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5 unique places to visit in Southern Italy

Unique locations to visit in italy in 2022

As the world recovers slowly from the last two years of travel restrictions people are planning vacations to their dream holiday destinations around the world.


The Lonely Planet nominated Florence as one of the top cities to visit in 2022 and while I love the beauty of this famous Italian city, it falls onto my list of ‘the places everyone goes to’


If you are a first-time traveller, then sure, you might tick off your list which includes places like Rome, Venice, Florence or Cinque Terre. Don’t get me wrong they are amazing places to visit although those locations have evolved over the years to become a bit like big tourist factories and in some senses they have lost their charm, especially in summer seasons.


If you are an experienced traveller that is willing to explore other regions in Italy then you are in for a pleasant surprise. As soon as you start venturing further away from the top destinations you see on the ‘best of’ lists, you begin to really experience the Italian way of life.


While Sicily still has a thriving tourism industry, it is still fairly ‘untouched’ because of its distance from the mainland. Although you get a more genuine holiday experience. What many people don’t realise is that Sicily has a wide array of historical sites, delicious food & great culture which makes it one of the best places to visit in Southern Italy.


It has a unique combination of beautiful coastal towns with the lush hinterland – where the mountains meet the sea.

1. Scoglitti, Sicily

My home town Scoglitti situated on the south east corner of Sicily is a little fishing village off the beaten track that you will simply adore. White, sandy beaches, the location of Sicily’s best gelateria – Bar Riviera & some of the best seafood restaurants in Sicily. Locals travel from all over Sicily to dine here. It’s my little bit of paradise & definitely a hidden gem.

2. Castelbuono, Sicily

This tiny medieval town is located on the North of the island near Cefalù. It has a historical 14th century castle & is famous for it’s native Basilichi mushrooms.

You can taste these at many of their quaint tiny restaurants. Castelbuono is also home to the world famous Fiasconaro Panettone. To me there is no better panettone in the world.

3. Ortigia, Sicily

Beautiful Ortigia located on the east coast of the island is definitely a highlight of my tours and a must see for anyone visiting Sicily. 

The tiny laneways filled with restaurants & gelatos, the picturesque marina and boardwalk & the grand Siracusa Duomo located on the main piazza is a perfect place to sit and watch the world go by. 

Lots of shopping to do with many boutique, quality stores located in this town.

4. Modica, Sicily

The baroque valley of Ragusa is where the town of Modica is located. I love getting lost in the streets of Modica. Such a pretty town.


If you watched No Time To Die you would have seen the Italian Town of Matera that was featured in the opening sequences. Well Modica feels a little similar with its neolithic origins. It was rebuilt in 1693 after experiencing devastating earthquake activity. The architecture is considered an example of exuberant genius of baroque art in Europe. It is one of many UNESCO Heritage Sites located in Italy too.


If you like chocolate then you must visit Antica Dolceria and if you don’t believe me, just have a look at their 4,650 Google Reviews.

5. Noto, Sicily

Another Unesco town in Sicily, Italy is Noto & it is easily accessible from Ortigia. This heritage area is one of Sicily’s most beautiful towns, flanked by grandeur baroque palazzi and churches. 

When you step into this town you will feel like you are on a movie set.

So there you go, now you know why I began doing food tours, it gives you a chance to learn about all these great locations while enjoying great food. I founded this tour company to give people access to locations that most tour operators don’t visit or even think of taking people.

Carmel Ruggeri
Carmel Ruggeri

Carmel has grown up around people who love and appreciate great food & use it as a way to bring families together, to savour great moments & enjoy what life has to offer. Carmel founded Sicilian Food Tours to share those experiences with others.

Learn about Carmel