different temperature swimming pools. On the way there, we impulsively decided to visit the Mount Epomeo. Tip: don’t go hiking with flip-flops on — that was an experience!” – Mariya
Read more Naples Travel Tips from Flytographer customers.
When life gives you lemons, drink limoncello … or at least, that’s how we think the saying should go! 🍋 Top-notch lemons aren’t the only thing this hillside town is famous for though. As the gateway to the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento’s proximity to world-famous Italian destinations has brought this small town plenty of visitors, dating back to Dickens and Tolstoy themselves. However, Sorrento still retains its slow-paced holiday vibe. Taking in views of the glistening sea from the dramatic cliff-sides, exploring the fresh citrus groves, and sampling gnocchi alla sorrentina during your stay are three of our top recommendations. 🍝
Susan’s Travel Tip for Sorrento
“You HAVE to go to Da Franco for Pizza in Sorrento! Barbara and Claudio (our photographers) recommended it. It’s a local spot where the owners have been making pizza for years and you can order by the yard!” – Susan
Read more Sorrento Travel Tips from Flytographer customers.
Just a ferry ride away, the island of Capri is all elegance. Take the funicular from the marina up to the dramatic hilltop town, and don’t forget to treat yourself to a refreshing granita as you explore! 🌸 From the impressively bright bougainvillea adorning stunning villas and plazas, to panoramic views of the turquoise waters, Capri is dressed to impress. If you want to travel even higher, take the chairlift up craggy Mount Solaro to the highest point on this breathtaking island.
Photo: Barbara and Claudio in Sorrento for Flytographer. Emily and their partner celebrate their anniversary in Sorrento with a couple photoshoot.
Photo: Andrea in Sorrento for Flytographer. Vanessa and their partner celebrate their pre-wedding with a couple photoshoot in Sorrento.
Photo: Barbara and Claudio in Sorrento for Flytographer. Elizabeth and their partner capture memories in Sorrento with a couple photoshoot.
A Southern Italy travel guide would simply not be complete without including the Amalfi Coast. What used to be a collection of small and humble fishing villages dotting the coastline has become a premier Italian destination beloved by all. In fact, the entire coast has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.☀️ Day trips to many of the 13 towns are a must. Although they all share common themes, like beautiful pastel buildings, sun-soaked views and an enchanting Italian spirit, each town has its own personality and charm. Take a mini road trip through the precarious, winding streets (on a Vespa 🛵 if you’re brave enough) as you explore the coast. Looking for the best things to eat see and do along the way? Check out our Amalfi Coast Local Guide for the best recommendations from our local photographers. If dreaming of the Amalfi Coast isn’t enough, the Amalfi Coast City Prints will inspire you every time you walk into the room.
Rachel’s Travel Tip for the Amalfi Coast
“Hike the Path of the Gods! What a beautiful trail with amazing views. I’m not sure we can ever go on another trail again…nothing will compare!” – Rachel
Read more Amalfi Coast Travel Tips from Flytographer customers.
Quite possibly the most famous of the towns is Positano for the iconic view of the pastel buildings cascading down the cliffside onto a breathtaking beach. ✨ With views like that come lots and lots of steps! Wear comfortable walking shoes and your calves will thank you. Sunbathe by day under one of the colourful umbrellas lining the beaches before dressing up for cocktails on one of the many rooftop terraces. ⛱
Whether you’re manifesting a future trip or looking back on a past one, the Positano City Collection including a Positano city print, tote bag, t-shirt, and puzzle will bring the memories right back. We can almost smell the fresh gelato already!
While many of the towns sit closer to the water, Ravello sits above high in the sky. The seascape truly can’t be beat, especially when framed by wisteria-draped villas, so you’ll quickly understand why it has been nicknamed “the balcony of the Amalfi Coast.” Ravello has inspired countless artists, musicians and writers over the years, but despite its popularity, it still feels like a hidden gem in the clouds. 🌤
Maggie’s Travel Tip for Ravello
“Ravello was easily everyone’s favourite Amalfi Coast city — more so than Capri, Positano or any of the others. It is so beautiful and magical — we’d all recommend spending much more time here than anywhere else.“ – Maggie
Read more Ravello Travel Tips from Flytographer customers.
