Calabria Wiki

Calabria from A – Z. In our Calabria-wiki we inform you about the main attractions of Calabria, places, history, society and nature, attractions and activities in one of the most beautiful regions of Italy. Get to know Calabria with our small dictionary and look forward to your holiday in southern Italy and the variety of opportunities waiting for you in sunny Calabria.


Monte Alto
Monte Alto, with its nearly 5,000 inhabitants is located in the interior of the province of Cosenza in Calabria, with a wonderful view of the Mountains Pollino. With its charming narrow streets it is on the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy and developed in the fourteenth century to one of the cultural centers of Calabria. The Church of “St. Mary of the Consolation” bears testimony from that time.

The Aspromonte massif is the southernmost part of the Apennine mountain range. Highest mountain of Aspromonte, the nearly 2,000-meter mountain Montalto. Part of the massif is the Aspromonte National Park. Part of bizarre rock formations dominate the region as well as large forests of trees such as pines, oaks, firs and spruces. Wild cats live here, as well as some wolves. Hikers and skiers to love this mountain: In the partly lonely mountains hikers should confide in experienced guides.

Aeolian Islands
Since 1997 the Aeolian Islands are part of the World Heritage of UNESCO. They are located in the Tyrrhenian Sea and originate from volcanic activity. In alphabetical order the islands are  Alicudi, Filicudi, Lipari, Panarea, Salina, Stromboli and Vulcano. Who wants to get to know a Mediterranean island life away from streams of tourists, the islands Alicudi and Filicudi are particularly interesting. Stromboli attracts travelers because of the volcano. A specialty of the island of Salina is the sweet wine “Malvasia delle Lipari” produced from the grapes of the island. The administration of the island group is located in Lipari, the most developed tourist island Vulcano offers a health soothing bath in hot sulfur mud and Panarea is known for its very cosmopolitan atmosphere. From various locations of the Tyrrhenian coast, such as Tropea and Capo Vaticano, boat trips to the Aeolian islands are organized.

Picturesque coves and cliffs dominate the coast, where the small village with its Briatico about 4,000 inhabitants lies. Briatico is part of the province of Vibo Valentia in Calabria. Characteristic of the village are the ruins of two towers located on the beach and the remains of the medieval castle. Briatico is ideal for a holiday.

Perhaps no other fruit is more typical of Calabria as the bergamot. It grows primarily in the region between the towns of Villa San Giovanni and Gioiosa Ionica. From the citrus bergamot essential oil is extracted, which is used for example as a fragrance for perfumes and is also part of the famous “Eau de Cologne”. In addition, bergamot is used for natural medicine and to flavor Earl Grey tea.

Cosenza is the name of one of the five provinces of Calabria and is also the capital of this province. The province extends from the Ionian to the Tyrrhenian coast. Between the coasts and beaches are hills, mountains and enchanting valleys.The  Normans, the Aragonese and the Spanish left numerous traces in the province, which offers its guests many places of interest. The homonymous capital of the province has about 70,000 inhabitants and was founded about four centuries before Christ. In the historic heart of the city the famous cathedral was built around the year 1100. Other attractions are the Palazzo Arnone in Cosenza and the convent and church of San Francesco di Assisi.

Catanzaro is the capital of the province of Calabria and the capital of Calabria. Many resorts are located in this province, the compound has both the Ionian and the Tyrrhenian coast. Nightclubs and bars are around the Gulf of Squillace and entice friends to party wild nightlife. But the province is quite different, much quieter and more contemplative faces, inviting you to trekking, hiking and mountain bike rides. The capital of Catanzaro has about 93,000 inhabitants and is the Archbishop’s seat. It offers its guests a wealth of architectural treasures. Even a single walk takes you to many attractions such as the Villa Trieste is located in the Coin Museum Museo Provinciale, or to the Cathedral, built in the seventh century.

Costa degli Dei
Translated into English “Costa degli Dei” means “coast of the gods”. This coast of Calabria is about forty kilometers long and located on the Tyrrhenian Sea between the town of Tropea and Capo Vaticano. Many resorts and wonderful beaches with clear water alternate with rugged cliffs, which have their own charm. Divers and beach lovers will love this coast, which is one of the most touristically developed areas in Calabria. In addition to Tropea are here such as the locations Pizzo, Briatico, Parghelia and Santa Domenica.

Costa Viola
The Costa Viola – the purple coast of Calabria – is located south of Capo Vaticano. It got its name from the shimmering purple water at sunset, one of the great romantic and natural wonders of Calabria. The stretch of coastline with many beautiful beaches begins at the small town of Palmi and extends to Villa San Giovanni, where ferries connect Calabria to Sicily. One of the most famous places of the Costa Viola is the picturesque fishing village of Scilla. The Greek legend says that once the sea monster “Scylla” drew sailors to their doom.

