It’s unlikely you’ll ever get tired of exploring southern Italy, though one thing that might test your patience is how crowded it can get, especially during summer. But according to Wonderful Italy, not everywhere is on the tourist path and the south still has plenty of lovely and peaceful places, if you know where to look.

Wonderful Italy are locals so they understand southern Italy intimately which means treasuring the tourist-light areas and offering some of the most delightful holiday homes in Sicily, Puglia and Campania.

They’re also expert when it comes to finding exciting activities and authentic experiences for guests thanks to a network of exceptional local guides, artists, artisans, farmers, winemakers, chefs and adventurers. So as well as fabulous places to stay, Wonderful Italy provide an almost endless choice of things for families to do and then they organise everything for you – just one aspect of their outstanding personal service.

So if you like the idea of southern Italy, want to avoid the touristy bits and discover what it’s like to be local for a little, take a look at 10 exceptional villas and fun activities handpicked by Wonderful Italy, just for families like yours:

1/10 Beachfront villa with pool, Mondello, Sicily

Peaceful Villa Laura sits on the north west coast of Sicily overlooking a small, private beach. The historic city of Palermo is a short drive east and lively Mondello, one of the island’s coolest seaside towns, is just to the west. This is the coastline for several of Sicily’s sunniest beaches and local legends like Playa Acapulco, Colapesce, Marsa and Roosevelt are all minutes from the villa – there’s even a handy beach bus during summer, and it’s free.

Two bedroom apartment, sleeps four, from £1179 per week

  • Two bedroom family apartment within Villa Laura, sleeps four.
  • Two en-suite bathrooms, large living room and kitchen, dining room and library.
  • Outdoor dining terrace, sun terraces and access to villa’s shared pool.
  • Air conditioning and WIFI throughout.
  • Large garden with access to small private beach.
  • 10 minutes’ drive east of Mondello – hip seaside resort, known for great restaurants, gorgeous beaches and an amazing Art Nouveau pier.
  • Half an hour’s drive west of Palermo, Sicily’s island capital and home to a wonderfully atmospheric medieval old town, as well as a stunning 12th century Palermo Cathedral.
  • Direct UK flights to Palermo take from two hours, 50 minutes.

Wonderful Italy recommended family activity

Riding up to the Gorges of Tiberius on gentle ponies, led by local guides, is one of the must-do family activities Wonderful Italy can’t recommend highly enough. The world famous gorges are truly spectacular and the ride up to them through Madonie Regional Park is one of Sicily’s great adventures - but easy-going enough for most kids.

Discover the Gorges of Tiberius on horseback with Wonderful Italy

Two bedroom Villa Laura apartment, sleeps four, from £1179 per week based on two adults and two children sharing. Find out more