Visiting Calabria: Beaches, History and Excellent Food!
The flavor journey we want to suggest today is throughout the beauties of Calabria, a region in the South of Italy rich in archealogical beauties, beaches, charming towns and genuine food.
What is ‘Nduja? It is a soft, spreadable, spicy salami, one of the most famous food product from Calabria and a typical ingredient of Calabrian cuisine.
‘Nduja is made with pork, a little fat, and very hot chili . And it is for the hearty chili that nduja is very spicy. No coincidence that some may prefer a “light” version.
And thanks to its exquisite taste and spicy flavor, it is considered aphrodisiac. You may also be skeptical about it, but what is sure is that ‘nduja salami has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system.
It is typical of the Monte Poro and more specifically form Spilinga, yet the production area has been extended to the whole Vibo Valentia province and to other cities in Calabria.
Therefore the flavor journey we want to suggest today is throughout the beauties of this region. And we promise that your holidays in Calabria will be unforgettable!
Main picture credits: photografree.it
Picture credits: sfizidicalabria.com
A tour throughout Calabria
Calabria, land of marvelous beaches and wild mountains, but most of all, homeland of Pitagora and expression of the magnificence of Ancient Greece, Magna Grecia.
Today there are low-cost flights landing at Vibo Valenzia airport (the second Calabria airport after Reggio Calabria’s). There, it is better to hire a car and start this tour that touches some of the highlights of Calabria, able to convey the various faces of the region to travellers
Capo Colonna is a promontory marking the western edge of the Gulf of Taranto. It hosted the temple of Hera Lacinia, the most revered and visited sanctuary in Magna Grecia, founded by a group of Achaeans upon order of the Oracle of Delphi. It owes its name to the presence of many columns of the ancient temple kept untouched for a long time, then used to decorate castles and palaces. Today a solitary column is still standing among the ruins.
Le Castella village
Not far is Le Castella, one of the most beautiful towns of Calabria. Located on the Ionian coast, Le Castella village overlooks the bay with its ancient Aragonese fortress. Its landscapes aroused admiration among the ancient travelers, which explains why the town is the subject of many legends. It seems that the island of Calypso, described by Homer in his Odyssey, would be situated very close to the village.
The marine protected area of Capo Rizzuto
6 miles from the village, there is the beautiful Isola Capo Rizzuto. In spite of the name, it is not an island, but a small village boasting an astonishing Marine Protected Area: 40 hectares of Mediterranean vegetation and clear sea full of rare and interesting fish species. Furthermore, a sixteenth-century feudal castle that will surely surprise you.
Archaeology in Calabria
Amongst olive groves, less than a kilometer from the beachfront area of Catanzaro, you can find the Scolacium Archaeological Park vast area of great interest where the evocative remains of the Byzantine-Norman basilica of Santa Maria della Rocella, are mixed with significant parts of the Roman city, built on the Greek Skyletion.
The Sila National Park
If you like the monuntains, organize an excursion on the national park of Sila where you will have the opportunity to taste the genuine specialty food from Calabria. Inside the Sila National Park there is one of the most significant biodiversity systems. The symbol of the park is the wolf, a protected species.
Tropea, Pizzo and other beach resorts in Italy
Driving west you will reach the “Costa degli Dei” or “Costa Bella”, so called for its bays, promontories, white beaches and clear blue sea. Visit the town of Capo Vaticano, considered one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in the world, Tropea, a natural balcony on the Mediterranean sea, and Pizzo Calabro, one of the most beautiful seaside towns on the Tyrrhenian coast, famous for its the delicious homemade ice cream: the “Pizzo truffles”.
The rocky promontory of Capo Vaticano forms a natural watershed between the gulfs of Gioia and Sant’Eufemia.
The National Park of Aspromonte and Gerace
The area around Locri is really marvellous if you like arechaeology: its temples, theaters, the artisan quarter, the walls, the Persephoneian, Roman villas ect. Finally, visit to the medieval village of Gerace. The town, which still keeps a setting and a medieval charm, is located within the National Park of Aspromonte, a park that with its Fiumare offers lunar landscapes and poetic views. Since 2006 Gerace has been an Italian World Heritage Site.
Map of Calabria, Italy