Notes on Calabria
With a brooding, mountainous interior and an infrastructure that can be challenging, to say the least, Calabria is not everyone’s dream of a holiday destination. More adventurous or active travelers who are anxious to explore new areas will discover picturesque villages, authentic towns, pristine hiking trails, unpolluted scenery and fascinating reminders of a rich, ancient history. Calabria has lots to offer, including a long coast with some very nice beaches.
Some of these beaches have are flawed by train lines or tacky holiday resorts. But you won’t have to go far to find a sandy cove or a black shingle beach, where you can lay back and relax without being disturbed by anything but the sound of rolling waves and the need to apply a fresh layer of sunscreen.
The classy Calabrian seaside villages include Tropea and Capo Vaticano in the Vibo Valentia province and Praia a Mare/Scalea further north on the Tyrrhenian coast. The Ionian coast has long stretches of perfect sand, but the area is being heavily developed these years and many foreigners have bought holiday homes in the otherwise sparsely populated eastern Calabria.
The four national parks Sila, Serre, Aspromonte and Pollino offer great natural diversity from red boulders to fossil forests and emerald lakes. The major sights include the famous Riace Bronzes in the National Museum of Reggio Calabria and other vestiges of Magna Graecia along with elements of “Byzantisation” like the Cattolica di Stilo.