Detailed pollen analyses and oxygen isotope records of three foraminiferal species, Globigerina bulloides, Uvigerina peregrina and Cibicides pachyderma, from the Semaforo and Vrica composite sections (Crotone, southern Italy) have been compared to the global climatic changes depicted by late Pliocene-early Pleistocene foraminiferal d18O records of Site 607 in the North Atlantic, and Hole 653A in the Tyrrhenian basin, West Mediterranean. Major overturns in the mid-altitude vegetation are shown near isotopic stages 82, 60, 58 and 50, at about 2.03 Ma, 1.6 Ma and 1.37 Ma according to the Raymo et al. (1989, doi:10.1029/PA004i004p00413) and Ruddiman et al. (1989, doi:10.1029/PA004i004p00353) timescales. At the same dates, glacial 18O maxima either became higher or display step increases in the western Mediterranean or in the open ocean as well. This suggests that size increases of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets were the driving factor for regional or local marine and continental environmental changes within the Mediterranean basin. Near isotopic stages 62-60, close to the conventional Plio-Pleistocene boundary, the climatic conditions severed enough within the Mediterranean basin to modify the continental environment, as depicted by a sudden increase of Artemisia percentages, while the first significant southward migration of the North Polar Front may have been recorded by an influx of left coiling Neogloboquadrina pachyderma in the central Mediterranean. It also appears that 'Boreal Guests' entered the Mediterranean during phases of 18O enrichment of foraminiferal calcite. There does not seem to be any discrepancy between the climatic concept of the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary and its chronostratigraphic definition.