South Italy is synonymous with sun, sea, and old-world culture. There is so much to do and see, from hiking and kayaking to trying Sicilian cuisine and tasting all kinds of authentic, scrumptious Italian food. There is so much to do, in fact, that it’s hard to know what to take in or even how to schedule one of the best south Italy tours to catch just the highlights.
That’s why we recommend you book yourself a trip to South Italy. Tours take care of everything for you, including accommodations, activities, and meals. All you have to do is show up and enjoy the ride. To help you choose the right tour for your unique preferences, we put together a list of Southern Italy tours that will help you experience this beautiful country without the stress and difficulty of planning it all yourself.
Best Southern Italy Trips to Soak in the Sun and Tuck into Local Food
Rome To Southern Italy by Intrepid Travel
You’ll travel by train from Rome to Bari in Southern Italy when you book this tour by Intrepid Travel. The full Italian experience is waiting for, from exploring historic sites like the Pantheon and the Vatican in Rome and the ruins of Pompeii, to hiking through olive groves, to staying in an authentic trulli, which is a dry stone hut. You’ll also see all kinds of gorgeous features in the countryside: rolling hills, vineyards, and sunlit villas.
Most of the traveling will take place on a train as you ride from city to city. This mode of transportation will give a lovely few of South Italy as you pass through it. Breakfast is provided for you in the mornings, and lunch and dinner are easy to come by as you’ll be stopping in cities that offer multiple dining options. When you stay in a hotel, you will likely share a room with a fellow tourist of the same sex, so keep that in mind if you’re traveling singly. But as long as you don’t mind sharing, you can enjoy the trip and everything the tour has to offer.
Rome To Amalfi by Intrepid Travel
On this tour from Rome to Amalfi, you’ll see the sites of Rome and the clear blue South Italian coast. You’ll travel primarily by train, and receive 5 breakfasts and 7 nights in the hotel as part of the tour package. This is a short trip, only seven days, so it hits all the best highlights. You’ll explore famous cultural landmarks and Rome, such as the Colosseum, the Forum, and St. Peter’s Basilica. You’ll also visit Mt. Vesuvius and the ruins of Pompeii. Later, when you reach the coast, the glittering beaches and seaside towns are ready and waiting for you to explore.
When you stay in the hotel, you will likely have to share the room with a tourist of the same sex as you are. One of the best Italy guided tours, this trip is a great way to make friends because you’re going to see and do a lot in a short amount of time with a large group of people. And what better place to make friends than in the bright, friendly environs of South Italy?
Amalfi Coast: Hike, Bike & Kayak by Intrepid Travel
The best way to see South Italy is by walking. This Amalfi Coast tour by Intrepid Travel takes you hiking through the ruins of Pompeii, the Valley of the Mills, and the Path of the Gods. You’ll kayak to “secluded beaches” and visit the island of Capri. For eight days, you’ll experience South Italy the way it was meant to be experienced: through the sun, sand, and sea air.
A favorite biking tour in Italy, this trip includes 7 nights in a hotel and 7 breakfasts. You will have to share a room with another adult of the same sex as you. Keep in mind that there is a lot of physical activity on this tour. If hiking and kayaking are your jam, then it may be the perfect trip for you.
Small Group Tour of Sicily: Highlights by Sicily Activities
Sicily is an island near the tip of the “boot” of South Italy. It has many famous cities and sites which you’ll get to experience when you group the Small Group Tour of Sicily by Sicily Activities. You’ll travel from Catania to Palermo on a 7-day tour. Along the way, you’ll embark on walks through cultural centers like the antique villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agro, the filming locations of The Godfather, Ortigia with its Apollo Temple and Archimede Fountain, the Temples Valley, and Palermo with its old churches and the Piazza Pretoria. You’ll go on food and wine tastings to sample authentic Sicilian flavor. Every step of your journey is planned and accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, so you can learn about the historical significance of your surroundings as well as experience it firsthand.
This small tour includes 7 nights in a hotel, 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 wine tasting, and 1 dinner. You’ll travel from town to town in a Mercedes Minivan, but there is still plenty of walking involved in the tour, so keep that in mind. This tour is a great option for people who want to take in as much of Sicily as they can in a short amount of time.
Small Group Sicily Food & Wine Tour by Sicily Activities
If you love food and wine and love trying new cuisine, you should book the Small Group Sicily Food & Wine Tour by Sicily Activities. This tour will take you from Catania to Palermo in 7 days. During your stops in various locales along the way, including Mt. Etna Villages, Noto, Marzamemi, Ortigia, and Syracuse, you’ll go on food and wine tours to experience the local culture and cuisine. For example, in the traditional Sicilian fishing village of Marzamemi, you’ll eat a fish lunch by the sea. In Palermo, you’ll try Sicilian street food. You’ll be amazed at the color and variety of South Italy’s eats.
As part of the tour package, you’ll stay in a hotel for 7 nights and receive 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 2 wine tastings, 1 dinner, as well as all the other tastings in the itinerary. If you have food allergies, there are Vegetarian, Gluten-free, and Lactose-free options available. If you book this tour, keep an open mind and know that you’re going to be eating and drinking a lot of different foods and wines that are probably foreign to your palate. If a food and wine tour sounds right up your alley, then being able to try new cuisine will be a definite pro!
