Coordinating author Cristian Bonetto (Lonely Planet, £15.99)
Littered with the legacies of grand cultures, Italy’s south is the soul of the country. With its ragged mountains, volcanoes and coastal grottoes, this giant playground is as diverse as it is magical. From ghostly Pompeii to the gritty alleyways and palm-fringed boulevards of Naples, the temples in Agrigento to the kooky, one-of-a-kind architecture found in Alberollo, you will never be lost for top attractions. The guidebook inspires with its suggestions of itineraries, from coast to coast or a grand southern tour, Puglia or a Campanian island hop. The author sums it up thus: ‘Southern Italy is the country at its most intense and most beautiful – a seductive blend of classical ruins, dramatic coastlines and culinary highs, shimmering in the golden Mediterranean sun.’ Special features include Pompeii in 3D, where to eat and drink as a local, the southern way of life, and understanding the Mafia. There is a rundown of useful everyday words and phrases, but for in-depth language information and more handy phrases, check out Lonely Planet’s Italian Phrasebook.