Italy is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Over the years we have planned dozens of trips to Italy, but never a holiday proper. One of our summer holidays took place in the south of Italy. It did not take long to love this part of the country because from the arrival we were spoiled with authentic delicious pizza, cappuccino, gelato and other italian sweets.
And so, these 10 days in southern Italy have turned into an exceptional culinary journey, sprinkled with incursions into Pompeii history and magical sunsets on the Amalfi coast. We arrived in the Puglia region where we stayed for another 4 days. So, I would like to show you our Ultimate Southern Italy 10-Day Itinerary.
Ultimate Southern Italy 10-Day Itinerary 2022
When we started planning our trip, we just took a plane ticket to Naples. In general, domestic flights in Italy are very cheap, and usually a Milan-Naples flight costs 9.99 euros. Then, we found a flight from Bari, which we paid 10 euros, and so we added Bari to our list. Thus, the 10 days of vacation were divided as follows:
- Naples and Pompeii– 3 days
- The Amalfi Coast – 3 days. Although it seems a little bit (it really is), we managed to see 3 of the most beautiful and famous places on the coast + Salerno.
- Puglia– 4 days. I spent 4 days in Bari, during which I visited Polignano a Mare and took a day trip to Alberobello.
Cheapest airlines in Europe: Ryanair (especially for domestic flights in Italy), WizzAir and EasyJet
- The Ultimate 4-day Travel Itinerary in Puglia / Italy
- Food Tour in Naples Italy
- A short guide to Alberobello
Day 1 to 2 – Naples
Traffic in Italy is chaotic, and the further south you go, the worse it is. That’s why if you’re visiting Italy for the first time, you should think twice about renting a car and driving on the roads of Naples. In addition to the chaotic traffic, you also have to take into account parking spaces (in some cities it is very difficult to find a parking space), but also the safety of the car. But the good news is that the public transportation between all the major italian cities is really affordable. We will talk about this later.
From Napoli Airport you can easily reach by bus. There is a shuttle that leaves you directly at the central train station of Naples (Naples Centrale). The trip costs 5 euros and the ticket can be taken directly from the driver. Operating hours 06:00-23:00.
Where to stay in Naples Italy?
Our plan was to stay only 2 days in Naples, 1 day for exploring the city and a second for Pompeii. We chose a hotel near the central station. We did not want to get into the maze of streets in the Spanish quarter, nor to use public transport very often. Thus, due to the location and the fact that it is a thematic hotel, we chose Cineholiday Hotel. And to be the complete package, we received the “La Dolce Vita” room, which was to foretold what our holiday would be like: sweet, pink and beautiful.
Cineholiday Hotel is a cinema-themed hotel, where each room represents a movie or a personality from the world of cinema. We felt very good, so we returned for another two nights.
Tourist attractions in Naples
Probably the most tourist attraction in Naples is L Antica Pizzeria da Michele, judging by the number of people waiting to have a meal at the most famous pizzeria in the world. She is famous for appearing in eat pray Love, but also for making the best pizza in the world. There you eat real, simple and delicious Neapolitan pizza. If you’re in Naples, the first thing you need to do is go to L Antica Pizzeria da Michele. If you go to lunch, you’re more likely not to be crowded. For 5 euros you eat a pizza that crosses the edges of the plate.
Another famous place in Naples, the iconic image of the town, I would say, is the Spanish district. The Spanish quarter is a labyrinth of narrow streets and shaded by tall blocks, at the window of which clothes are hung to dry. This is exactly the image I have often seen on the cover of travel magazines. In reality, the spanish neighborhood, with all the dirt and intense smells that the heat of Naples intensifies, has something magical. It is nothing like what we have seen, and as the name of a this lovely book says, we too were lost in the Spanish quarter, also on the street of Deo, in search of the wall of Maradona.
Tourist attractions in Naples
The Old Town of Naples is another labyrinth of streets and squares, but with a slightly larger historical load. There you will find a lot of churches and one of the oldest streets in the city, via dei Tribunali. Another street you should not miss is Christmas Alley or via San Gregorio Armeno. On this 200 m long alley, you will find a lot of shops with antiques and handmade things. The street has a festive air, and during the Christmas Fair it is even more. Piazza San Domenico Maggiore is the perfect place to take a break for fritta pizza – a deep fried pizza.
Day Trip to Pompeii
Since we had arrived in Naples, we thought that half a day, out of the four we had planned for Naples, should be reserved for visiting the city that was once covered by the ashes of the raging Vesuvius – Pompeii. We organised our trip to Pompeii Scavi on our own because we wanted to see the place in silence, really feel it and try to understand, although it is almost impossible, what happened in 79, in the last days of the city’s life,
Pompeii is a living history lesson and like the pyramids of Giza or the Acropolis, I firmly believe it’s a place you should visit at least once in your life, and even more so if you’re planning a holiday in Naples or on the Amalfi coast.
In the meantime, I want to give you some information on how you can organize a day trip to Pompeii from Naples.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Pompeii
How to get from Naples to Pompeii Scavi?
Circumsvesuviana is the train that connects Naples to Sorrento and makes two important stops: one at Herculaneum (Ercolano Scavi station) and another at Pompeii. The train runs along the coast and passes gently at the foot of the Vesuvius volcano (I recommend you sit on the left side of the train when going to Pompeii, you’ll see why :D).
Circumsvesuviana has two stops in Naples: Porta Nolana and
Napoli Garibaldi, the latter being the central station.
How much does it cost to enter Pompeii?
