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What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria?

What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria? Calabria is the tip of “the Boot”, formed by a region rich in history and traditions, but also in tourist locations and particularly beautiful and characteristic natural environments. Here you will find a very special list with 10 places of my beautiful and dear Calabria!

Scilla (Source Flick)

What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria?

When it comes to tourism, Calabria always ranks second, but it retains treasures wonderful and little known by outsiders, but the tip of “the Boot” deserves a visit every time of the year. Would you like to find out what the ten places you need to visit in Calabria are? So stay with us and before start reading our post, I invite you to watch this short video about my beautiful Calabria! Find out here How to find Calabrian relatives! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”


(Source: Fodix)


Calabria is the tip of “the Boot” formed by a region rich in history and traditions, but also in tourist locations and particularly beautiful and characteristic natural environments. Bathed by the splendid waters of the Ionian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, it is separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina. WHY VISIT CALABRIA?

The warm climate, with splendid sea cores, rocky shores alternated with sandy coastlines, its wild and mysterious nature, the intense and genuine flavors of the local cuisine and the witnesses of its ancient origins render Calabria a unique place.

Now that we have listed a type of list, we will mention ten places for you to visit on this wonderful land stripe. We know that the classifications does not please everyone, anyway, take these ideas as an invitation to add other places, other experiences in this beautiful and doomed territory. Create, from our post, a different itinerary and leave the traditional.

1) What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria? TROPEA

Tropea, the pearl of Calabria. When you come to Calabria, there are two places impossible not to visit or photograph; I refer to Tropea and Chianalea di Scilla, two scenic towns impossible not to immortalize in images and memories. Calabria is proud of the unique landscape views in the world, and Tropea undoubtedly represents the column that carries the natural beauties that the South presents us.

(Source: Explore Calabria)


In Tropea, you are not only fascinated by the beautiful sea that surrounds it, but also by its historic center, rich in ancient manor palaces and in typical architectural style from the 1700s that imprison travelers among its walls, literally hostages to the two typical streets that end up in every narrow alley in the city. A few steps from the historic center, there is a wonderful tourist port surrounded by piers and boats. There is also the Benedictine Sanctuary, of high medieval origin, nestled on a rock overlooking the sea, representing the emblem of the city.

Tropea is a succession of narrow streets, alleys and panoramic angles: after touring the Cathedral, the sanctuaries and the noble palaces, we must take a stroll along the white sand beaches and taste the famous sweet onion.

Visit Pizzo

When visiting Tropea, be sure to visit Pizzo (which is wonderful and right next to Tropea) and the famous Capo Vaticano Promontory, with its beach that is among the 100 most beautiful beaches in the world

(Source: Explore Calabria)

2) What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria? SCILLA

Scilla, the Venice of the South.  And what about the splendid Chianalea di Scilla. A legendary place, on the doorstep of Reggio Calabria, where there is still space for the echo of the mythical monster that attacked Ulysses’ ship. Legends aside, the Calabrian side of the strait presents a wonderful panorama, where rocks overlooking the sea, waves crashing on the rocks and the beautiful villages of Scilla and Chianalea is a fraction of Scilla and is considered one of the most beautiful villages in the Italy. The small town is also called Venice of the South, for its spectacular houses built directly on the rocks acanthus to the waters and separated by small streets that resemble the canals of the lagoon.

Little Venice

It is an old maritime village, where the sea always touches the anglers’ houses, which is why it is called “Little Venice”. The old houses are separated from each other by small sleepers that go down to the sea. Visiting Chianalea means getting lost in the magic of the aromas and flavors that come from the kitchens of the picturesque restaurants, where the voluptuous taste of traditional cuisine is able to change the luck of the day. The main activity is fishing and therefore it is easy to see anglers working with nets.