Costa dei Cedri
The approximately seventy kilometers of coastline “Costa dei Cedri” in Calabria is surrounded by small towns Praia a Mare and Cetraro. It got this name because of the locally grown Citrons, from which it produces s Syrup and liqueurs. Two attractive seaside resorts are Diamante amd Cirella. The sea caves of the “Isola di Dino” in front of Praia a Mare contribute as much to the charm of this coast as the many beaches, the medieval-looking town of Scalea and the town of Maratea, embedded in the mountains.


Costa dei Gelsomini
Jasmin Coast (Costa dei Gelsomini) is the name of the Calabrian coast on the Ionian Sea. In fact alive and well here, like the jasmine and wild herbs that give the air its special seasoning. But the bergamot grows in the coastal region where the beaches compared to the coasts of the Tyrrhenian Sea are flatter and less surrounded by rocks and cliffs. Overall, the Jasmine Coast is considered the somewhat quieter coast of Calabria. Here are places such as Locri and Gerace, and – not far away – quiet mountain villages, where relics remember the times of the Greeks and Byzantines.

Capo Vaticano
The Capo Vaticano – Cape of prophecies – was once site of an oracle, which gave him his name. Tropea, one of the most famous towns of Calabria, is not too far away from the cape. The ocean view goes from Capo Vaticano to the Aeolian Islands. The nature is a unique and beautiful composition of the colors of the sea, beautiful sandy beaches and rugged cliffs. The Capo Vaticano region is one of the most beautiful stretches of beaches and coasts in Calabria and its beautiful vegetation increases the appeal of this magnificent landscape.

“Diamante” is a town with 5,500 inhabitants at Calabria`s “coast of the gods” at the Tyrrhenian Sea. Travelers will love this place not only for its beautiful sandy beaches, but also for its lovely old town center. Typical for the region are the hot and spicy peppers called Peperoncino. In honor of the peperoncino Diamante celebrates once a year in September the “Peperoncino Festival” with art, culture and culinary delights.

Eating and Drinking
Many travelers come to Italy as well for the famous Italian cuisine and a holiday in Calabria can also be a culinary discovery. Hearty meals with pork in the mountain villages of Calabria, fish – especially tuna and swordfish – and grilled vegetables rather characterize the cuisine on the coast. The Cirò win, which is typical for the region of Calabria is suitable for all meals. Part of many meals is the red hot pepper (peperoncino), which is grown in Calabria, and of course the famous “Cippolla Rossa” (red onion) of Tropea. Those who prefer sweets can taste the famous ice cream, the Tartufo. which was invented in Pizzo,

Ferries play an important role in connecting Sicily with Calabria and the Aeolian Islands. Anyone planning a trip from Calabria to Sicily goes on board in Villa San Giovanni near Reggio Calabria. The journey from Villa San Giovanni up to Messina (Sicily) takes about 20 minutes. From Reggio Calabria ferry boats take holidaymakers to the Aeolian Islands.

Gerace is a town with about 3,000 inhabitants in the Calabrian province of Reggio Calabria. Located close to the Aspromonte mountain range, it offers beautiful views of the rugged beauty of the mountains. Remarkable relics of Gothic architecture and the time of the Byzantines can be found everywhere in the small village. The ruins of a Norman castle as well as the cathedral of the eleventh century, the most important of a series of beautiful churches in Gerace remember the Norman heyday of the town.

Isola di Capo Rizzuto
Other than perhaps suspected, Isola di Capo Rizzuto is not an island, but a town in Calabria. It has almost 14,000 inhabitants and is situated in the province of Crotone at the Ionian Sea. The roots of the city itself date back to about the year 1200 B.C. Today, Isola di Capo Rizzuto is also known as a charming seaside resort. Significant buildings in town are the fortress Castello dei Ricca “and the church of San Marco from the fourteenth century.

Ionian coast
The Ionian coast (also Jasmin Coast), the border of Calabria to the Ionian Sea, is compared to the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria a rather flat coastline and with less tourists. This does not mean that this coast offers no attractions. Places such as Locri and Gerace testify a rich and Squillace with its cathedral, Norman castle and the bridge of the devil are worth seeing.

Lago Cecita
Lake Cecita is one of the large reservoirs in Calabria. It is situated in the Calabrian province of Cosenza on the edge of the Sila National Park in 1,200 meters altitude, not far from the small town Camigliatello. The thirteen-square-kilometer lake was created in the 50s in the mountains of Calabria. Meadows and forests characterize the environment in which people are often only guests and where nature follows its own laws.

