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Calabria 

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About the Region


Calabria

Calabria is the toe of the Italian boot pointed directly at its ocean neighbor Sicily. Itís landscape is quite different then that of other Italian regions. Almost all of it is ruggedly mountainous, leaving just enough room at the edges for the longest beaches in all of Italy. Most man-made attractions have been shaken by the earthquakes and consequently there are plenty of ruins and ghost towns. As you may already guess Calabria is a little underdeveloped but quite scenic.

Although it may not be very lavish the landscape is quite mesmerizing in its own right. It truly is different and quite unique.

Calabria, Italy
Depiction of 1783 earthquake

Calabria has long been misfortuned in its life span. Over history many great tragedies have lead to the decline of this region. Long ago many wars have stopped Calabria from ever prospering into a major flourishing region. It seemed every time in history the region would start to populate other circumstances intervened. It has generally been a haven for earthquakes, some even killing 100,000 people at once. As years passed much of the population migrated to other parts of the world. So now the area has long been rumored for the likes of Mafia and, but do not be worried they are of no consequence to you, as they will not interact with your vacation. Just remember that this area is not overly populated and tends to be a place you will use yourself more then others to explore.

• Travel to Calabria:

Cosenza
Cosenza

In the past most visitors tend to pass through the region rather then actually stay there. So if you have some time to spare take the old coastal road SS18, south through Maratea and Paola. The SS585 that connects with the A3 autostrada del Sole, near Maratea, is a much more scenic route then the autostrada. There are many stopovers along the way such as; Maratea, Vibo Valentia or Gioia Tauro. One nice stop-off is via Cosenza into the Sila highlands. Itís about 90 km from the turnoff at Paola to San Giovanni in Fiore in the heart of Sila. It may be a tough ride but the views are impeccable. Before making the cross over to Messina, take an hour or two to visit the museum in Reggio; even if you donít like archaeology, the collection contains some of the finest pieces of art in southern Italy.

There are two major rail lines that pass through these regions: the Rome-Naples-Villa San Giovanni/Reggio di Calabria route along the west coast, and the branch that runs from Battipaglia in Campania through Potenza and Metaponte on its way to Taranto. Rail connections inland are very scarce, but a few trains go through Cosenza. There is always the option of a bus, which goes from Paola to Cosenza. Buses tend to run quite regularly so donít be afraid to use them.

Airports in Calabria are at Lamezia-Terme on the plain of Santa Eufemia. The airport has scheduled flights to most major Italian cities. Also at Reggio di Calabria they have an airport that travels solely to Roma and Milan. As for ferries to Sicily they leave from Villa San Giovanni, it is the quickest and most used route. It should be quite easy to travel over to Sicily from these locations.

• The Sila:

The Sila is the best base to see the rest of the region from. It is a nice peaceful plateau between mountains that offers beautiful scenery near the southern tip of Italy, it is an area full of nature. It is also a place where artificial lakes liven the scenic area. Two lakes, notably Lake Arvo and Cecita, lie between Cosenza and the town of San Giovanni in Fiore. Sila is by far the best place for hiking in all of Calabria. Many maps can be attained in the Cosenza tourist office, which will surely give you an outdoor experience never forgotten.

• Italyís Longest Beach:

Calabria Beaches

Calabria is home to Italyís longest beach, from Reggio as far as Taranto, the coasts of Calabria are about 500 km long. This whole route is quite serene as sleepy shore settlements make up most of the beach. Many of the new villages and towns on the bottom of the toe have become mini resorts and can be an appealing stop if you are in Calabria. One town Roccella Ionica is an up and coming area. Its hilltop setting and castle make it one of the different settings along the beach.

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