Tasting Italy, Part Three: Southern Italy and the Islands

Everything's hotter in this part of Italy—including the cooking.

Published Jan. 22, 2019.

With its myriad regional flavors, Italian food doesn’t have a national character, but the Italian way of eating does: a reverence for local ingredients, sensitively and simply prepared and enjoyed alongside family and friends, slowly and with gusto. We’ve teamed up with the travel and culture experts at National Geographic to capture Italy’s magnificent regional cuisine, culture, and landscapes in a one-of-a-kind book—Tasting Italy.

The Delights of Italy

Tasting Italy: A Culinary Journey

Featuring authentic, kitchen-tested recipes; 300 gorgeous color photographs; and 30 maps, Tasting Italy takes you on a captivating journey through the rich history of Italian cuisine, region by region.
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The book is divided into three chapters—Northern, Central, and Southern Italy. In the first two installments of our Tasting Italy series, we traveled through northern Italy and central Italy. In this article, we'll learn about southern Italy and the islands. But you don’t have to wait to get all of Tasting Italy. Order your copy now and start exploring—and cooking—as soon as it’s delivered to your door.


In southern Italy, the temperature goes up on everything. The air is hotter, the conversation is hotter—and the cooking is hotter. This is the Italy of yesteryear, of men in suits and dusty shoes assembled in front of baroque churches, women cradling vegetables in their aprons, and herds of sheep on the road. In southern Italy, the good life is defined not by how much money you have, but by how you choose to spend what you’ve got.


Travelers who venture into this sun-drenched, color-soaked region—sizzling Naples and its enchanted isles, the surrounding countryside with its Greek temples and feral fig and lemon trees—are struck by this exhilarating, unrestrained napoletanità, the singular Neapolitan way of living.

Recipes of Campania

Recipes of Campania

Puglia, the high heel of Italy’s geographic boot, is a peninsula surrounded by 500 miles of dazzling coastline and lapped by the pristine waters of two seas. Its heart beats to an ancient tempo. Olive trees as old as 3,000 years still grow along the Roman road from Puglia to Brindisi.

Recipes of Puglia

Recipes of Puglia

Sicily is a place where antiquity collides with modernity and the cultures of the East meet those of the West. The island’s strategic location in the center of the Mediterranean attracted settlement and occupation by different cultures for thousands of years.

Sicilian Pizza

Dense, doughy slabs of thick-crust pizza are all too familiar—and forgettable. We wanted to give the real-deal Sicilian pie its due.
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Other Recipes of Sicily

Recipes of Sicily

Other Recipes of Southern Italy

Recipes of Basilicata
Recipes of Calabria
Recipes of Sardinia

What's your favorite dish from Italy? Let us know in the comments! And for our comprehensive collection of recipes from Central Italy and beyond, order your copy of Tasting Italy today.

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