Reviewed on Aug. 23, 2020
Reviewed on Sep. 12, 2019
Reviewed on Sep. 5, 2021
Discover a Southern Italian region blessed with miles of rugged natural coastline, well-preserved remnants from the ancient era and mountainous nature parks. Calabria is the “boot” of Italy, the southernmost region that juts out into the sea. Visit Calabria for a unique view of Italy far away from the busier, more tourist-oriented destinations. Admire views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, bike along trails leading through vast nature parks and marvel at sculptures and mosaics from ancient times.
Most people come to Calabria for outdoor adventure and stunning natural views. Build sandcastles on beaches of the granite-backed Capo Vaticano in Vibo Valentia and follow schools of fish along the coast as you snorkel in glassy waters. For an even closer view of Calabria’s colorful underwater world, sign up for a scuba diving lesson. Other popular coastal activities include wind-driven watersports, which can be practiced in the seaside town of Scalea.
Away from the coast, the Lao River is often used for rafting trips or canyoneering, a multidiscipline sport that involves a mixture of rafting, rappelling, walking, jumping and climbing. If you would rather stay dry, go for a hike along the edge of the Strait of Messina, a channel of water which separates Calabria from the island of Sicily.
Many tourists use the city of Cosenza, characterized by its pastel-colored houses, as a base from which to explore inland regions. Learn about local plant life in the mountainous natural parks of Sila and Serre and hike to waterfalls, through conifer forests and around mountains in the Aspromonte National Park. Watch the sun reflect off the still waters of Lake Cecita while enjoying lunch down by the banks.
In addition to natural wonders, Calabria also promise compelling cultural and historical attractions. See the Riace Bronzes, classical Greek statues representing two warrior heroes, at the National Museum of Reggio Calabria and study an intricate Roman mosaic in Vibo Valentia.
Reliable buses serve most of the larger towns and cities, but if you plan on traveling inland, consider renting a car. Visit in June and September for lower crowds or book a vacation in July or August to see Calabria at its most active.
Calabria is the perfect choice for any traveler who wants to discover a lesser-visited Italian region.