|Calabria on the Map
|City View of Calabria
Possibly the least-trekked region in Italy, Calabria boasts majestic landscapes of rugged mountain terrain and never-ending baby blue skies. Surrounded on three sides by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas, the Calabrian peninsula stretches to form the toe of the boot and at its narrowest point is only 3.2 kilometers from the island of Sicily.
Yet, with all of this natural beauty, Calabria is still off of the radar for many Italy-bound travelers and is even more untouched by English-speaking expats.
But that is part of her charm. In addition to that rare authenticity, here are five things I love about living in Calabria.
|Beaches compete w/ Costa Rica, WOW!
Remember the southeast Texas I told you about? Well, in addition to being far from sea-blue beaches it is also F-L-A-T. Nope, no mountains in Texas, so maybe that’s why I am addicted to spending afternoons-and weekends, when I get a chance-in the mountains.
Calabria is home to three national parks, the Aspromonte, with its waterfalls and summits, Pollino, one of Italy’s newest and largest national parks that is home to Europe’s deepest gorge and my personal favorite … La Sila, with its evergreen forest and snow-filled Alpine villages.
3. Medieval Villages
Over the years Calabria has been conquered by the Greeks, Romans, Normans, Byzantines, Arabs, French, Spanish … need I go on … and each of these groups left their mark on the area. Many of Calabria’s villages still proudly boast their Medieval beginnings and strolling through an ancient village with narrow alleys and panoramic views epitomizes the Calabrian experience. Some of the best preserved Medieval villages in Calabria are Gerace and Stilo in the province of Reggio Calabria, Altomonte in the province of Cosenza and Badolato and Squillace in the province of Catanzaro.
4. Food and Culture
Technically I’m cheating here by squeezing food and culture under one heading, but here in Calabria the two are undeniably linked.
I often tell people I feel like I’m living in my grandmother’s America … we still hang our clothes out to dry, store close in the middle of the day and generations of families meet for leisurely lunches … even during the week. Oh yes, here in Calabria, authentic southern Italian culture is alive and well … and the fiery red chili peppers, homemade pasta and robust local wine don’t hurt.
|Nicoya Peninsula Costa Rica? Nope, CALABRIA ITALY!!