Calabria

Discover a country where the high culture of the Greeks already reigned more than 2,500 years ago. They left behind their temples and some traditions.
The capital of Calabria is Catanzaro, but even more beautiful is Cosenza. In the very south of Italy, where the Strait of Messina divides the mainland of Sicily, is Calabria, the southernmost province of the Calabria region. Calabria is surrounded by sea on three sides and borders the Basilicata to the north. Inland, the mountain ranges of the Aspromonte and Sila Mountains rise. Driving through the vast uninhabited parts of Calabria, you’ll pass almost infinite orange plantations.
The most famous and best developed holiday areas of Calabria are around Tropea and Capo Vaticano.

Our offers for your trip

To see and experience

Tropea

Tropea is the most popular holiday resort in Calabria in summer. It sits picturesquely on a 40-metre-high rock above the sea.

This “pearl of the coast of the gods on the Tyrrhenian Sea” is one of the most beautiful places in Italy. On a rock is the Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell ‘Isola. According to legend, Tropea was founded by the Greek hero Hercules. In the Roman Empire and subsequent epochs, Tropea, due to his position over the sea, always had a strategic importance. Greek rule left behind numerous testimonies and traditions as well as linguistic peculiarities of Greek culture in the region. From Tropea you can take boat trips to the Aeolian (Lipari) islands and you can get to Sicily by train.

Reggio Calabria

Located just a stone’s throw from Sicily, Reggio Calabria is accessible by boat via the Strait of Messina. Although Reggio Calabria is the largest city in the region, Catanzaro was declared the capital in 1970. However, the region’s parliament remained in Reggio Calabria. The long seafront promenade Lungomare Falcomatà is considered the most beautiful in Italy. And indeed, with their unobstructed view of Sicily and Mount Etna, it is a pleasure to stroll.

Along the shopping arcade Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi, which runs parallel to the sea, the life of the city takes place. It is also home to the cathedral, which was destroyed by the Messina earthquake in 1908 and was then rebuilt. Don’t miss the National Museum (Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia), home to two Greek bronze statues of Riace, the heroes of Riace.

Culinary Experiences

Bergamot

The most famous product from Reggio di Calabria is the bergamot. The green fruit grows almost exclusively in Calabria, the shape is like a large tangerine and it tastes more bitter than lemon. Its beguiling scent is used for the production of perfume. Around Reggio Calabria there are about 90 percent of the world’s bergamot production. Bergamots are used for jam that refines cheese and for chocolate. Also interesting is the bergamot honey and the sour bergamot fruit juice.

Nduja

This is a very spicy salami from pork with meat, offal and intense spices. The Nduja serves as a spread or as a spice in the kitchen.

Tropea Onion

This is a red onion that is now found all over the country. But here, in Calabria, it has its origins. And here it tastes particularly good. She stays in the field until she’s mature. And mature, she’s particularly sweet. She doesn’t have an bulbous aftertaste. You can eat it raw or as a jam with cheese.

Lemon and Orangeat

Special citrus fruits, which have an extra thick zest, are used for the cake spice of the lemon and orangeat.

Our travel guide to Calabria

Arrival

By air

The two main airports are Lamezia Terme and Reggio Calabria.

By car

With the rental car you can easily explore the whole of Calabria. A motorway crosses the Calabria region from north to south. The following cities are frequented: Cosenza, Lamezia Terme, Pizzo, Scilla, Reggio Calabria.

We generally recommend not leaving anything visible in the car. As more and more environmental zones are set up, you should inquire whether you are allowed to drive into the city or need a plaque.

By train

The train connections are very good in Italy. From Lamezia Terme you need less than an hour to Tropea, which is unbeatable by car.

Hotels

Hotels

We work with selected hotel partners. As soon as we get your request and know what matters to you, we take care of it and provide you a individual proposal. To do this, we need to know what is important to you.

Special accommodation

Would you like to move into your quarters in an exclusive villa or out of town in a noble country house? We are happy to take care of your wishes. A hotel with charm or something economical for smaller budgets. We know the area well and will certainly find something that will inspire you.

Please note your preferences with the booking request.

Special features of Calabria

Calabria is still an underrated region for a fantastic seaside holiday. Calabria lies between the Ionian Sea to the east and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. Favorable currents provide a mild Mediterranean climate.
The coasts have long stretches of white sandy beaches with rocks behind them. Many places have been awarded the “Bandiera Blu,” which stands for particularly clean water.

Calabria is very fragile due to its steep slopes, which often start right next to the sea. As a result, the landscape is wild romantic and peppered with many beautiful vantage points.

Destinations

At this point, only a few of the places worth seeing are mentioned that should be visited in Calabria.

Pizzo

The small fishing village of Pizzo is picturesquely situated on a cliff. In the piazza is the gelateria where the Tartufo ice cream was created.

Also worth seeing is the Castello Murat, where the King of Naples, a brother-in-law of Napoleon, was shot dead in 1815 during his captivity, ending the French rule over southern Italy.

Piedigrotta

Below Pizzo, just a few kilometres to the north, is the historic church of Piedigrotta on the sea shore. It was carved into the tuff stone at sea level.

Legend has it that a sailing ship went into distress in a storm. The sailors, in their time of need, summoned Saint Mary of Piedigrotta, whose image was in the command booth.
They promised to build a chapel on the site where they would reach the mainland in the event of survival. The ship slammed against the rocks and broke up. The painting of the Madonna was rescued and found unharmed on the beach.
The sailors kept their promise and dug a cave in the rocks where they set up the painting.
The local fishermen built a small altar in the cave and a bell tower containing the bell of the destroyed ship from 1632.

Vibo Valentia

The provincial capital, Vibo Valentia, is inland. In the archaeological park there are mosaics and remnants of the Greek city wall.

Also worth seeing is the Castel by Vibo Valentia, which is being expanded as a museum. It stands where the Acropolis of Hipponion was probably located. The Castel was enlarged in 1289 by Charles von Anjou and rebuilt as a residence by the Aragonese and Pignatellis.

Scilla

Scilla is a small picturesque fishing village on the Strait of Messina. The steeply ascending colorful place thrives on fishing and tourism. The houses are practically built into the sea and are lapped at swell.

According to an ancient legend, the sea monster Skylla, known from the Greek mythology of Homer’s Odyssey, is said to have been here. In opposite Sicilian Messina was home to the other monster Charybdis.

Capo Vaticano

Capo Vaticano is a rocky outcrop from which, in good visibility, a wide view of the Aeolian Islands (Stromboli, Vulcano, Lipari, Salina, Filicudi, Alicudi and Panarea) as well as up to the Strait of Messina (Stretto di Messina) opens up.

Aspromonte National Park

The Aspromonte National Park around the mountain massif of the same name includes narrow valleys surrounded by steep rocks, which are still home to wildlife such as wolves, wild cats and eagles. For hikes, be sure to take a local guide.

Travel time Calabria

In high summer it is quite hot in southern Italy, but the spring and autumn months with their scents and colours and mild temperatures provide ideal conditions for a holiday to discover the region and relax by the sea.

Even in the winter months and at Christmas, the sun shines longer than in the north, so the days are longer and the weather is milder. Time for a walk on the beach and a stroll through the pretty resorts.

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