Calabria is a wonderful place to visit and it’s very hard to put into words just how much it has to offer. It is located in the southern part of Italy and it’s lapped by the crystal turquoise waters of both the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas. That said, here are our 10 reasons why you should visit Calabria!
1. Its beaches
You are definitely going to be spoilt for choice as this region has no shortage of fascinating and peaceful beaches, with the Capo Vaticano labelled as one of the world’s most beautiful. Enjoy the clean, warm waves and get tanned while you relax under the sunrays. Let the sun kiss your skin and get that healthy Mediterranean glow!
2. Its national parks
If you love nature, and hiking in the woods is your favourite pastime, then the Pollino, Serre, Sila, and Aspromonte National Parks offer you the opportunity to marvel at some of the region’s most interesting plant and animal species. Don your boots and get your backpack ready!
If you’re visiting Calabria and love extreme sports, you’re in luck – rafting while in the region is a popular activity, and the Lao River is the perfect place to indulge, although you can also just walk on the river banks and enjoy a nice picnic.
Calabria also offers you the chance to do a bit of orienteering, a sport that began in Scandinavian countries to test one’s sense of direction, where participants equipped with only a map and compass compete to reach certain points within the shortest time possible, with the route to reach the locations being left to the players’ discretion.
Have you ever gone paragliding? Well, if you’ve never, why not do a bit of that while in the region? There is no feeling that can compare to that of hovering in the skies and flying over breathtaking sceneries. Having the whole region under your feet can be addictive!
6. The culture
From the Greeks to the Aragonese, Calabria has been the melting pot of numerous cultures for centuries – and it shows in its beautiful monuments and in its rich museums. Don’t forget to visit the famous Bronzi di Riace, two statues depicting Greek gods, as they are one of the most superb examples of Greek art. You don’t want to miss them.
Locals are extremely welcoming and friendly, so don’t hesitate to ask them for help if stranded. Also, they have a cool accent!
7. Spicy cuisine
On to the cuisine, you can indulge in sumptuous spicy delights – Calabria is famous for its hot peppers! They are known for being among the hottest of Italy, and locals are jokingly said to put peppers even in their morning cappuccino! ‘Nduja is the typical salami, and it’s the bomb! Typical pasta dishes are cavateddri and fileja, which are a staple in the menus offered at Calabria Hotels.
8. The climate
The summer weather in Calabria is just wonderful, and typically Mediterranean, with mild winters and very hot summers. Pack your straw hat, your best bathing suits and a strong sunblock – you will need it!
9. Traditional Festivals
Summer is traditionally the best moment to enjoy a good Italian festival. Every village, city and town has its own festival and its own patron saint, and it will be a spectacular and heartfelt moment, in which the population gather to have fun and wait for the midnight fireworks, while nibbling at snacks and drinking wine, just like a huge family. Our favourite is the Sfilata dei Giganti in Palmi, not far from Reggio Calabria, in which mysterious statues are taken around the streets.
10. Morgana the Fairy
Try to spot the Fata Morgana! It’s a very rare thing, but you may be one of the few lucky people to be able to witness this strange and puzzling phenomenon. Take a stroll on the Via Marina of Reggio Calabria, and look towards Sicily. If, all of a sudden, it will look like there is a city rising in the middle of the sea, then… this is it! You saw Morgana!
Bonus! Calabria has its own (almost) ghost village – Pentedattilo, whose name comes from being perched on a rock, which looks like a huge hand with five fingers. It was abandoned in the past, but it’s now being slowly re-populated by artisans and it’s the venue for an international short movie festival, the Pentedattilo Film Festival.