(Source: Explore Calabria)

3) What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria? RIVIERA DEI CEDRI

La Riviera Dei Cedri, this is how the stretch of Calabrian Tyrrhenian coast is called, where the citrus scents that make up the region’s pride in the world are cultivated. The coast, with its eighty kilometers of beaches and cliffs, offers many reasons to visit it. There are several tours available, but also many small towns to visit, sanctuaries nestled in the rock, due to the religious traditions that are lost in the night of time. A tour of these parts is the occasion where you can see an authentic division of Italy, where traditions are felt and respected like few other parts in Italy.

(Source: Explore Calabria)


Among the towns that deserve to be noticed, we highlight Aieta, of Byzantine origin; this one, besides the splendid view of the Policastro gulf, offers important historical and religious witnesses such as the Chapel of St Nicholas and the Church of Santa Maria della Visitazione (“St Mary of the Visitation”).

Dino Island and Scalea Village

Then there is Praia a Mare, with its spectacular island of Dino, where you dive into one of the most beautiful seas in Calabria. How can we not mention the small town of Paola, with St Francis, patron of Calabria, who founded the sanctuary in 1453, still today a place of solidarity and faith, an imposing complex that must be visited, absolutely. Finally, we need to mention a splendid village overlooking the sea, Scalea, known for its splendid churches, such as St Nichola in Plateis, in addition to its sea.

4) What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria? COSENZA

Cosenza, the Athens of Southern Italy. Cosenza is a beautiful city in Calabria and still located in a territory inhabited by the ancient enotri people and frequented by the Romans. Its origins date back to the period when almost the Bretti decided to found their capital at the foot of the Silano plateau.

Cosenza, called Athens of Calabria, has a privileged position with respect to other capitals of Calabria for being, despite the many problems that invest it, the most livable. It is situated in a natural frame of hills in the Crati Valley, at the confluence of the River Busento, which divides the modern part of the city from the old ones that appear on the slopes of the Pancrazio Mountains. There is no bad time to visit it since its typically Mediterranean climate and its artistic, historical and cultural beauties always welcome tourists!

(Source: Invidiosrl)

Its location

Embracing the east of Sila, to the west by the Sea mountain range, to the north by the Massif de Pollino and to the south by the hills of Savuto. This valley is the ideal place to reach the various destinations of the province in less than one hour by car, through the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas, and through the mountains of Sila and Pollino. The city of the inhabitants of Bruzia, with its 2,500 years of history, is an unmissable goal to relive the history of Alarico, the life of Frederick II of Swabia (Estupor Mundi), the Cathedral, the Suebi Castle and its entire center. Not only the history, culture and art that makes this city attractive, but also the gastronomy, traditions, hospitality and splendid scenery that will not let you forget this place.

5) What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria? PENTEDATTILO

The perched city of Pentadattilo – Reggio Calabria, the Ghost Village. In Pentadattilo, later, a fraction of Melito Porto Salvo, in the province of Reggio Calabria, the story started very early, in 600 BC, thanks also to its strategic position. The village is perched on the cliff of Monte Calvario and nestled in the rock.

(Source: Explore Calabria)

Origin of the City Name

Its shape resembles the Cyclops hand with five fingers (hence the name Pentadattilo) and its streets were the theater of the “massacre of the Alberti”, a feud between two noble local families. Today, it is a fascinating place and full of mystery; the population moved, making the village a ghost place. Italo Calvino said that “its past was written on the streets”, I suggest getting in the car and taking a walk.

6) What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria? SANTA SEVERINA

Santa Severina, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Not many know another spectacular place. Santa Severina, a Calabrian city in the province of Crotone called “the stone ship”, which with its baptistery, the castle and the cathedral represents perhaps the most important Byzantine prove in Calabria. In 2015, in a contest promoted by the famous tourist program Kilimangiaro, it ranked in 3rd place among the most beautiful villages in all of Italy. Are you curious? Watch the video!

(Source: Hakkı Çağman)

About Santa Severina

Santa Severina is an ancient medieval village, located in the center of the province of Crotone, halfway between the Ionian Sea and the Sila hills. The small town appears on a cliff in the center of a vast valley that makes it look like a big stone ship. In addition to being a historic place of particular interest, Santa Severina, which rises from a rocky projection, is also one of the most beautiful medieval villages in the entire Italy; it will be surprising to stop for a visit, perhaps accompanied by a cold coffee or a brioche with ice cream. In addition, Santa Severina won a contest where it was considered the third most beautiful village in Italy. Isn’t that a special reason to visit it?

