A great deal of wine is produced throughout this huge area, especially in Apulia and Campania. The wines are variable and many of the same name come in red, white or rosato varieties, plus, many of the reds require some bottle age. 

Sicily, Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Pugio, Basilica and Sardinia make up most of the south of Italy which is home to robust Cucina Povera (in other words, peasant cooking) which is a wonderful, earthy cuisine that was created from the finest local produce available such as un-ripened fruits and veggies, wheat for dried pasta and last but not least, delectable local cheeses. 

There are many brilliant reasons why this cuisine is popular across the globe and why so many nationalities have adopted this style of cooking – it is not only delicious but is really quite easy to prepare and diverse plus it is healthy without much effort. 

Southern Italy is a land of disparities. On one hand, it is the humblest part of Italy; in the past, much of the population subsisted on an almost entirely on veggies, greens and bread or pasta. On the other, the upper class of this area was extremely wealthy, enjoying an tremendously luxurious diet. 

The growing season is much longer and hotter in the South with the more popular summer crops consisting of eggplant, olives and tomatoes, many of which go into red sauces. In the winter months, broccoli, raab and cauliflower come take pride of place.

Southern cheeses are either firm, such as caciocavallo and provolone or very soft such as Campania’s fresh mozzarella and Puglia’s burrata.

Elaborate desserts round off many a Southern Italian meal, unlike in the northern or central parts of Italy. 

Additionally, Southern Italian desserts tend to be much more elaborate than those made further north.