Calabria tourism. Calabria is the tip of the Italian boot, the extreme south of Italy. The welcoming climate, sandy coastlines and ancient remains make Calabria a unique place to visit in both winter and summer. The region's characteristic feature is the proximity of the mountains to the sea: in an hour you can go from 300 to 1,000 meters above sea level and from one coast to the other. This makes tourism in Calabria very dynamic, able to satisfy different tastes and needs. However, without forgetting the warm and affectionate hospitality of its inhabitants.
The name Calabria was given to this region only under Byzantine rule, while in classical times it was called Brutium. It has a mostly hilly surface with vast mountainous areas and holds 10 percent of Italy's entire coastal heritage. Calabria establishes a close link between sea and mountains, along the territory there are inlets, cliffs and rocks overhanging the sea on which small fishing villages or lookout towers are built. Worth visiting is the medieval village of Gerace with dwellings carved into the rock, also, very interesting are the archaeological excavations of Locri and Sibari The provinces of Calabria: Catanzaro, Cosenza, Crotone, Reggio Calabria, Vibo Valentia It is a land rich in history that boasts a vast tangible and intangible cultural heritage: the majestic Riace Bronzes are an example. Exhibited at the National Museum of Reggio Calabria, they depict two warrior heroes and are an important testimony to Magna Graecia, a period that profoundly marked the history of this land. Part of the region's archaeological heritage is housed in the four major parks of Locri, Capo Colonna, Roccelletta di Borgia and Sibari. But the main tourist attraction is the sea, with an 800-kilometer coastline facing three seas (Tyrrhenian, Ionian and Strait of Messina). Standing out in first place is the magnificent beach of the promontory of Capo Vaticano, located in the province of Vibo Valentia, called one of the hundred most beautiful beaches in the world.
Between the most important cultural cities, we suggest Cosenza, which since 2008 has been recognized as a "city of art" to highlight its historical and artistic heritage (in fact, it is known as the Athens of Calabria). The capital is Catanzaro, known as the "city of bridges" for the various viaducts there. One of them, the Bisantis Bridge, is a symbol of the city and is the second highest in Europe. But it is also known for being the "city between the two seas," located on the isthmus of the same name where only thirty kilometers separate the Ionian from the Tyrrhenian Sea. For nature lovers, the Calabrian hinterland is an experience not to be missed: the Sila, Serre, Aspromonte and Pollino parks are nature destinations that will appeal greatly to trekking enthusiasts. Those who, on the other hand, want to test themselves more can take on a rafting trip down the Lao River or go orienteering, the sport that measures orienteering skills.
Mountain tourism in Calabria is mainly centered in the area of Sila and Aspromonte, which have facilities for winter sports, very popular are the towns of Camigliatello Silano, Lorica and Gambarie. Mountainous areas are distributed throughout the territory, to the north is the southern slope of the Pollino Massif, and the Orsomarso Mountains, to the north-central Sila, and to the south Aspromonte.
Calabria offers an extremely wide collection of environments, with hundreds of kilometers of coastline among the most renowned in the Bel Paese, villages rich in history, all seasoned with genuine local hospitality. Tourism in Calabria is mostly concentrated in seaside resorts, renowned are the resorts of Tropea, Amantea, Soverato, Cirò Marina, Diamante and Praia a Mare. The Calabrian coast is characterized by the presence of maritime cities and towns that know how to combine natural beauty with a good accommodation offer in respect of the territory.
There are three protected areas in Calabria: the Aspromonte National Park, Sila National Park and Pollino National Park.
The Aspromonte National Park takes its name from the Aspromonte Massif is crisscrossed by numerous trails, some practicable by bicycle or on horseback. Within the protected territory to visit are the Salino waterfall and the town of Gerace.
The territory of Sila National Park includes all three Silan regions: Sila Greca, Sila Grande and Sila Piccola, is crossed by the Crati River and the Neto River, and there are 3 lakes: Lake Ampollino, Lake Arvo and Lake Ariamacina.
In the Calabrian territory there are some renowned spas such as Lamezia Terme, the Terme Luigiane that are located halfway between the towns of Guardia Piemontese and Acquappesa; the Terme Sibarite, famous already in antiquity at the time when the town was the domain of the inhabitants of Sibari.
What to eat
Calabrian gastronomy is characterized by simple and genuine cuisine. You will find in almost every dish the chili pepper, the emblem of the region: the love of spicy is deeply rooted, although a sweet, non-spicy variant with a more nuanced color is often used. Formidable is the Calabrian chopping board: capocollo, pancetta, sausage and soppressata have obtained PDO status and are the most recognized cured meats, as is the famous 'Nduja di Spilinga.
Among the dairy products we have caciocavallo Silano, the butirro and pecorino calabrese. For starters, don't miss the friscatuli (polenta with suet and broccoli), typical of the Gioia Tauro plain, and the tasty raschiatelli di zucca (gnocchi made of flour mixed with pumpkin, seasoned with garlic and chili). Murzeddu is the typical tripe soup, cooked with lard, garlic and chili pepper; it can be accompanied by durum wheat bread. As for main courses, highly appreciated is Calabrian sausage, used in omelet with pecorino cheese or as stuffing for eggplant stuffed with cheese. Renowned are the lamb chops alla cosentina, with onions and peppers, and the parmigiana with asparagus, which is not to be missed.
Celebrated specialties of Calabria are the red onion of Tropea (PGI mark), citron and licorice, from which a noble liquor is made in Rossano. Oil is another widespread typical product, obtained from different varieties of olive trees. Moreover, the Calabrians are preparers of exceptional preserves precisely because of the quality of their oil. As for fruit, the quality of citrus fruits is linked to a combination of natural and climatic factors. In fact, citron and bergamot are crops that bear fruit exclusively in Calabria, and clementines are an IGP product. The pitta nchiusa is a dessert known outside Calabria, shaped like many concentric roses juxtaposed and baked with liqueur, must and dried fruit. Despite its ancient origins, Calabria can be described as a region that is still young in terms of wine production. The most widely grown red grape varieties are gaglioppo, nerello mascalese, nerello cappuccio and greco nero, while white grape varieties are less common.