Calabria is one of the hidden gems in the south of Italy. If you like good weather, wild nature and unpolluted scenery with plenty of historical Italian culture this is the place for you.
Calabria has remained a relatively undiscovered part of Europe. it is located at the “toe” of the Italian Peninsula and it is a beautiful and unspoilt region separated from Sicily by the Straight of Messina.
Here you will find Caribbean-like beaches with crystal-clear waters and a nature which is wild and mysterious with rocky coasts and sandy beaches.
I could never forget the white sands of Tropea where I stayed eating wild figs during the day, swimming and diving in a swimming pool-like sea and enjoying great Calabrian food in the evenings (and there is so much to say about that!).
There is also plenty of history: ancient ruins of Magna Graecia and lots of churches, monasteries, castles and age-old towns all full of character.
Very famous are the Riace Bronzes, on display in the National Museum of Reggio Calabria. They are an important vestige of Magna Graecia, a significant important epoch for this region. These beautiful statues, representing two warrior heroes, are a rare example of the classical greek culture.
Capo Vaticano, in the province of Vibo Valentia, is defined as one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in the world. The natural beauty of these beaches rank near the top in cleanliness and services provided. The parks of Sila, Serre, Aspromonte and Pollino are among the most interesting nature destinations.
But what are the regional delicacies here? Calabrian hot pepper (known in Italy as peperoncino) is widely used in many Calabrian typical dishes. In the south of Italy spicy food is more popular than in the north, partly because peperoncino is produced mainly in the south. After being picked it is hung to dry and it will then be preserved for a long time.
Another very good specialty is n’duja sausage: a spicy spreadable sausage made with pork. Also there are very interesting types of pasta still made with traditional methods (strangugghj, fileja, maccaruni).
The Tropea red onion, which has a distinctive strong and sweet aroma can be eaten raw in salads, placed on top of pizza, used in cooking and you can even make marmalade with it.
In Calabria you will find very good extra-virgin olive oil, excellent wines, dried herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, bergamot liqueurs, honey, liquorice and citron…. the list is never ending…so much goodness in this region!