Up to several kilometers deep sedimentary basins of Neogene to Quaternary age are found in the south Adriatic between the Apennines and the Dinarides/Albanides. They are the Apennines foredeep, the Central Adriatic Basin, and the South Adriatic Basin. Two regional seismic lines, 260 and 170 km long, across the entire system provide hitherto unavailable constraints on the kinematics and dynamics of basin development. The Apennine foredeep imaged along the lines, formed in middle to late Pliocene times through a rapid westward tilting of the basin floor. A paleobathymetry of few kilometers was created in which allochthonous bodies were emplaced and sediments deposited unaffected by deformation and farther rotations. The Central and South Adriatic Basins formed in Neogene to Quaternary times and are both characterized by strong subsidence in their central parts, gradually diminishing toward the edges in the SW and NE. Depocenters did not shift laterally through time. Subsidence rates increase through time, and subsidence continued also following the end of main shortening episodes in the Dinarides/Albanides. The Central and South Adriatic Basins form two crustal-scale synclines with subsidence concentrated in their central parts. Basins' geometries and subsidence patterns indicate that the Adriatic crust has undergone (episodes of) buckling since Miocene times. Wavelengths and amplitudes of such folds change along strike corresponding to mechanical changes of the folded medium.