7) What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria? GAMBARIE

When you talk about Calabria, you automatically think of the sea. The fact that it is possible to ski in the region always leaves everyone astonished and, even so, the snow conditions are, in most cases, better than in other alpine locations. In addition, there is the possibility that, on clear days, you can take the racket and go to the bottom to see the sea. It is a priceless emotion.

(Source: Jonny Wild)

Where to Ski in Calabria?

In Calabria, you can ski over Pollino, Sila and Aspromonte, for example. Gambarie can be considered the most important Montana locality in the province of Reggio Calabria and among the most important in the south. The landscape is truly spectacular, with centuries-old beech forests, crystal clear streams and silent mountains. Two modern cable cars take tourists and skiers to the peaks of Mount Scirocco and Mount Nardello. When you return to the city, you can taste many typical dishes based on mushrooms, cheese, ricotta and meat, all from the local farms. Also, read our special post Where to ski in Italy?

8) What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria? REGGIO CALABRIA

Reggio Calabria, the most important Greek city. The most beautiful Calabrian city, whether from a historical, architectural or natural point of view, is Reggio Calabria, known throughout Italy for its spectacular waterfront, its famous Corso Garibaldi, full of trendy shops, bars and restaurants and the wonderful panorama that offers tourists a unique landscape. This beautiful city is also known for hosting the famous bronzes of Riace, conserved in the Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria, the most important bronze statues that represent the period of classic Greek art.

(Source: Explore Calabria)

Its location

The city is nestled in a splendid position on the Stretto di Messina, with a magnificent seaside sung by poets and writers. Gabriele D’Annunzio defined it as “the most beautiful kilometer in Italy”. It is, in fact, a happy union of specific and very beautiful plants, monuments and palaces and villages of later styles and classic art nouveau on a background of rare fascination.

9) What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria? POLLINO NATIONAL PARK

How not to visit the Pollino National Park? The scenery is majestic, dominated by particular contours of the pino loricato, a tree of incredible beauty, almost a vegetable “monument”. Pollino National Park, located between Calabria and Basilicata, is one of the largest parks in Europe and perhaps one of the last wilderness areas on the continent. Try touring one of these reserves in the part of Calabria: the valley of the river Lao, the gorges of the Raganello, the valley of the river Argentino and the one of Rubbio. It’s really worth it.

The Raganello Canyon

The Raganello canyon is scenic; in other countries, it would be as famous as any American canyon. The formation of Pollino has led to the development of numerous water sports, for example, in the canyons of the Lao River, where rafting, a fascinating adventure sport, is practiced, or in the Raganello, where canoeing is practiced. All of this can be done in the summer, but also in the mid-seasons; they are convincing and special experiences.

(Source: Cosma Di Leone)

10) What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria? STILO

Stillo one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. At this point, a visit to Cattolica is mandatory; a small centrally planned Byzantine square-shaped church at the foot of Mount Consollino in Stilo, in the province of Reggio Calabria. A Calabrian treasure visited every year by thousands of Italian and foreign tourists.

Stilo is one of the most beautiful and interesting destinations for history and art that Calabria is proud of, belonging to the Byzantine villages, it is the city of Tommaso Campanella and that jewel of Byzantine art that is Cattolica, a work of art of southern Calabria. The position where Stilo appears is already a great spectacle. In fact, the old village is laid out in layers on limestone, on a hill of olive trees and vines.

(Source: Aeropix)

Map 01 – Ten places you need to visit in Calabria

What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria?
Source Google Maps

11) What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria? CAPO RIZZUTO (BONUS)

Do you think you have finished the places that are worth visiting? I will be able to make, easily, a list of the 20 must-see places to visit in Calabria. So stay tuned on the Blog traveling to Italy, as it will surely be one of our next posts. Now as a bonus, get to know one of my favorite places, Capo Rizzuto and make your mouth water!

