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The Beauty within Southern Italy (Underrated Places)

When we think of Italy and places we want to visit, Southern Italy is not the first, second, or third on our list. We often think Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terra, and other Northern Italian cities.


We often overlook the beauty that South Italy provides because we are so focused on the touristy areas. I won't lie, I was a victim of this too. When I first went to Italy, my list consisted of Rome, Venice, Pisa, Florence, and Milan. I felt compelled to visit these places because they were popular destinations for young celebrities and frequently featured in movies and films.


It was not until I married my husband that I discovered the beauty of South Italy. While we were dating, he would send me pictures and tell me how amazing it was. I would just laugh at him and say, "I hear all Italians tell me how spectacular their region and food are." It was not until I visited that I realized what a beautiful region South Italy is and how many tourists have not yet discovered it. Which makes it even more beautiful.

Here are a few of the beauties that I have visited:


Alberobello

Starting with Alberobello, it was the first place my husband took me to in South Italy. Alberobello reminds you of Greece or a Mediterranean style. If you go to Alberobello, it is for the trullo structures and view. A Trullo is a dry stone building made of limestone, known to feature pyramidal, domed, or conical roofs built up of corbelled limestone slabs. It is found specifically in South Italy, but mainly in Alberobello. It is actually part of UNESCO World Heritage due to the prehistoric building technique of the structure and how it is still used in this region. The trullo style buildings provide much comfort and coolness, especially during the warmer seasons in Italy. When you visit, you can find many shops where you can purchase homemade Italian items, desserts, wines, and more. It is a lovely area to spend a full day in.


Matera

Have you heard of the cave dwellers? I hadn't either until we took a trip to the region of Basilicata in Southern Italy, to a place called Matera. Matera is known as the Sassi area, which is the complex of cave dwellers who were asked to evacuate in 1952 due to poor living conditions. A book that brought the living conditions of the Sassi to light, and from which you can learn and understand how they were living, is "Christ Stopped at Eboli" by Carlo Levi. Despite this history, Matera is a very beautiful area that transports you back to the past. In fact, several movies were filmed in the area, the most popular being "The Passion of the Christ". Not only is the area beautiful, but you can also find scrumptious food and desserts at pretty much any place you stop to eat.


Lecce

How cool would it be to visit and see the sunken Roman amphitheater? Well, in Lecce, which is in the region of Apulia in the southern part of Italy, you will find a sunken Roman amphitheater along with baroque structured buildings. Lecce is very beautiful; I absolutely love the center where you can enjoy the view of the amphitheater while drinking a regional specialty coffee called "cafe leccese". It is a beautiful place to stroll and take candid pictures with beautifully structured buildings. If you are in the mood for shopping, Lecce is also a great place to shop as there is a strip of famous shopping stores such as Zara, Levi, and more.


Polignano a Mare

As my husband once put it, "Have you ever seen the Red Bull commercial? Yeah, the one that gives them wings from drinking?" Well, their commercial was shot in Polignano a Mare in the region of Puglia. The commercial does not prepare your eyes for the beauty of Polignano a Mare. The blue water with the white rocks is like paradise. As you walk around the town, you cannot help but admire the structure of the buildings that provide shades of brown and nude, and the view of the ocean. You can find many people enjoying the water and the restaurant on the cliff that overlooks the sea. When visiting, it is a must to order a glass of wine from the region and a charcuterie board full of local meats and cheeses to try. Polignano is a must on your bucket list for South Italy.


Monopoli

Have you visited a place that transfixed you, and you wish the outside of your home could resemble the area just a tad? Historically, Monopoli is known for the Baroque Monopoli Cathedral that features the bell tower, along with the archaeological museum that holds sculptures and ancient tombs. Monopoli is a beautiful city where you can spend all day admiring the beauty, walking around Old Town, and taking in the views along the sea. There are so many beautiful white clay buildings that are home to many locals or used as Airbnb for visitors to stay, with lively plants such as cacti and flowers adding to the beauty of each home. The homes are not the only beauty; being able to see the boats that are docked before moving around the main sea area is a treasure. You literally can use Monopoli as a place to take a photoshoot or fall in love with photographing the area. Additionally, the food is fresh, as you will be offered the catch of the day, and the gelato is splendid. You can also spend time shopping for souvenirs or small items such as clothes and sunglasses.



Ostuni

Have you ever driven to an area and looked up to see an exclusive place that doesn't look like anything around it? That is Ostuni! As you are driving towards the area, all you can see is a city of white buildings. It is known as the White City because the buildings appear white as they sit on what seems like a plateau overlooking the olive trees around the area. When going to Ostuni, I would recommend wearing shoes with a good grip, as some areas can be slippery due to the marble, while others are not. The Old Town area of Ostuni is easy to get lost in, with numerous opportunities for indulging in food and shopping. There are endless places to shop and eat, offering fresh, local cuisine that exceeds expectations. I am a sucker for charcuterie boards, and you can find several great places around to enjoy the view and order one. Also, don't forget to enjoy a bottle or glass of wine when you are in Italy. It's a crime not to order wine.


These are not the only beautiful spots that Southern Italy has to offer. There are many more, and I hope to be able to explore them soon or in the near future! So make sure to stick around so that you can learn about more Southern areas of Italy.


If you would love to know more about things to do or other places to visit in Southern Italy, do not hesitate to email us or DM us on Instagram (@destinationdenetto)!


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