Southern Italy or Mezzogiorno (Italian pronunciation: [ˌmɛddzoˈdʒorno], literally "midday") is the traditional term for the southern regions of Italy, encompassing the southern section of the continental Italian Peninsula and the island of Sicily. It coincides with the administrative regions of Abruzzo, Apulia, Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, Molise, and Sicily. Some also include the most southern and eastern parts of Lazio (Sora, Cassino, Gaeta, Cittaducale and Amatrice districts) within the Mezzogiorno, because these territories were also part of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies. The island of Sardinia, although for cultural and historical reasons has little in common with the aforementioned regions, is sometimes included for statistical and economical purposes.
Southern Italy carries a unique legacy of culture. It features many major tourist attractions, such as the Palace of Caserta, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and other archaeological sites (many of which are protected by UNESCO). There are also many ancient Greek cities in Southern Italy, such as Sybaris, which were founded several centuries before the start of the Roman Republic. Some of its beaches, woodlands and mountains are preserved in several National Parks; a major example is La Sila, a mountainous plateau occupying the provinces of Cosenza and Catanzaro in the region of Calabria.
The Istituto Nazionale di Statistica (ISTAT) uses the term South Italy also for identifying one of the five statistical regions in its reporting, but excluding both Sicily and Sardinia, which form a distinct statistical region denominated Insular Italy. These same subdivisions are at the bottom of the Italian First level NUTS of the European Union and the Italian constituencies for the European Parliament.