As your roam between vibrant Romanesque builds underneath a pristine sky of light blue kissed with puffy white clouds, the heavenly aroma of traditional Italian cuisine fills your nose and waters your mouth. A slice of decadent heaven, Southern Italy, or the Mezzogiorno, "midday" region of Italy, is known for its thriving history as well as unique culture. Important Italian architecture is scattered throughout the region, making Southern Italy an attraction for those from all over the world. Some of its major tourist attractions include the Palace of Caserta, the Amalfi Coast, and Pompeii. There are also many remnants of ancient Greek civilization found throughout Southern Italy, such as the Syrias and Paestum. Though these ancient relics are something to marvel at, Southern Italy's natural landscape will simply take your breath away. Untouched beaches, enchanting woodlands, majestic mountains--a great deal of Southern Italy's environmental treasures are protected by national parks, such as La Sila that is located in the provinces of Cosenza and Catanzaro in the region of Calabria.
Gaze at one of the most well preserved Greek temples throughout the continent at Paestum. Built around 550 BC by Greek colonists, Paestum consists of three ancient Greek temples in eh Doric Order, the oldest being that of Temple of Hera. Paestum once resided in the city of Poseidonia, meaning "the god of the sea," but was later conquered by the local Lucanians and later the Romans. Paestum paved roads, city walls, and amphitheatre are still intact, enabling you the ability to step back in time to the era of ancient Greece. Paestum is open to the public, but should be considered to be no more than half a day trip due to the finite amount of architecture available for viewing. There are, however, guided tours for those who seek to truly immerse themselves in Greek and Italian history, such as Golden Tours, Positano, and La Dolce Vita Tours. Keep in mind that most of these tours do not solely stay in Paestum and often venture to other parts of Italy. Moreover, be sure to check out the Paestum National Archaeological Museum neighboring Paestum itself. This museum features a great deal of important work, such as treasures from the Prehistoric, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age.
Tropea, a town equally as ancient as it is stunning, is known as the neighborhood of paradise for locals. With its powdery white beaches and astounding cliffside architecture, Tropea was stated to originally be founded by Hercules himself. Due to its overwhelming amount of natural beauty, Tropea attracts visitors who long to escape from the busy streets of Rome to the serene Italian beaches and calming ocean waves. Located within the province of Vibo Valentia, in Calabria, Tropea is a famous bathing place, situated on a reef, in the gulf of St. Euphemia connected with the mainland in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The main beach within Tropea is Aquamarina Beach. Besides the beachside luxuries of umbrellas, deck chairs, and couches to make your sunbathing that much more comfortable, Aquamarina Beach also provides an open-air bar and restaurant.
Food and Dining
In the edgy and atmospheric Naples, Italy, fine dining experiences of traditional Italian cuisine are simply waiting to be explored. Palazzo Petrucci Ristorante is a prime example. Located on the romantic shores of Posillipo, the landscape is none other than a picture-postcard scene and an invaluable natural treasure. Palazzo Petrucci Ristorante chef since 2007, Lino Scarallo provides you with a treat for all five senses. Hear the sound of the ocean as you gaze at the waves breaking, while smelling, touching, and tasting Italian cuisine made of the freshest ingredients. Some of Palazzo Petrucci Ristorante meals include old-faithfuls like lasagna with buffalo mozzarella and marinated prawns, paccheri (tube pasta) filled with ricotta cheese and meat sauce, and creamy stratificazione di pastiera dessert. A five-star, high-class restaurant, you cannot go wrong when dining at Palazzo Petrucci Ristorante.
Getting around Southern Italy is relatively painless. If you are looking to stay within the perimeters of a certain city like Tropea or Naples, a great deal of these destinations can be reached by foot or bicycle. As stated previously, there are also a great deal of tour guide companies that would be more than happy to oblige you in getting around the region. However, if you desire to travel at a faster speed than what your own two feet or bicycle can give you, renting a car is not a bad way to go. There are a wide variety of car rental companies throughout Southern Italy. However, it is recommended that you only rent a car if you seek to travel to rural visiting areas as driving in urban areas can be quite nightmarish. There are also buses and trains available in major metropolitan areas at affordable prices.
Lastly, if you are looking to get to places like Campania and Sicily, small ferries and hydrofoils are available. Have an amazing time in Southern Italy!
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