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Visit Calabria region in Italy - explore beautiful places

Calabria Italy the place of beautiful beaches and fabulous cuisine.

Discover the rugged beauty and rich history of Calabria, Italy’s southernmost region. Explore its unspoiled coastline, dotted with quaint villages, and hike in the stunning Aspromonte mountains. Experience the unique local culture and hospitality, and immerse yourself in the region’s ancient traditions and architecture.

Is it worth a visit?

Calabria offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and cultural traditions that make it a must-visit destination.

Plus, Calabria is a bit off the beaten path, offering a more authentic Italian experience.

Calabria Explore the region of Calabria in Italy

So, where is Calabria?

Calabria on the Southern tip of Italy, is divided into five provinces: Catanzaro, Cosenza, Reggio Calabria, Crotone, and Vibo Valentia.

Each province has its own unique culture, history, and attractions.

For example, Reggio Calabria is known for its beautiful seafront promenade and the National Museum of Magna Graecia, while Cosenza is home to the historic town center and the breathtaking Sila National Park.

Overall, Calabria is a destination that has something to offer for everyone, from history and culture enthusiasts to foodies and outdoor adventurers.

calabria sea

It is situated on the “toe” of the Italian Peninsula, bordered by the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west and the Ionian Sea to the east. To the north, it is bordered by the region of Basilicata.

duomo di tropea

Popular Seaside Destinations in Calabria Italy

With 485 miles (781 kilometres) of coast, Calabria offers a wide range of seaside destinations for the world traveller.  Here are a few popular places to visit:

  • Tropea – a charming seaside town with stunning beaches and a picturesque historic center.
  • Capo Vaticano – a scenic headland known for its crystal-clear waters, white-sand beaches, and dramatic cliffs.  (See photo below)
  • Scilla – a seaside village with a beautiful beach, a charming historic center, and a stunning castle.
  • Pizzo – a charming town famous for its gelato and a picturesque waterfront.
  • Diamante – a picturesque town known for its murals, seafood, and stunning beaches.
  • Amantea – a seaside resort town with a long sandy beach and a charming historic center.
  • Soverato – a popular beach resort town with a lively promenade, beaches, and nightlife.
  • Reggio Calabria – a city with a beautiful seafront promenade, a historic center, and the National Museum of Magna Graecia.
  • Cosenza – a historic city with a beautiful old town center and a lively cultural scene.
  • Sila National Park – a stunning natural area with mountains, forests, and numerous hiking and skiing opportunities.

Things to do

  • Visit the National Museum of Reggio Calabria (Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia) with its famous ‘Riace Bronzes’ statues.
  • There are quite a few national parks to choose from: Sila, Serre, Aspromonte and Pollino are definitely worth a visit.
  • Water sport:  windsurfing, scuba diving, kite surfing or just swimming in the crystal clear water. Another option is to go rafting on the Lao River or crayoning through the Sila gorges.
  • A charter boat trip is the perfect way to view the Calabrian coast and get another beautiful view of this region.
Calabria Capo Vaticano Italy
  • For cultural inspiration and historical beauty, you need to visit Cosenza with its medieval castles and monasteries.
  • During winter the mountains offer skiing experiences among which Sila, Pollino and Aspromonte offer ski facilities.  (Camigliatello, Lorica, Gambarie, Monte Sant’Elia)
  • Tropea is simply spectacular with its clifftop historic centre and is a huge tourist attraction. While in Tropea, also visit Capo Vaticano which is nearby.  Capo Vaticano and the Tropea region  is known for its red onions (Cipolla rossa di Tropea).  So while you explore make sure to stop at a restaurant and taste this deliciousness in one of their traditional dishes.  The red onions produced here are registered by the European Union and has the Protected Designation of Origin mark.  Something you have to taste.
  • Explore the capital of Calabria, Catanzaro.
  • Reggio Calabria has beautiful botanical gardens and you must visit the Aragonese Castle
  • In Cosenza a visit to the Hohenstaufen Castle and the Cathedral of Cosenza is recommended.  The Cathedral of Cosenza is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

More experiences:

  • Visit the Santa Maria Monastery (Sanctuario Santa Maria dell’ Isola)
  • Visit Pizzo Calabro – Pizzo, also known as Pizzo Calabro, is a picturesque town situated on a steep cliff overlooking the Gulf of Saint Euphemia. Located in the province of Vibo Valentia, it is a seaport and a popular tourist destination known for its charming waterfront, historic center, and famous tartufo ice cream.
  • Photo opportunities:   Lungomare Falcomata is a scenic seaside promenade located in the city of Reggio Calabria, Italy. Stretching for over 2 kilometers, it offers stunning views of the Strait of Messina and the Sicilian coast, as well as access to several beaches, parks, and restaurants. (Lungomare Falcomata) – Where:  Lungomare Italo Falcomatà, 89125 Reggio Calabria RC
  • Watch a sunset in Scilla – Italy is known for its beautiful sunsets
Lungomare Falcomatà Calabria Italy
Calabria 3

