THE PERFECT TOUR : 7 DAYS IN CALABRIA
Day 1: If entering the region from Naples, take time to explore the stunning Parco Nazionale del Pollino which straddles the border with Basilicata. Highlights include the Gole del Raganello canyon and the towering Monti di Orsomarso. If you are feeling really adventurous take a white water rafting trip down the Lao River.
Day 2: Head further into the interior using Cosenza as your base. Explore the Sila mountains, with its pleasant rolling hills, shimmering lakes and dense forests. In the winter you can ski in the region’s higher peaks, and in summer there is some excellent hiking to be had.
Day 3: The Medieval centre of Cosenza has much to recommend it and rewards a little exploration. Make time for the lovely 12th-century cathedral on Pizza del Duomo.
Day 4: Driving south from the Sila, spend a few hours wandering through the perfect Medieval hilltown town of Gerace on the edge of the Apennines. It boasts a magnificent 11th-century Romanesque cathedral and stunning views towards the Ionian Coast.
Day 5: Leave the interior and head for the Tyrrenhian Coast. Reggio di Calabria has struggled to retain much ohas a lovely seafront and some first-rate restaurants to seek out. The Archaelogical Museum with the amazing Riace Warriors and many other remains from the city’s Greek past is a real find too.
Day 6: Having soaked up all that culture, and hopefully the delicious local wine, it’s time to head to the beach. Many of the resorts are over-developed, but make time for charming Scilla, a lively beach town and the mythical home of the Scylla – a six-headed beast that devoured sailors attempting to cross the Strait of Messina.
Day 7: Head north to the Tropea promontory, home to some of the best beaches in Italy. It is extremely popular with Italian holidaymakers but captivating nonetheless. Perched dramatically above the sea, the main town of Tropea is a beautiful place to while away an afternoon. The nearby town of Pizzo, famous for its tartufo ice cream, is also worth a visit.