Exploring the Untouched Splendor of Calabria

Chianalea

Visitreggiocalabria, Nov. 2, 2023

Nestled at the toe of Italy’s boot, Calabria is a region where rugged mountains meet the sea, offering a tapestry of landscapes that beckon travelers seeking both adventure and tranquility.

This hidden gem in Southern Italy is often overlooked by tourists in favor of its more famous neighbors, but those who venture here are rewarded with a taste of authentic Italian culture, unspoiled nature, and a rich historical tapestry.

Discovering the Coastal Charms

Begin your journey along the Tyrrhenian coast, where the cliffside town of Tropea awaits. Known for its dramatic views and ancient architecture, Tropea is a photographer’s dream. Stroll through the historic center, visit the Norman Cathedral, and don’t miss the Santa Maria dell’Isola, a monastery perched atop a promontory offering breathtaking views of the coastline.

As you travel down the coast, make a stop at the seaside town of Scilla. With its picturesque fishing district of Chianalea, Scilla feels like a scene from a bygone era. The imposing Ruffo Castle, overlooking the beach and the mythical sea where the Scylla monster once roared, is a must-visit.

Venturing Inland

Calabria’s interior is a mosaic of mountains, rolling hills, and ancient villages. The Sila National Park offers a refreshing escape with its dense forests, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife. Here, you can hike, mountain bike, or even ski in the winter months.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the ghost town of Roghudi Vecchio, an abandoned village that tells the story of a bygone era. Its isolation and the surrounding rugged terrain make it a fascinating detour.

Culinary Delights

Calabrian cuisine is as diverse as its landscape. In coastal areas, fresh seafood dominates the menu. Try the ‘Swordfish alla Ghiotta’ – a savory dish with olives, capers, and tomatoes. Inland, the food becomes heartier. Sample the ‘Pasta alla Silana’, a dish with porcini mushrooms and local sausage.

Historical Wonders

Calabria is steeped in history, with remnants of its past visible at every turn. The Bronzi di Riace, two magnificent Greek bronze statues, are displayed at the National Museum of Magna Graecia in Reggio Calabria and are a testament to the region’s ancient Greek heritage.

A Land of Festivals

Calabria comes alive with festivals throughout the year. The Tarantella Festival in Caulonia celebrates traditional music and dance, while the ‘Nduja Festival in Spilinga is a tribute to the spicy, spreadable sausage that’s a staple of Calabrian cuisine.

Endless Beaches

Finally, no trip to Calabria would be complete without enjoying its extensive coastline. Capo Vaticano offers some of the most stunning beaches, with crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkeling and diving.

Calabria is a land of contrasts, with a rich tapestry of experiences waiting for those willing to explore its depths. From the crystalline waters of its beaches to the ancient paths of its mountainous heart, Calabria is a destination that promises to enchant and surprise at every turn.

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