Travel Tuesdays: La Calabria

Calabria, in antiquity known as Bruttium or -formerly- as Italia, is “at the toe of the boot”, the extreme south of Italy – lapped by the splendid crystal blue Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas and separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro.

The beautiful colors of the sea, rocky coasts that alternate with sandy beaches, a nature that is wild and mysterious, the strong and genuine flavors of local food and the vestiges of its ancient origins make Calabria a unique place that vacationers can enjoy in both winter and summer.

Art lovers will not want to miss the occasion to see the famous Riace Bronzes,  on display in the National Museum of Reggio Calabria. The bronzes are an important vestige of Magna Graecia, an epoch that shaped the history of this region significantly. These beautiful statues, representing two warrior heroes, are a rare example of classical Greek sculpture.

An immersion into the wilderness of the Calabrian hinterland is an un-missable opportunity, while the National Parks of Sila, Serre, Aspromonte and Pollino are among the most interesting nature destinations. The creeks and boulders of Aspromonte, the grand, ancient plant life of Sila, and the rich fauna of Serre are just some of the natural wonders offered by this region.

Tropea is one of the most famous touring spots in Calabria and features one of the best beaches in Italy.It boasts breathtaking views of houses built right into the stone cliffs. From the town you can view the famous Benedictine Sanctuary of Santa Maria Del Isola which sits on a promontory facing the historical town.

If you love beaches you shouldn’t miss La Riviera dei Cedri, (the Citron Coast). It is a stretch of Calabria’s northern Tyrrhenian coastline dotted with seaside villages. This beautiful area takes its name from the ancient cultivation of the cedro, a large citrus fruit commonly called citron in English. This is the place to head to discover untouched coastlines, quiet villages with hidden away artistic treasures, divine local cooking and a truly authentic taste of the Calabrian lifestyle. The small towns of Cirella, Diamante, Scalea and Cetraro are ideal for a relaxing holiday.

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