Explore Southern Italy by Intrepid Travel
South Italy’s historic Roman past comes back to life in this Explore Southern Italy Tour by Intrepid Travel. Beginning on the Amalfi coast with stunning sea views, you’ll travel through several ancient towns and learn about the cultures and traditions that were once the law of the land. You’ll explore the cathedral in the seaside town of Trani, the Roman ruins in Lecce, the olive trees and trullis of Ostuni and Alberobello, and the winding streets of the old cities of Matera and Bari. There is so much of old world Italy to bear witness to on this tour. You’ll truly get a taste of the majesty of South Italy’s ancient history.
This 10-day tour includes 9 hotel stays, 9 breakfasts, and activities like city walking tours and an olive oil mill visit and tasting. You’ll take several different modes of transportation, including a train, a public bus, and a private car. You can share a room with a fellow tourist of the same sex, or you can pay extra for private accommodations. Be sure you’re ready to stay active and alert, for there is a lot to do and see on this Explore Southern Italy Tour.
Rome To Sicily By Intrepid Travel
This tour takes you from Rome to Palermo in Sicily in 22 days. The length of time – three weeks – is perfect because there is so much you’re going to take in. You’ll need three weeks to process all of it in your mind. First, you’ll explore Rome and all its historic sites. Then you’ll travel down the Amalfi coast and experience South Italy’s wonders along the way, including Pompeii, Greek and Roman ruins, dormant volcanoes, scenic valleys and hiking trails, and picturesque villages. You’ll end your trip in Palermo on the island of Sicily.
This tour comes with 19 hotel stays, 2 nights in a guesthouse, and 19 breakfasts, as well as all the activities listed on the itinerary. This is a long tour compared to the ones we’ve viewed so far, and there is quite a bit of physical activity involved. If you don’t mind walking to see the beauty of South Italy, then this may be the perfect tour for you.
Apulia & Sorrento by Flag Travel Holidays
Travel from Apulia in the “heel” of Italy’s “boot” to the coastal region of Sorrento on this South Italy tour by Flag Travel Holidays. You’ll tour several ancient towns along the way, including Matera which is the third oldest city in the world, and the ruins of Pompeii. The sights are fantastic: gorges, caves, colorful fishing villages, the “White Town” of Ostuni and its whitewashed buildings, and rolling green hills. This tour is truly food for the eye and the soul.
This 8-day tour includes 7 nights in a hotel, breakfast served daily, dinner when you first arrive, lunch on a farm near Cisternino, and a closing dinner in Sorrento with a view of the sea. The maximum size for the tour group is 6 people, so you won’t get lost in a crowd of people as you follow your guide across South Italy.
Taste Of Salento – Authentic Culinary Experience by Soleto Travel
Tour the delicious local food and drink of the Salento region in Italy on the Taste of Salento – Authentic Culinary Experience. At night, you’ll stay at a farmhouse, and during the day your guide will take you to different cities in the Salento region to sample authentic pizzerias, pasta, cheese, fish dishes, and more. All in the beautiful environs of coastal South Italy.
The tour package includes a 6-night stay at a farmhouse in Salento called Masseria, 6 breakfasts and 6 dinners done in traditional Salento style with locally sourced ingredients, 1 wine tasting, 1 oil tasting, 1 picnic lunch, and 1 cooking class taught by an Italian chef. If you have been dreaming about a food-themed Italy trip and your mouth is watering reading our description of the Taste of Salento Tour, you know it’s the right one for you.
Sardinia & Corsica Sailing Adventure by Intrepid Travel
Enjoy sailing, swimming, and snorkeling your way along the South Italy coast on the Sardinia & Corsica Sailing Adventure by Intrepid Travel. You’ll love exploring the clear waters, beaches, coves, and national parks surrounding the Maddalena Archipelago. You will also enjoy the local food and culture in the coastal towns.
This 8-day tour takes place mainly on a yacht, so make sure you’re prepared for sea life before you book. You’ll likely have to share sleeping quarters aboard ship with some of your fellow tourists. Meals are not included, but you can bring your own or head to town. For boat lovers, this is an incomparable tour of South Italy’s crystalline waters.
Local Living Italy – Sorrento by G Adventures
Taste the local South Italy life when you book your Local Living Italy tour in Sorrento by G Adventures. During this 7-day tour, you’ll stay at a lemon farm that’s close to the Amalfi Coast. You’ll experience the Italian farm life, including learning how to make limoncello liquor and pizza, hike the Path of the Gods, explore the ruins of Pompeii, and visit the island of Capri. This is a fantastic adventure if you are looking into immersing in local life and enjoying an Italy hiking tour.
This tour comes with 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 5 dinners, and accommodations at the lemon farm. You can purchase your other meals in the local coastal towns. You’ll feel like you’re living the genuine South Italy life when you book this interactive tour.
Highlights of Calabria & Sicily by Intrepid Travel
Hit the high points of South Italy on the Calabria & Sicily tour by Intrepid Travel. You’ll experience rich history and view fantastic natural features on this tour. You’ll see the volcanoes of Aeolian Islands, sulphur springs, the old coastal cities of Sicily, and ancient ruins. Incomparable views, food, and culture await you.
This tour is 15 days long and comes with 14 breakfasts, 12 nights in a hotel, and 2 nights in a guesthouse. You’ll go on a lot of hikes on this trip, so don’t book it thinking you’re going to be able to sit on a beach chair all day. You won’t regret it, though, when you see all of what South Italy has to offer.
Rome-based travel writer, blogger and photographer.