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Day 1: Explore the stunning Parco Nazionale del Pollino which straddles the border with Basilicata. Highlights include the Gole del Raganello canyon and the towering Orsomarso Mountains. Take a white water rafting trip down the Lao River.

Day 2: Head South 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 is well worth a visit. Make time for the lovely 12th-century Cathedral on Pizza del Duomo.

Day 4: Driving South , spend a few hours wandering through the perfet 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: Reggio di Calabria with its 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. 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.