Calabria is the ‘toe’ of Italy’s boot, gently nudging Sicily into the clear Mediterranean.
It is largely untouched by tourism, which is what makes it such a great place to visit. Inland are rugged mountains, forests and agricultural land, as well as two stunning national parks, Sila and Aspromonte.
On the coast lies the pretty seaside town of Tropea, perched on a cliff-top overlooking white sandy beaches, perfect for sunseekers wishing to avoid the crowds.
Basilicata is the region, which separates Calabria and Puglia.
Its lush interior is home to mountains and forests, with a dramatic gorge separating the towns of Matera and Montescaglioso.
Matera has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, for its ‘sassi’ , the complex of cave dwellings. It also boasts around 150 churches hewn from the rock, with beautiful frescoes.
You can even stay in a hotel converted from an extraordinary 13th century rock church and cave dwellings: L’Hotel In Pietra. The region sits between the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas with attractive resorts on both.
Acquafredda di Maratea is a lovely, traditional beach resort with attractive pebble and shingle beaches and clear waters.