Calabria City Guide
Calabria, the tip of the foot of Italy, is a beautiful mountainous region and holds astonishing wild coastal landscapes, as well as breathtakingly ancient Roman and Byzantium heritage. The excavation ground in Locri has given the region some amazing finds, such as the remains of an amphitheatre and necropolis, as well as smaller treasures, now safely displayed in the museum in Reggio Calabria; Calabria’s capital.
Spectacular natural beauty, historic ruins and world famous beaches await those who travel to ‘the tip of the boot’ in Italy, the region known as Calabria. With miles of scenic shoreline, charming medieval villages, and three mountain ranges, Calabria is Italy not overrun by tourists.
Because the area is so rural and rustic, there aren’t a lot of options for getting around except by car. Villages and towns can be quite distant from each other, so planning activities in advance is key to enjoying your visit to the region.
One of the oldest Italian regions, Calabria is composed of the influences and ruins of such groups as the Magna Grecia (Greek settlers), Romans, Byzantines, and Goths. Even the Normans and Swedish attempted to control the region, and it wasn’t until 1860 that Calabria was designated part of the larger region now called Italy.
While most of Calabria’s tourists come for the natural beauty of the outdoors, there are museums located in the cities, and ruins dotted throughout the province. The Archaeological Museum in Reggio Calabria is the most famous of the province’s cultural offerings. Make it a point on your trip to search out Cosenza, Calabria’s best-preserved historic city.
The outdoors beckon
Want to swim in two seas in the same day? You can do just that in Calabria. Start out your day with a dip in the deep blue waters of the Iona Sea, maybe enjoy a picnic on one of the magnificent beaches, and then drive 30 kilometers over the peninsula to dive into the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Finish off the evening by enjoying a meal in a seaside café featuring the freshest fish possible. With miles of shoreline, you can spend days discovering new coves and beaches; though not crowded with many foreign tourists, Italians do enjoy flocking to Calabria during the height of the summer months.
One of the best ways to view the coastline is to charter a boat and enjoy the day out on the sea; local guides can take you to experience natural wonders, quiet beaches and out-of-the-way villages.
If hiking, rafting and mountain biking appeal to you, then make it a point to visit one or more of Calabria’s four national parks: Pollino, Serre, Sila, and Aspromonte. A popular pastime in the region is rafting down the Lao River, or you can just walk the shore and find a place to enjoy a quiet packed lunch.
If extreme sports are your thing, try paragliding over breathtaking scenery. Companies are eager to take tourists out and teach them these sports skills, and what a way to see the countryside!
The interior of Calabria is an active agricultural region, with ancient villages, orchards, and ruins dotting the landscape. Calabria, though one of the smaller provinces of Italy, grows over 1/3 of the country’s olives.
Take the time to wander one of the numerous medieval villages; while there are tour groups who will guide you through them, you can just as easily tread the narrow passages and alleyways on your own. Be prepared for steep hills and wear appropriate shoes.
Calabria isn’t as touristy as many regions in Italy, so to get a taste of the local culture, find the marketplaces in the center of each town. There you can people watch as you choose from the freshest produce, bread and cheeses for your outings.
What to eat
The Calabresi people like their food spicy, most likely a result of the influence of Arabic traders who spent time in the region. Much of the food shows the history of the invaders, conquerors, and traders who left their mark. Historically, the residents of the region had to deal with crop failures and famine and so learned to preserve most of their food.
Sun-dried tomatoes or artichokes packed in oil are very common ingredients in their cuisine, as are spicy chilies, which are served with antipasto plates. Seafood is featured prominently on the menu, which is not surprising considering the province is surrounded by water on three sides.
Like much of Italy, pasta is a mainstay, and those who play it safe with their palates will enjoy the wide range of traditional pasta dishes that are served in restaurants and trattorias.
Where to stay
While there are a few seaside resorts, much of Calabria lacks the standard hotels of the rest of Europe. Renting holiday apartments and houses is far more common, and affords the traveler a quiet place to relax after a day spent at the beach, visiting ruins or mountain hiking. World Escape specializes in finding the perfect vacation rental for you, your family and friends!
Calabria Vacation Rentals
Visit Vila San Giovanni on the straits of Messina and see the perfect view of Sicily from the Calabrian shore, go see the mythical city of Sibari, the ancient city of Crotone and the beautiful isle of Capo Rizzuto, which is one of the largest protected areas of the Mediterranean sea.
Staying in Calabria promises to be a fully packed adventurous trip, and it would be nice to come home each day, to your very own home away from home, so you can relax and enjoy the comfort, privacy and convenience you long for. Calabria offers a lot of holiday apartments and vacation rentals that provide just that. Hotels can be quite cumbersome and tiring at times, but having your own place to stay and settle on the sofa in your very own living room, or grabbing a drink from the fridge of your very own kitchen can make such a difference. Feeling comfortable and relaxed in your holiday accommodation is very important and it makes all the difference to your overall Calabria holiday experience.
WorldEscape Calabria offers you a wide range of holiday apartments and vacation rentals in Calabria. Whether it is you and your partner on a romantic trip, you and your family, or even you and a group of friends, we offer perfect Calabria vacation accommodation for groups of all shapes and sizes. We cater for all budgets too, and have also listed only the better Calabria boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts and Calabria hostels, for that special stay. Whether you are on a budget, or you want to stay in a luxureous villa, CalabriaEscape can cater for all your accommodation needs.
We offer properties in many top locations throughout the world, and we know every property we offer online. We are a family-run business and take pride in the personal touch we give to our customers. We always make sure to have someone on the ground in person, and should you have any questions or would like any help, please do not hesitate to contact us, using our live chat, email or telephone service, and a trained assistant will be there to be of service immediately.