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.
What to see in Calabria
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.