Cuisine and Vino (Wine)

The cuisine of Calabria is known for its simplicity and use of fresh, local ingredients. Some of the most popular dishes include spicy ‘nduja sausage, Tropea red onions, Cipolla di Capo Vaticano (a type of onion), and fileja pasta. Seafood is also a major part of the local cuisine, with swordfish, anchovies, and sardines being some of the most commonly used ingredients. Other popular dishes include roasted meats, eggplant dishes, and cheese, such as Caciocavallo Silano and Pecorino Crotonese. Local wines such as Cirò and Greco di Bianco are also highly prized.

Top 5 things to eat in Calabria

  • As they are famous for the Tropea red onion, you simly must try their red onion marmalade.  
  • Visit the Amarelli Liquirizia Museo (Liquorice museum). – If you ever have the opportunity to visit Calabria, do try their Amarelli Liquorice.
  • Calabria Italy is also famous for Bergamot citrus which is a key ingredient in the cuisine of Calabria, and it is used in many traditional dishes and desserts. One of the most famous dishes is “Fileja con la mollica,” a pasta dish made with breadcrumbs, chili pepper, and bergamot zest. Another popular dish is “Pesce Spada alla ghiotta,” swordfish cooked with tomatoes, olives, capers, and bergamot juice. 
  • They are also famous for red hot chili peppers.  So if you’re brave enough, try some while you’re here.
  • And then you simply HAVE to taste the world famous Tartufo di Pizzo. (photo below)  Bergamot is also used in various sweets and desserts, including the “Tartufo di Pizzo,” a chocolate and hazelnut gelato dessert topped with a coating of white chocolate and bergamot zest, which is named after the town of Pizzo in Calabria.
Calabria 5
Photo: GreatItalianChefs

Calabria produces a number of excellent wines that are well worth trying while visiting the region.

Here are 3 of the top wines to taste while in Calabria:

  • Cirò: Made from the Gaglioppo grape, Cirò is a red wine that is one of the most famous wines from Calabria. It has a deep red color and a full-bodied taste with notes of black cherry, black pepper, and spice.

  • Greco di Bianco: Greco di Bianco is a white wine made from the Greco Bianco grape, which is grown exclusively in the town of Bianco in Calabria. It has a pale yellow color and a crisp, refreshing taste with notes of citrus, pear, and honey.

  • Donnici: Donnici is a red wine made from the Magliocco grape, which is unique to Calabria. It has a dark red color and a complex taste with notes of blackberry, cherry, and spice. It pairs well with hearty meat dishes and aged cheeses.

Pack your bags and go

Getting to Calabria is relatively easy, although it depends on your starting point and mode of transportation.

  • By air, there are several airports in Calabria, including Lamezia Terme International Airport (SUF) and Reggio Calabria Airport, which have connections to major Italian and European cities.
  • By train, there are several stations throughout Calabria, and the region is well connected to other parts of Italy, including Rome, Naples, and Sicily.
  • By car, there are several highways and national roads that lead to Calabria, including the A3 motorway that runs from Salerno to Reggio Calabria.
  • Ferry services are also available, with several ports along the coast of Calabria offering connections to other parts of Italy and nearby countries, such as Sicily and Greece.

Book a multi day tour / package

Grand Tour of Italy

Explore Italy - Rome - Pompeii- Amalfi Coast - Florence - Venice and more

Top 3 places to stay in Calabria, Italy

There are several wonderful places to stay in Calabria, depending on your preferences and budget. Here are three top options:

  • Tropea: Tropea is a charming coastal town that offers plenty of accommodation options, ranging from cozy bed and breakfasts to luxurious hotels. It is an excellent base for exploring the region’s beautiful beaches, historic sites, and natural attractions.

  • Capo Vaticano: Capo Vaticano is a picturesque coastal area located in the province of Vibo Valentia. It offers a range of accommodation options, from hotels to villas and apartments, and is known for its stunning views of the sea and surrounding landscape.
  • Pizzo: Pizzo is a beautiful seaside town located in the province of Vibo Valentia. It offers a range of accommodation options, from cozy bed and breakfasts to stylish boutique hotels. Pizzo is known for its historic center, beautiful beaches, and delicious gelato. It is also a great base for exploring other nearby attractions in Calabria, such as Tropea and Reggio Calabria.

Palazzo Mottola Tropea

Stay in style with stunning views

Sunset Tropea

Best spot - Balcony with beautiful views

L' Arcobaleno Resort

Family-friendly accommodation in Capo Vaticano

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Where to stay

A few suggestions 

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