Calabria, Italy in a Nutshell

Calabria, Italy: Your Guide to Unspoiled Beaches, Ancient Ruins, and Authentic Southern Italian Charm 

A Brief History and Tourist Overview of Calabria

Calabria, the "toe" of Italy's boot, is a region steeped in history and blessed with natural beauty. It was once a flourishing center of Magna Graecia (Ancient Greece), and its landscape is dotted with remnants of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine civilizations. Today, Calabria is known for its unspoiled beaches, rugged mountains, charming villages, and a rich culinary tradition. It's a region that offers an authentic Southern Italian experience, away from the crowds and tourist traps.

Imagem de Tropea, Calabria

Reasons to Choose Calabria for Your Next Vacation

  • Unspoiled Beaches: Calabria boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy, with crystal-clear waters, dramatic cliffs, and secluded coves.
  • Ancient Ruins:Explore the archaeological sites of Locri Epizefiri, Sibari, and Capo Colonna, where you can discover the remains of ancient civilizations.
    Imagem de Locri Epizefiri
  • Charming Villages: Wander through the picturesque villages of Tropea, Scilla, and Gerace, with their colorful houses, narrow streets, and stunning views.
  • Mountain Adventures:Hike in the Aspromonte National Park or the Sila National Park, go skiing in Camigliatello Silano, or explore the Pollino National Park, which straddles the border with Basilicata.
    Imagem de Aspromonte National Park
  • Delicious Cuisine: Savor Calabrian specialties like 'nduja (spicy spreadable salami), peperoncino (chili peppers), fresh seafood, and local wines.

1. Transportation Options

  • Airports: Lamezia Terme International Airport (SUF) is the main airport serving Calabria, with connections to major Italian and European cities.
  • Trains: Trenitalia operates regional and intercity trains connecting major cities and towns in Calabria.
  • Buses: A reliable and affordable way to travel between cities and towns, with frequent services operated by various companies.
  • Car Rental: The best option for exploring the region at your own pace, especially the smaller villages and coastal areas.

2. Main Cities, Regions, and Accommodation

  • Reggio Calabria: The largest city, located on the Strait of Messina, with a beautiful promenade (Lungomare Falcomatà), the National Museum of Magna Græcia, and the Aragonese Castle.
    • Luxury: Grand Hotel Excelsior, Hotel Medinblu
    • Mid-Range: Hotel Eubea, Albanuova Hotel
    • Budget: Hotel Continental, B&B Pellicano Guest House
  • Cosenza: A historic city with a well-preserved old town, the Hohenstaufen Castle, and the MAB (Museo all'Aperto Bilotti), an open-air museum with modern sculptures.
    • Luxury: Best Western Premier Villa Fabiano Palace Hotel, San Francesco di Paola Hotel
    • Mid-Range: Link Hotel, B&B L'antico Rudere
    • Budget: Hotel Centrale, B&B Il Viaggiatore
  • Tropea: A charming town perched on a cliff overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, known for its beautiful beaches and historic center.
    • Luxury: La Dolce Vita a Tropea Resort & Spa, Villa Paola
    • Mid-Range: Hotel Rocca Nettuno Tropea, Hotel Colomba D'Oro
    • Budget: B&B Centro Storico Tropea, Hotel Tropis
  • Scilla: A picturesque fishing village with a medieval castle and a beautiful beach.
    • Mid-Range: Hotel Il Principe, Pensione Scilla
    • Budget: B&B La Veduta di Scilla, Hotel U' Bais

3. Top Tourist Attractions

  • Tropea: Explore the charming old town, relax on the beach, and admire the views from the Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell'Isola.
  • Scilla: Visit the Ruffo Castle, wander through the Chianalea district, and enjoy the beach.
  • Reggio Calabria: See the Riace Bronzes at the National Museum of Magna Græcia and stroll along the Lungomare Falcomatà.
  • Le Castella:A medieval fortress built on a small island, connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land.
    Imagem de Le Castella
  • Sila National Park: Hike through forests, visit lakes, and enjoy outdoor activities in this beautiful park.
  • Tropea Cathedral: A Norman cathedral with a beautiful facade and a crypt.

4. Sample Itineraries

  • 3 Days: Tropea (2 days) + Day trip to Pizzo Calabro (1 day)
  • 5 Days: Tropea (2 days) + Reggio Calabria (1 day) + Scilla (1 day) + Gerace (1 day)
  • 7 Days: Tropea (2 days) + Reggio Calabria (1 day) + Scilla (1 day) + Gerace (1 day) + Cosenza (1 day) + Sila National Park (1 day)
  • 10 Days: Tropea (2 days) + Reggio Calabria (1 day) + Scilla (1 day) + Gerace (1 day) + Cosenza (1 day) + Sila National Park (2 days) + Le Castella and Crotone (2 days)

5. Best Times to Visit

  • Spring (April-June) and Autumn (September-October): Pleasant temperatures, blooming flowers in spring, and fewer crowds.
  • Summer (July-August): Warm weather, ideal for beach holidays, but also the busiest and most expensive time.

6. Holidays in Calabria

    • New Year's Day (January 1)
    • Epiphany (January 6)
    • Liberation Day (April 25)
    • Labour Day (May 1)
    • Republic Day (June 2)
    • Ferragosto (August 15)
    • All Saints' Day (November 1)
    • Immaculate Conception (December 8)
    • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • St. Stephen's Day (December 26)

7. Useful Tips

  • Learn a few Italian phrases: While English is spoken in tourist areas, knowing some basic Italian will be appreciated.
  • Try the local cuisine: Calabria offers a unique culinary tradition with dishes like 'nduja, peperoncino, fresh seafood, and local wines.
  • Rent a car: This is the best way to explore the region at your own pace.
  • Be prepared for the heat: Summers in Calabria can be very hot, so pack accordingly.
  • Embrace the slow pace of life: Calabria is a region where life moves at a slower pace, so relax and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere.