Sights in Calabria

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Calabria is the southern most region of Italy, the ankle and toe of the Italian "boot" – a rugged peninsula where grapevines, fig and olive trees cling to arid mountainsides, and where the immemorial sea crashes against the cliffs and beaches of its long, and intricate coastline, which faces east, south and west all at once.

Of the 10 million or so English-speaking travellers who visit Italy every year, not many make it this far south. But, Calabria is in the process of being "discovered" by the "inglese", so this will change, as more and more people from the UK and North America learn about this astonishingly beautiful part of the world.

Thousands of years ago, the local people, no fools, removed themselves from the vulnerable coastal areas to the mountain tops, where they built improbable towns and villages in mountain canyons and on  mountain peaks, making conquest difficult, and sometimes impossible.  There they scratched out a living on small farms, growing figs, olive and lemon trees, tending to small herds of goat and sheep. They mined the streams and rivers for gold.  They carved roads and trails, which are in use even now.

For millenia, the people here have made pottery, spun wool, knitted plain garments.  They've milked their goats, made bread, rolled pasta, fermented wine and distilled limoncello , a sweet lemon aperitif.  They have gone about their business, shop-keeping, worshipping in their numerous churches and duomos, and observing holy days and feast days around the year with pious gusto.

And they do all of this today, a self-sufficient, self-reliant, practical, stubborn, no nonsense people whom other Italians say are "testa dura" - hard headed.

When you come to the "new" Calabria, this place which has been inhabited for over 3,000 years, you will be dumbfounded by its scenery - whether you stay up in the mountains, or find your way along the winding coastal highways, to Calabria's seaside towns and beaches.  You will find resorts, hotels, inns, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, lidos and tourist parks, of every quality and degree, catering to people with small, medium or large budgets.

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