If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the Calabria region on the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Ionian Sea. Calabria is the toe of the Italian boot. It abounds with excellent tourist attractions. While you won’t fight the crowds, but you may have to fight hot, hot summers. Calabria is part of the real, traditional Italy. This article examines tourist attractions in southern Calabria. Be sure to read our companion article on northern Calabria.
Pizzo, population about eight thousand, is a seaport and resort situated on a steep cliff that overlooks the Gulf of Santa Eufemia. Its main tourist attractions are the Baroque Church of San Giorgio (St. George’s Church) and the Castle where the French general Murat, an ex-king of Naples, was killed in 1815 after attempting to rouse the populace against the Bourbon kings.
Tropea, population about seven thousand, is one of the most beautiful seaside towns in Calabria. Situated between the gulfs of Sant’ Eufemia and Gioa it overlooks the sea and boasts untamed white sandy beaches, old houses, and ancient churches. Its Norman Cathedral still hosts unexploded U.S. bombs from the Second World War, each bearing a note of thanks to the Madonna. Don’t miss the medieval Santa Maria della Isola church and monastery or the local red onions. Tropea was home to Umberto Anastasio, later known as Alberto Anastasia, a leader of Murder, Incorporated.
Cosenza’s population is about seventy thousand but the nearby University adds a lot more. The area was home to the legendary Visigoth King Alaric who captured Rome in the year 410. Shortly afterwards he died and his treasure, said to be buried in the river has never been found. Cosenza has been called the Athens of Calabria. Enjoy its Castello Svevos virtually destroyed by earthquakes and lightning. Of course there is a Cathedral and several churches to visit. The new city’s open-air museum includes Saint George and the Dragon by Salvador Dalì.
Reggio di Calabria, population about two hundred thousand, is the Calabria’s oldest and largest city. Its fine sights include the Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia (The National Museum of Greater Greece), a very important archeological museum. Don’t miss the two Bronzi di Riace (Riace Bronze) statues of bearded warriors, first discovered in 1972. The Falcomatà promenade by the sea has been called the most beautiful kilometer in Italy. The old city boasts Greek walls, Roman baths, and lots of medieval churches.
For a change of pace from towns and seacoasts why not visit the mile-high Aspromonte mountain range and the Gambarie ski resort east of Reggio di Calabria? Giuseppe Garibaldi, the hero of the struggle for Italian unification, was defeated and captured in 1862 in the Battle of Aspromonte before his eventual victory.
What about food? There’s lots of it in Calabria. Reggio di Calabria 's best gelateria, Tonino in the Corso, makes a red onion ice cream (as well as others based on squid ink and nduja, the local spicy salami).
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.Click to access the original, longer article on this Italian tourist location.
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