PWk: Prod, Tlk: GS2, Datacash: Live
The region of Calabria takes up the ‘toe’ of Italy’s ‘boot’, nudging into Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Despite being a relatively unknown part of the country (to British visitors, at least) the coastline here is spectacular; a full 500 kilometres of Caribbean-style sandy swathes and pebbly coves. Unsurprisingly, Italians make a beeline here in summer.
The lovely seaside town of Tropea is one of Calabria’s finest, nestled on the piece of coast known as the ‘Coast of the Gods’ for its powerful beauty. Tropea’s terracotta-topped town perches on a hillside gazing out across the sea, with pretty pedestrianised lanes and a fun flair classic of southern Italian seaside towns – particularly the al fresco eateries and gelaterie for stopping off for un cono on your way to the beach.
Flanked on three sides by mountains, Calabria’s hilly landscapes are popular with hikers and cyclists, hiding lots of little medieval villages that are perfect for discovering by car.
Calabria is a craggy region in the deep south of Italy, practically within grabbing distance of Sicily and the volcanic Aeolian Islands. Want to see its best bits? Do as the Italians do – forget the high-speed cities and head for the coast.
The town of Tropea tiptoes along a clifftop in the north. It’s as pretty as it sounds, matching a sugary beach with the luminous Tyrhhenian Sea. The sandstone town centre fights its corner, too, supplying green-shuttered cafés and suntrap piazzas.
If you like untrod trails, then inland Pollino National Park is a must. Rocky peaks and forested valleys patchwork the biggest national park in Italy.
Flights to Calabria arrive into Lamezia Terme Airport (SUF) from London Stansted and take approximately 3 hours. Please call our Italy Experts in order to book flights to Lamezia.
Located down in southern Italy, Calabria enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summer and mild winters. June to September is the best time to experience the beaches, with average temperatures soaring to the high 20s, often not cooling down until October.
Many of Calabria’s specialities have a little spice to them. There’s the famous ‘nduja sausages, a soft, spicy sausage you may have had on pizza in the UK, and pepperoncino chillies are another favourite – there’s even an annual chilli festival in September. Along the coast, you’ll find plenty of fresh-from-the-net seafood – swordfish is a real local favourite. Calabria’s rich landscapes rival Puglia for olive oil production, so be sure to buy a bottle to bring home.
Calabria is one of the oldest inhabited regions of Italy, and thanks to its location on the cusp of the Mediterranean, it’s been a key player in European history. It was significant to the Greeks and the Romans, followed by a line-up of colonisers from the Byzantines to the Kingdom of Naples.