Visiting Italy’s Heel on a Southern Italy Road Trip

Southern Italy Road Trip Adventure

Updated 01.20.2020:  Italy is a favorite destination for boomer travelers, including us. A few years ago, we enjoyed a guided road trip in Northern Italy. And then Italy called our names again. This time—a Southern Italy road trip.

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Claudia Fontana from Italy A La Carte met us at the Hilton Rome Airport for the drive to southern Italy, then dropped us off 12 days later at our cruise ship in Civitavecchia. 

Claudio plans the itinerary, we approve it; he provides a list of lodging, we choose our favorites. For an up front fee that is all-inclusive, Claudio makes the arrangements as well as drives, interprets, guides and tells us what to eat during our Italian road trips. It’s the perfect combination.

The trip’s focus was a journey down the country’s Adriatic coastline all the way to the heel of Italy’s boot. On this off-the-beaten-path road trip in Southern Italy, we discovered charming villages, delicious food and friendly Italians. We’d go again in a heartbeat. Below you’ll find articles describing our Southern Italy itinerary.

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Southern Italy Road Trip Itinerary

Even though we’ve traveled to Italy many times, this Southern Italy itinerary introduced us to a truly authentic Italian experience. We fell in love with the Adriatic Coast as well as Italy’s “boot” region. It’s definitely one of those do again and again trips. To read a detailed description of our 12-day itinerary in Italy that started in Rome and ended when we boarded a cruise ship in Civitavecchia, click on: Italy Itinerary.

cobbelstone street and beige stone buildings in Subiaco, Italy.

Stopping in Subiaco

There’s something special about walking down cobblestone streets, as a resident peeks at you from behind a lace-curtained window. Your footsteps echo against ochre-colored buildings that have stood the test of time. Discover one of our most memorable experiences of the Southern Italy road trip as we share what to see and do on a Subiaco walking tour. And, yes, we rewarded ourselves with a tasty Italian lunch.

Staying in an Italian Wash House

On our first night of this road trip in southern Italy, we stayed at Il Lavatoio in the charming mountain town of Castel di Sangro near Abruzzo National Park. No, this is not in southern Italy. But every road trip must have a beginning. Ours started in Rome and made its way to the south stopping at off-the-beaten-path Italian towns and villages along the way. We’re so glad that Il Lavatoio was part of the fun. Read about our historic lodging by clicking on: Staying in an Italian Wash House.

Visit the Tremiti Islands

After arriving on Italy’s Adriatic Coast, we took a few days to explore in the Rodi Garganico region. Deciding that it was time for an off-the-beaten-path island adventure, we flew by helicopter to explore the history and remoteness of the Tremiti Islands. Exploring Santa Maria a Mare on San Nicola, followed by an Italian seafood lunch was part of the boomer fun. Read about our adventure by clicking on: Visit the Tremiti Islands.

Research your next trip at our Italy Travel Planner.

Walking With History in Trani

Arriving in Trani, a historic seaport town in Italy’s Puglia region, we were enchanted with the narrow, winding streets of the Old Jewish Quarter. Each morning, we’d start out from Palazzo Pachiotti for a day of boomer travel fun. Nights were spent dining in seaside cafes, as we watched the locals promenade by the sea. Click on Walking With History in Trani to read more about our experience.

Off-the-beaten-path in Otranto

Although Alan and I visited Otranto in Southern Italy as a side trip from Gallipoli, I haven’t written about it, yet. However Sharon Kurtz shares her experience visiting this off-the-beaten-path city in Southern Italy. Beaches, history and wine—what could be better? Read more about Sharon’s tips for visiting Otranto, Italy.

Walking With History in Matera, Italy

History seems to be around every corner in Italy. But when we arrived in Matera, we hit the motherlode. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Sassi settlements perched in two ravines offered uncrowded explorations of a fascinating history dating back to pre-historic times. Exploring by foot is the only way to truly experience this special Italian destination. Click on: Walking With History in Matera, Italy to read more about our experience.

Southern Italy photos

Sometimes, all you need is a photo to decide if a trip is right for you or not. I’ve collected photos from our Southern Italy road trip to show you the itinerary and special places that Alan and I experienced. Maybe our Southern Italy photos will inspire your next boomer trip to Italy.

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