Learn a little about Italian fashion, art, geography, and where you’ll find Italians gathering on any given day.
Many traits of Southern Italian culture can be traced to the ancient invaders who occupied the regions throughout history; Greeks, Romans, Spaniards, Normans and Arabs have all left their marks. Evidence of these civilizations can still be found throughout the regions. In Campania, the ancient roman City of Pompeii was buried by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and preserved giving a clear glimpse of life at that time. Sicily is a treasure trove of Greek ruins such as temples (like those found at Agrigento) and theaters. The Greek Theater in Siracusa is one of the largest of its kind and each summer still hosts a series of classical plays.
Southern Italy is a land of contradictions. You can go from the pastoral mountainsides of Basilicatta and Abruzzo, to the idyllic shorelines of the Amalfi Coast, Calabria and Sicily to noisy, chaotic big cities like Naples and Palermo.
The people of Southern Italy are welcoming and generous. They are also quite passionate and animated. Whether in a big city or a small town, the hub of social activity is the bars and cafes. This is where Southern Italians usually congregate to discuss, and more often debate, current events, politics and sports over espresso.