Despite being the namesake of the coastline, Amalfi is small and quaint. You can easily walk through the town in half an hour … but that’s without espresso, pastry and shopping breaks. ☕️ In the 1300’s, much of the town quite literally fell into the sea during an earthquake, but despite the lack of historical buildings as compared to the other villages, the culture and history runs deep. A handful of the can’t-miss buildings include the stunning Cathedral of St. Andrew, with its impressive staircase, the bell-tower and the enchanting Cloister of Paradise. 🔔
Photo: Mary and Maurizio on the Amalfi Coast for Flytographer. Ryan and their partner celebrate their engagement with a surprise proposal photoshoot in Positano Village.
Photo: Andrea on the Amalfi Coast for Flytographer. Julie and their family celebrate their trip to the Amalfi Coast with a family photoshoot in Ravello Village.
Photo: Barbara and Claudio on the Amalfi Coast for Flytographer. Jesse and their partner capture memories on their honeymoon with a couple photoshoot on the Amalfi Coast.
5. Western Italy
The capital city of the Puglia region along the Adriatic Sea is a maze of picturesque streets, where locals chat from their balconies and hanging laundry criss-crosses above your head. 👕 Bari is a large city that is often overlooked in comparison to other Italian destinations, but we think it’s the prime destination for a quintessential Italian escape. This is the city to wander, order a second Aperol Spritz 🍊, relax on the beach and enjoy the small town charm that makes this destination one of our favourites for an authentic experience.
This town practically carved out of stone was recently named as a European Capital of Culture. Nearly 7,000 years ago, the first inhabitants of what is now the majestic town of Matera settled in the natural limestone caves, and is thought to be the third-longest continuously inhabited human settlement. 🏡 As time passed, the city as we know it today slowly began to rise from the canyon shaped by the Gravina River. Impressive monasteries and churches carved into the rock have made this town one of the crown jewels of the region of Basilicata.
6. Island of Sicily
Continue south past the bottom of “the boot”👢 and you’ll find the island of Sicily sitting between Europe and North Africa! Palermo is the largest Sicilian city and an dynamic mix of cultures and traditions. You’ll go from the feel of a lively, Middle Eastern bazaar to a fresh Italian market faster than you can say “ciao bella.” Byzantine mosaics meet Gothic palaces and baroque churches, and the mix of Norman, Arabic, Spanish and Italian roots found here have created a unique culture all its own.
Where Palermo is a bustling city, Taormina is a relaxed, seaside retreat. ✨ Perched on the side of a mountain with panoramic Sicilian vistas, it’s a popular summer destination that all but shuts down completely for the winter season. Soak up the sunshine, but don’t forget your sunscreen — the rays are strong down here in the south!
Once the largest city in the ancient world (yes, even larger than Athens!), Ancient Greek ruins meet thriving citrus orchards, and baroque architecture meets medieval in a gorgeous display across piazzas and a maze of streets. Today, this seaside city is a symphony of cultures and a rich history creates an almost tangible draw to the city itself. The city centre is situated on the tiny island of Ortygia, with a glittering blue ocean just a few blocks away. 🌊
Photo: Deborah in Syracuse for Flytographer. Chirag and their partner celebrate their anniversary in Taormina with a couple photoshoot at the Garden of Villa Comunale.
Photo: Deborah in Syracuse for Flytographer. Amanda and their partner capture memories in Sicily with a couple photoshoot near the Duomo.
Capturing memories in Southern Italy
That wraps up our Southern Italy travel guide! We hope you are just as inspired as we are to get Italy on the books. The magic of Italy can be tasted, smelled, heard, seen and of course, captured! 📸 Book a Flytographer photoshoot not only for beautiful photos, but to connect with friendly locals ready to share the beauty of Italy with you. You’ve heard it from us, but now it’s time to discover it for yourself. Until then, ciao for now! 🇮🇹