one major tip: get an italian national kit.
seriously. i've been once in calabria, with a few day trip to Sicily, and the traffic in both these areas is a nightmare. it's not even about the quantity (though it can get busy where least expected) but the 'quality' or, should i say, the culture - in this case, a dramatic lack thereof. i'm polish so i'm pretty much used to idiots behind the wheel on a daily basis, but boy, some southern Italians are really nasty drivers... interestingly, i never had such problems in the north, sudtirol etc. one thing that actually seemed to help was riding in a blue kit by sportful i got at some LBS. instead of horning, passing by an inch and expressing some sort of hostility (i don't speak italian...), they would horn, pass my by an inch, and cheer like it was some freaking race going on
really crazy stuff...
roads - some are better, some are worse, can't recall any specifics, but i was fine on my regular 23c Pro Races, didn't puncture once during a three week trip