(Source: Explore Calabria)

Little-known places in Calabria

To finish this post, I could not fail to talk about the little-known places in Calabria, but of unique beauty. It is a tip for those who like to get to know every corner, even those little sought after by tourists.

Arco Magno Beach

Arco Magno beach, San Nicola Arcella – Cosenza: in this small town of just under 2,000 inhabitants. Arco Beach, in San Nicola Arcella, presents in a UNIQUE way! The path that leads there is not the simplest, but when you finally get to the beach, you will understand why: a stone arch suspended over the sea that “frames” the spectacular water and, suddenly, you are “ inside ”of a postcard.

Pentedattilo Perched Village

The perched village of Pentedattilo – Reggio Calabria – In Pentedattilo, a fraction of land from Melito Porto Salvo, in the province of Reggio Calabria, the story started very early: 600 years before Christ. Located on the cliff of Mount Calvario, it received the name of Pentedattilo for its form to remember a cyclopic hand with five fingers. Its streets were the theater of the “Alberti massacre” between the two local noble families. Today, it is a seductive place and full of mystery: the population has moved, making the village a ghost town, but still beautiful!

Gambarie Ski Slopes

The ski slopes in Gambarie – Reggio Calabria – Calabria is not just about the blue sea. In the mountains, in the heart of the Aspromonte National Park, it is possible to ski! In fact it was the first mountain tourist station in southern Italy and is located at 1,400 meters above sea level. You can see, from above, Etna on one side and the Aeolian Islands on the other. Amazing!

Doge’s Castle of Corigliano Calabro

The Doge’s Castle of Corigliano Calabro – Cosenza – Among the most beautiful castles in Italy is the Castle of Corigliano Calabro. From its tower, you can see up to Taranto, and a walk through its interior takes you deep into the past. Ceilings with frescoes, halls of mirrors, period furniture and torture rooms attract all our attention. It’s incredible!

How to get to Calabria?

1) How to get to Calabria? PLANE

We can reach Calabria easily with different means of transport: plane, car, train or ferry. The region has three airports, that of Reggio Calabria, Crotone and Lamezia Terme.

However, if you are arriving from other airports, also read our Special Posts on Airports in Italy:

2) How to get to Calabria? TRAIN AND FERRY

The railway infrastructure in Calabria extends over 850 km of lines, about 115 stations. The fundamental network consists of the Tirrenic directive (Rome-Naples) – Praia – Paola – Lamezia Terme – Reggio Calabria, which, in addition to connecting the most important locations on the Calabrian Tyrrhenian coast among them and with the main cities of Campania and central Italy, the connections between the Sicilian railway network and the rest of the national network are functional. Ferry services are available to reach Calabria by sea.

Also find out “What is the difference between trains in Italy?”. Would you like to save? So buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?“.

3) How to get to Calabria? CAR

For those who prefer to take a road trip, it is possible to access it by car taking the A3 Salerno-reggio Calabria highway, where the motorway ends. Traveling through Calabria is a WONDERFUL experience, but being a region with little tourist infrastructure, I recommend a guide service if you don’t speak Italian fluently.

Traveling by car in Italy

How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.

Don’t know where to rent the car?

We have a partner that can help you: Rent Cars! Have you ever thought about renting a car in Italy, without leaving your home? Click on the banner below to learn more! Search, compare and choose!

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What are the ten places you need to visit in Calabria? Imagine a place of incomparable beauty, where time seems to have stopped and where the beauty of the sea and the summer sunsets will warm up the desire for the ideal vacation. If that is your wish, there is nothing left but to come to the splendid land of Calabria, land of culture, history, customs, typical flavors, not only as a tourist, but as a guest.

If you feel insecure or have no time, and need help to organize your trip, do not hesitate to look for me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy. And how can I do that? Continue reading this post until the end and you will understand how can we make your life and journey easier.

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