The main entrance is within a 5-minute walk from the train station, and we paid 16 euros/person to visit the complex. You can spend as much time as you like at Pompeii on your own or as part of a group led by a local guide. I understand that official guide prices start at 10 euros/person for a group visit of 10-12 people.
|POMPEII (*)From 7th June and throughout the summer period open every dayThe ticket includes entrance to Villa Regina (Boscoreale)||€ 16.00 (reduced afternoon admission fee of |
€10.00 from 15:30)
|€ 2.00 (#)(plus €1.50 online advance sale fee)|
|VILLA REGINA (BOSCOREALE)quota for visitors: 15 people maximum every 30 minutesPurchase possible at Pompeii and Oplontis ticket offices or online on the website www.ticketone.it||€ 2.00 (plus €1.50 online advance sale fee)||€ 2.00 (#)(plus €1.50 online advance sale fee)|
|VILLA DI POPPEA – OPLONTIS (***)The ticket includes entrance to Villa Regina (Boscoreale)quota for visitors: 40 people maximum every 15 minutesPurchase possible online or at Oplontis ticket offices||€ 5.00 (plus €1.50 online advance sale fee)||€ 2.00 (#)(plus €1.50 online advance sale fee)|
|VILLA ARIANNA and VILLA SAN MARCO (STABIAE)quota for visitors: 40 people maximum every 15 minutes||FREE|
|MUSEO ARCHEOLOGICO DI STABIA LIBERO D’ORSI|
visitor quota: 20 people maximum every 15 minutesPurchase possible exclusively online on the website www.ticketone.it
|€ 6.00(plus €1.50 online advance sale fee)||€ 2.00 (#)(plus €1.50 online advance sale fee)|
Three days on Amalfi Coast
We got a direct train from Naples to Salerno. The journey took 35-40 minutes and cost us €4.70/person.
Salerno is the largest town on the Amalfi coast, and the last one for that matter, and accommodation is much cheaper than in Positano or Amalfi. Not having a car it was important to choose accommodation in an area that was well connected to all the other places on the coast, but also to Naples, and that offered everything we needed: a lively centre and nice restaurants. These are the reasons why we chose this lovely hotel in Salerno over accommodations in mountain villages (Ravello is a popular destination, but we found it hard to reach by public transport). We’ve experienced this type of “remote” accommodation and it’s not our type at all.
From Salerno it is quite easy to reach every village on the coast by boat, which is the main reason why Salerno is the ideal place to stay. In short, the boat is the fastest and most beautiful way to travel along the Amalfi coast. We get on the boat, choose our seats on the right side of the direction, and enjoy absolutely fabulous views all the way to Amalfi. Landscapes that took our breath away. The ferryboat isn’t the cheapest option, but it’s the fastest and the best option if you want to admire the landscapes.
Day 1: arrived in Salerno in the morning; visited Amalfi and Atrani in the afternoon; spent the evening in Salerno
Day 2: excursion to Positano (we took the boat to Positano and the trip was a fairy tale)
Our itinerary was pretty hectic, but we managed to see everything on our list. However, if you want to enjoy more of this beautiful area, you might want to add two more days.
Day 3: Sorrento and the beautiful island of Capri
Where to eat (our best recommandations) on Amalfi Coast Italy:
- Salerno: Tratoria Santa Maria de Domno – a small, family-run restaurant with a somewhat atypical menu. A dinner for two = 20-25 euro
- Positano: Restaurant Zagara. The restaurant is located right in the centre and has a cool, quiet terrace. A tiramisu al limone that will turn your whole universe upside down costs 6 euros. A pizza costs 10 euros.
4 days in Puglia
Puglia doesn’t enjoy much fame or crowds of tourists and is therefore (unfairly!) one of Italy’s most underrated destinations. And it’s true that Puglia doesn’t have the cypress-lined roads of Tuscany or the magnificent buildings of Rome, but it does have white villages surrounded by golden fields, towns that look like straight out of a fairy tale, trulli cottages and 800km of coastline. We’ve really wanted to visit this part of Italy for a long time, which looks more like Greece than Italy from the pictures, and this year we made sure to spend four days of our super vacation in southern Italy, in Puglia.
Getting to Bari, from Naples
To get from Naples to Bari, the capital of Puglia, we took a bus, and in exactly 3 hours we arrived on the other coast of Italy. It was an easy trip and quite cheap, as a bus ticket costs less than 15$ and you can find even cheaper options. We always buy our tickets online, so this time we bought them using this website.
The Ultimate 4-day Travel Itinerary in Puglia
On the blog you can find a detailed article about the perfect itinerary for four days in Puglia. So, this is a very brief itinerary and I suggest you to check the following articles:
- The Ultimate 4-day Travel Itinerary in Puglia / Italy
- A short guide to Alberobello
- Polignano a Mare – a day trip from Bari (Puglia Itinerary)
Day 1 – Bari – Bari Vecchia is perhaps the most beautiful part of the city and it is the only reason I suggest you to spend one day in this city.
Day 2 – Alberobello – Alberobello is a place that looks like straight out of a fairy tale, the houses are so beautiful and somehow adorable that you feel like you’re walking through the pages of an illustrated storybook. Alberobello is definitely a place not to be missed if you’re planning a holiday in Puglia or a short city break in Bari.
Day 3 – day trip to Matera – just one hour drive from Bari lies one of the most beautiful and picturesque medieval towns in Europe.
Day 4 – a ”doing-nothing” kind of a day is welcome after such a long itinerary through southern Italy and Polignano a Mare is the best place to to that.
Ultimate Southern Italy 10-Day Itinerary 2023
This was my idea for a perfect itinerary in southern Italy in 2023. Italy is always a good idea when it comes to summer holidays, and if you’re going to visit this part of Italy for the first time, get your sunscreen, your hat, your swimsuit and your appetite ready, because southern Italy will spoil you like you’ve never been spoiled before.
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