Driving Calabria: a road trip around the toe of Italy

Historically, Calabria has been one of the poorest regions in Italy, and therefore much of the land is undeveloped. Thanks to this lack of development, there is plenty of unspoiled countryside to take in.

Wonders of Calabria

Located in Southern Italy, Calabria is rich with sights to be seen, but one of the most breathtaking is the volcano on Stromboli Island. Easily reachable by ferry, the adventurous can climb the volcano, while the less adventurous can watch the eruptions while enjoying a boat ride.

The Praia a Mare, also known as Praja, is a beach resort on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The village is located on Dino Island, which features three different caves to explore. One of the most popular caves is the Grotta Azzurra, which appears to be lit from below. The water is very clear and the fish are plentiful. Praja itself offers a host of activities, including cliff jumping, scuba diving, and rafting.

 

Historical sites

The archeological site of Paestum should be included on any visit to Calabria. The Paestum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features the remnants of three Greek temples. A short drive from the Paestum is the Heraion at the Sele, a Sanctuary of Hera. Some artifacts from the Heraion are also displayed at the Paestum site.

In addition to the Paestum, there are many more historical sites to see in the Calabria region. The 12th century Byzantine Basilica of Santa Maria in Roccelletta is said to be one of the most significant medieval monuments in the region, while a visit to the medieval towns of Gerace and Stilo will allow you to visit some of the area’s many historic churches.

You should also plan to set aside time for a tour of Le Castella, an impressively restored castle built on a small island. It is accessible via a short land bridge and held a considerably important position in terms of military strategy.

While planning your visit to Calabria, be sure to check out Calabria holiday apartments for a place to unwind and relax after a busy day exploring the sights.

 

Unique tastes not to be missed

Calabria has recently become a producer of wines. While the majority of these wines are created for domestic consumption only and are not available outside of the country, some of the region’s wines have earned the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) label from the Italian government. There are hundreds of fine wines available in the region, but Cirò is the most famous. Cirò is available as a red, white, or rose and is said to be one of the oldest wines in the history of the world. While you are in Calabria, it would be wise to enjoy the unique range of wines available.

You should also make a point to taste nduja before leaving Calabria. Nduja is a regional specialty consisting of a soft sausage packed with chili. The sausage is frequently spread on bread, but is also used in pasta dishes such as fileja con nduja.

Filled with rustic villages and historical sites and so much to see and do, Calabria is rapidly becoming a popular tourist destination.