Bring on my hard-headed people!
Okay, bare with me here.. this one is going to make you book a plane ticket to Italy in the next five minutes. If I sold you on Northern Italy in my last post, wait until you see what's on this list. I've been forming this list for quite a while now, and any time I think of booking my next trip to Italy, these are the first places that come to mind. When I think of Southern Italy, I think of incredible food, and some of the world's best kept secrets. I can't think of a better experience than being right on the water, at an incredible beach, with an Aperol Spritz in one hand, and the most amazing pizza in the other. If you're with me, keep reading!
The south of Italy is near and dear to my heart since it was home to both sides of my grandparents for a great portion of their lives. For many Europeans, a family's hometown is always a must, since there's so much history attached, family to visit, and a sense of indescribable community. I've had the opportunity to see my dad's hometown, and it's one of those experiences that I'll never forget. My mom's town however, I've never seen, but heard so much about, and can't wait to visit. Keep in mind, these places are not all going to be seen in one trip, but I will continue to visit the south as much as I can in order to check all of these places off. Here are some of my bucket list destinations in Southern Italy:
1. San Giorgio Morgeto, Calabria
Home to my mom's side of the family, the broken San Giorgisu dialect, and the most hard-headed people in Italy. San Giorgio is located in the Calabria region of Southern Italy. When I visit San Giorgio, I want to see where my grandparents grew up, where they got married, and visit family. I'm also very determined to learn more of the dialect, so I can finally stop being left out on the inside jokes.
2. Tropea, Calabria
How breathtaking is this place? Tropea is located in the Calabria region of Southern Italy. It's known for the Santuario di Santa Maria Dell'Isola Di Tropea (Sanctuary of St. Mary), where you can visit the historical church and beautiful grounds, overlooking the Mediterranean sea. I get serious Mamma Mia vibes looking at this picture. If there was ever an Italian version, Meryl Streep would be singing the "Winner Takes It All" on this hill.
3. Alberobello, Puglia
If you've ever wondered where to find your Italian fairy godmother, she definitely lives here! Alberobello is located in the Puglia region of Southern Italy, and it's known for it's unique styled homes. I would visit this town to absorb the unique lifestyle, and be surrounded by the whimsical scenery. Many of these stone huts offer the perfect accommodation for tourists, and gives the ultimate experience of what Alberobello has to offer.
4. Grotta Della Poesia, Puglia
This natural pool is known as the Grotta Della Poesia, or Cave of Poetry, and is located in Salento, in the Puglia region of Southern Italy. Many people visit the Grotta for cliff jumping, and a morning swim before visiting the Torre del Orso beach nearby. I refuse to jump off any cliffs until I visit this place!
5. Faraglioni di Sant'Andrea, Puglia
This photographer's dream is called the Faraglioni di Sant'Andrea, or Sea Stacks of Sant'Andrea, and is located in Lecce, Puglia. A trip to this beach would consist of a long swim in the crystal water, and taking photos of the sunset.
6. Grotta Palazzese, Bari
This restaurant is located in a hotel called Grotta Palazzese in Bari, Puglia. I want to visit this restaurant with my future husband, enjoy an amazing seafood dinner, and sip on a glass of prosecco.
7. Palermo, Sicily
Palermo is the capital city of Sicily, filled with history and unique traditions. Among many things, Palermo is known for their celebration of Santa Lucia on December 13th, also known as ARANCINI DAY. The event consists of the Sicilian's giving thanks for the miracle of Santa Lucia, and indulging in many variations of the classic arancini. Talk about a dream come true! You know where to find me this December...
Let me know if you've had the chance to visit any of these incredible places in Southern Italy, and be sure to share your favourite places with me as well! Stay tuned for more of my Italian bucket list destinations!
Fa la brava,