Lago Arvo
As the Lake Cecita also Lago Arvo is an artificial reservoir in the mountains of Calabria. It is situated in the province of Cosenza within a largely untouched nature with secluded meadows and forests and surrounded by the highest mountains of the Sila Grande like Monte Botte Donato in almost 1,300 meters altitude. Nearby places are San Giovanni in Fiore and Lorica.

Locri is a town of 13,000 inhabitants at the Ionian coast of Calabria (province of Reggio Calabria). The city is known for its archaeological sites, which demonstrate the early settler life. About four kilometers from the modern town, lies the ancient city center of Locroi Epizephyrioi, the original town. Relics of the town wall are still present as well as relics of temples and the theater from the fourth century before Christ. But not only the past appeals in Locri: As many parts of Calabria`s coast, Locri has beautiful beaches and crystal clear water.

Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Reggio di Calabria
The National Museum of Reggio Calabria is one of the most important archaeological museums in Italy, but it offers not only archaeological finds. On four floors with four different exhibitions are waiting for the visitors. On the second floor art of the Middle Ages to modern times is issued while the first floor is dedicated to the numismatic department and found objects from the region around the town of Reggio di Calabria. Finds from the town of Locri dominate the ground floor and the topic “Archaeology under water,” the basement. Here are the two famous bronze statues of Riace, which some describe as the nicest men in Calabria.

Monte Pollino
Monte Pollino is a 2248 meter high mountain in the Pollino Mountains, which lies partly in the Calabria region and partly in the Basilicata region. Highest mountain in the Pollino mountain range is the 2267-meter Serra Dolcedorme. Both mountains are in the Pollino National Park.

Monte Poro
The plateau of Monte Poro extends from the Tyrrhenian Sea to Capo Vaticano. The peak of the mountain itself has a height of about 710 meters and is located southwest of the city of Vibo Valentia. Farmhouses, cattle and sheep dominate the region, which is well known for the locally produced cheeses. The climb to the mountain offers some beautiful views of the Capo Vaticano and the sea.

The city belongs to the province Vibo Valentia at the Tyrrhenian Sea and has some 6,300 inhabitants. Some lovely winding roads go up from the seaside suburb Nicotera Marina to the old town in about 210 meters height. Nicotera sights are the cathedral Santa Maria Assunta from the 18th century and the castle of the noble family Ruffo. But more mundane buildings such as some water mills located near a river have their charm.

Nocera Terinese
Nearly 5,000 people live in the small town of Nocera Terinese in Calabria`s province Catanzaro. The town at the foot of Monte Reventino has preserved its character of a small mountain village and is home of some very beautiful churches like the Church of San Francesco. A festival, often somewhat hard for travelers, is the procession of self- castogators held annually at Easter time. About five miles from Nocera Terinese away is the Marina Nocera Scala located on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Opening hours
The opening hours of shops and sights in Calabria differ from case to case. Shops and banks are mostly closed at lunch time, in the afternoon shops are open until about 8pm. Large national museums do without a lunch break. In smaller museums, it can also happen that travelers find the doors closed in the early afternoon .

Pollino National Park (Parco Nazionale del Polliono)
The Pollino National Park is located in the South Italian regions of Basilicata and Calabria. With a size of about 192 500 hectares, it is the largest national park in Italy. Large beech forests, high meadows and white fir dominate the region as well as the high mountains, such as the Serra Dolcedorme with 2267 meters height or the Monte Pollino (altitude: 2248 meters). Wild boar, marmots and golden eagles are part of the fauna of the park where even a few copies of the Apennine wolf live.

Sila National Park (Parco Nazionale della Sila)
As the Pollino National Park in Calabria, the Sila National Park is dominated by mountains. It exists since 1997 and with the mountain ranges Sila Greca, Sila Grande and Sila Piccola. Highest mountain in the park is the 1928 meter high Monte Botte Donato. While in the higher regions grow more chestnut trees, in the park mostly dominate coniferous forests and some rare animals like wild cats and even some  wolves have been spotted.

The small village Parghelia with about 1,350 inhabitants lies on the Tyrrhenian Sea and has preserved its original atmosphere of a small and charming fishing village. Parghelia benefits from its location at one of the most beautiful coastal regions of Calabria. The neighboring village of Parghelia is Tropea, one of the most beautiful towns in South. Place of interest is, for example, the Church of Santa Maria di Portosalvo “from the eighteenth century.

The town of Pizzo in the province of Vibo Valentia Pizzo has about 9200 inhabitants and is situated on a rock at the Tyrrhenian Sea. In the past the people lived mainly from fishing, today the tuna together with the delicious ice cream “Tartufo” are the culinary delights of the town. Due to the scenic location and the picturesque old town Pizzo now attracts many travelers. Local attractions include the cave church “Piedigrotta” and the castle “Castello Aragonese”.