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  • Writer's pictureSu Guillory

Exploring Calabria: 10 Must-Do Activities in Southern Italy

Calabria, located in the southern part of Italy, is a hidden gem that boasts stunning coastlines, historical landmarks, and a rich cultural heritage. Known for its pristine beaches, delicious cuisine, and charming villages, Calabria offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers. Here are 10 must-do activities to make the most of your trip to this captivating region.

1. Relax on the Calabrian Beaches

Calabria is renowned for its picturesque beaches, each with its own unique charm. Spend a day soaking up the sun, swimming, and enjoying the crystal-clear waters at popular beaches like Tropea, Capo Vaticano, and Scilla on the Tyrrhenian Sea side, or meander over to Soverato, Caminia, or Davoli on the Ionian Sea side.

2. Explore the Ancient Ruins of Paestum

Discover the well-preserved ancient Greek ruins at Paestum, including three significant Doric temples. This archaeological site provides a fascinating glimpse into the region's ancient history and architecture.

3. Hike in the Aspromonte National Park

Outdoor enthusiasts will delight in the breathtaking landscapes and hiking opportunities at Aspromonte National Park. Trek through lush forests, rugged mountains, and cascading waterfalls while taking in the unparalleled beauty of nature.

4. Indulge in Calabrian Cuisine

Don't miss out on trying the delectable Calabrian cuisine, known for its bold flavors and fresh ingredients. Sample local specialties such as 'nduja (spicy spreadable sausage), capocollo, and the famous Calabrese pasta, fileja.

5. Visit the Reggio Calabria Archaeological Museum

Immerse yourself in Calabria's history by exploring the Reggio Calabria Archaeological Museum, home to the Riace Bronzes - ancient Greek statues discovered in the Ionian Sea.

6. Take a Scenic Drive along the Costa degli Dei (Coast of the Gods)

Rent a car and embark on a scenic drive along the Costa degli Dei, a stretch of coastline known for its stunning vistas and dramatic cliffs. Capture the beauty of the Tyrrhenian Sea and charming coastal villages along the way.

7. Discover Scilla and Charybdis Mythology

Explore the town of Scilla, where legend has it that it was home to the sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis from Homer's Odyssey. Visit the Ruffo Castle and enjoy panoramic views of the Strait of Messina.

8. Wander through the Charming Village of Pizzo

Stroll through the cobbled streets of Pizzo, a charming coastal town known for its gelato-filled tartufo and the Aragonese Castle. The town offers a blend of history, culture, and delightful Italian traditions.

Don't miss the Chiesa di Piedigrotta, where you'll find unique handcarved stone statues in a cave by the sea just outside of Pizzo.

9. Sail to the Aeolian Islands

Take a boat tour to the nearby Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago. Discover unique landscapes, visit active volcanoes, and relax in the quaint villages of Lipari, Stromboli, and Vulcano.

10. Participate in Local Festivals and Events

Experience the vibrant culture of Calabria by attending local festivals and events. Whether it's the Catoi Sotto le Stelle, a night where the people of Davoli open up their wine cellars to offer glasses of homemade goodness, or one of the many religious processions and festivals peppered throughout the region, immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere and festivities of Calabria will give you a true sense of the place.

Calabria offers a diverse range of activities that cater to every type of traveler. From historical exploration to culinary delights and natural wonders, this region in southern Italy promises an unforgettable and enriching experience. Make sure to add these 10 activities to your itinerary for a truly memorable trip to Calabria.


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