Non-obvious places to see in Southern Italy & some traveling tips


So you came for your internship to Italy and now you wonder WHERE to travel and HOW to travel. If you want to explore more than just the biggest cities in the region (like Naples or Bari) and discover the non-obvious beauty of Southern Italy, you are in the right place. In this article, I share with you some trip ideas & useful tips that can help with travel organization. 

When I came here, I was really determined to travel, so I started with some research. I found basic, useful information in the Erasmus travel guide. I recommend you start with that.

Generally, from Terranova da Sibari, you can go few places, so if you want to make further trips, you need to change the bus in other cities, e.g., Cosenza, Castrovillari, Sibari or Spezzano Albanese. You can find more information in the guide above. 

HOW to travel? Some tips

  • First of all – don’t be afraid to ask local people, if you are lost or need anything. Though most of people here don’t know english, they always try to communicate and explain. Italians are very helpful!
  • Sometimes schedules are not updated or the bus stop is in a different place than you would expect. So it is good to make sure you are in the right place or at the right time. Local people usually can give you more information. 
  • For finding a way to get to your destination place, I recommend using  Rome2Rio – it is the best website to find a specific bus line or train. You can’t set a departure time, but it’s not a problem because you can check the bus / train schedules on their local websites. Rome2Rio helped me a lot with planning my travels. 
  • Transport in Calabria is mainly based on buses. Many of them are not working on Sunday, so take that into consideration. 
  1. To get out of Terranova da Sibari, I was using mainly two bus lines: IAS Autolinee and Ferrovie della Calabria.
  2. Then, when I reached another city, I changed bus into another one.
    1. Some buses are more versatile and go between cities in whole Italy, e.g.: Flixbus, Itabus, Marinobus, Linee Nazionali.
    2. While other bus lines are settled in specific regions e.g.: Sita Sud (Campania, Puglia, Basilicata), Autoservizi Preite (western coastline of Southern Italy). 
  • Morning buses from Terranova da Sibari to Cosenza usually are late about 10 minutes. And also, on many buses, you can’t pay by card, so prepare cash if you are going by bus.
  • Moovit is a very useful app as for transport in and between cities.

WHERE to travel? Some ideas

Western Coastline

There is a railway line along the western coastline. I made a few trips there. I can recommend especially Tropea and San Nicola Arcella. Cosenza is a start point for both trips.

Traveling by train to the south, you will get to Tropea. It is an adorable town with a cliff from which you can admire a marvelous view of the sea below. Of course, you can also go down to the beach. Moreover, there is a beautiful church, Santa Maria Dell’Isola on the island. Tropea is definitely a place worth visiting.

Check train to Tropea here.

On the contrary, if you take a bus traveling to the north, you can reach San Nicola Arcella. This little village is known for its unique hidden in the rocks beach with a rock arc called l’Arco Magno. We were lucky to be there alone since it was beyond the tourist season. 

Check the bus (line 7) to San Nicola Arcella here.

Matera & area

Matera, a city 70 km to the south from Bari, is the most unique city in Italy I have ever been in. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe (founded in 251 BC as a part of the Roman Empire). Matera is known for its special architecture – in the old district called Sassi di Matera, houses are built in caves. In the area of the city, there is a beautiful Alta Murgia National Park. I must say, this place really stole my heart. 

You can easily reach Matera by bus from Bari OR you can take a Flixbus from Tarsia.


From Matera, you can also take a bus to Laterza. It is a small village, just 20 km to the east. If you walk about 30 minutes from the center, you can find a breathtaking canyon called Gravina di Laterza. I really recommend making a trekking trip along the edge and staying there for the evening to see the sunset (but then you need to find an accommodation because there might be no evening bus to go back to Matera). If you are lucky, you can also see hunting raptors above the canyon. 

Check the bus to Laterza here.

Parco Nazionale del Pollino

Pollino National Park is a great area for a trip, especially if you love mountains. There are a few cities from which you can start a trip (possible to reach by bus) e.g. Castrovillari, Frascineto, Civita. From the last one, you can make a trip to the Ponte del Diavolo, the bridge over the gorge in which flows Raganello river. Though it is really easy to reach that place, the view is breathtaking. 

More recommendations: Serra Dolcedorme.

More places to see

If you are looking for more places to explore, I would recommend:

Other National Parks in region

  • Parco Nazionale della Sila, 
  • Parco Nazionale del Cilento Vallo di Diano e Alburni, 
  • Parco Nazionale dell’Appennino Lucano Val d’Agri Lagonegrese

Cities on the eastern coastline

  • Crotone
  • Catanzaro
  • Roccella Ionica 

Abandoned cities for urban explorers

  • Craco
  • Pentedattilo

A little bit of adrenaline

  • Pietrapertosa – Castelmezzano (angel flight)
I wish you amazing journeys and a lot of adventures! by Julia
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