From North to South, passing through the center and the islands, our Italy is a peninsula to be discovered and appreciated .
Panoramas and landscapes, sea and mountains, warm welcome, food and wine, art, culture and much more: these are just some of the aspects that make each Italian region unique and special .
The tip of the boot is occupied by a region rich in history and culture, with wonderful tourist resorts, places with spectacular naturalistic beauties, an enviable culinary tradition: Calabria .
If you are planning a holiday in this region, read this ranking carefully with the 15 unmissable Calabrian attractions!

1 – Sila Natural Park
Located between the provinces of Cosenza, Catanzaro and Crotone, the Sila Natural Park represents the mountainous area of ​​Calabria , excellent for discovering a hidden part of this region that extends for 73,695 hectares and which has been declared World Heritage Site .
It will be difficult to visit the whole Sila in one or at least a few days, so here are some truly unmissable places in the park. Ski lovers in winter will certainly love Camigliatello and Lorica, while Lake Passante is the ideal place for a peaceful picnic.. The villages Palumbo, Racise and Buturo offer suggestive walks in the woods in contact with local fauna and flora and, finally, the amusement park among the trees Orme nel Parco, for adults and children, in the Tirivolo area.
Last but not least, if you visit the Sila you cannot fail to taste the exquisite and rich Sila gastronomy based on local products such as wild boar meat, mushrooms, potatoes and provola!

2 – Tropea and Pizzo Calabro
Photo by Norbert Nagel. Tropea and Pizzo Calabro, both renowned seaside resorts , are located a few kilometers from each other along the Tyrrhenian coast, ideal to visit together in a single day.
Usually we start from Pizzo Calabro, to start the day with onegood breakfast with the Pizzo Truffle in one of the many ice cream shops located in the main square, with a panoramic view of the sea and the Aeolian Islands (which can be visited with a day tour from Tropea) in the distance. To visit in Pizzo the historic center with its cobbled streets and the two main attractions, the Church of the Immaculate Conception and the Murat Castle.
The day continues in Tropea and who has never seen an image of the beautiful sea view and the sanctuary
The village offers this fantastic view and a historic center that is a tangle of alleys . The unmissable attraction is the Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola, located in a characteristic position on a small promontory, to be reached via a steep staircase.

3 – Stilo and the Cattolica
Photo by Cristina Alberto. Stilo is a small village in the province of Reggio Calabria , located on a hill and surrounded by greenery, a few kilometers from the Ionian coast on which it offers a beautiful view. A true jewel of Byzantine art , interesting both from an architectural and cultural point of view. It is in fact the birthplace of the philosopher Tommaso Campanella, whose house can be visited and a park has been dedicated to it with the name of one of his works, “The City of the Sun”. The historic center, on the other hand, retains medieval features such as the horseshoe shape, the walls, the remains of the castle and many churches.
The real attraction however is the Cattolica di Stilo,a small church overlooking the town , built by a settlement of monks during the 10th century which still preserves Byzantine mosaics and frescoes inside. Surrounding the church of San Nicola da Tolentino, the church of San Francesco with the frescoes by the painter Francesco Cozza , the convent of the church of San Domenico, the baroque church of San Giovanni Theresti and finally the fourteenth-century cathedral.

4 – Capo Vaticano, Ricardi
On the Tyrrhenian coast there is one of the most famous promontories in Calabria , known by the name of Capo Vaticano. It extends from the Gulf of Santa Eufemia to that of Gioia Tauro with a fantastic overhang on the sea. which gives life to one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. Along the stretch there are small sandy bays made of very fine white sand, often reachable only by sea or through steep paths. The color of the water is lively and intense in every point and changes from turquoise green to deep blue.
Behind, among the rocks, Mediterranean plants sprout that enrich the landscape and last but not least, the very rich fish fauna and flora to be discovered through one of the most popular activities in the area, diving.

5 – Amantea
Photo by Stefanocaruso1984. Amantea is one of the main tourist centers of the Tyrrhenian coast, defined as the city of two souls: the “old” one with a medieval imprint and the “new” one, modern and full of life. It develops in height and from the top offers a splendid view of the sea and the lower part of the town.
In the old area there are, on top of the hill, the ruins of an ancient medieval castle between the surrounding walls and with a watchtower. Another site of interest is the monastery of San Bernardino da Siena , an excellent example of a Romanesque church, which has now become a national monument.
The new area, on the other hand, is mainly developed between the main square and the street, a long life in which modern buildings and historic Baroque buildings alternate, made lively by a succession of bars, restaurants and ice cream parlors. In this regard, anyone who visits Amantea must absolutely taste the local artisan ice cream ! Finally, Amantea is perfect for spending several days as its port offers the opportunity to visit the Aeolian Islands in one day.

6 – Archaeological Park of Scolacium, Roccelletta di Borgia and Soverato
Photo by Michelvincenzo. The Archaeological Park of Scolacium is located in the municipality of Borgia, near Catanzaro Lido, and is the most important of the whole Ionian coast, as it represents the first city founded by the Greeks. In ancient times it was called Skylletion, then it became the Roman Scolacium. Today, as evidence, important archaeological finds remain immersed in a verdant context of olive trees and other Mediterranean plants, where ancient structures such as houses, temples, theaters and statues alternate but also finds of all kinds (amphorae, coins, ceramics, jewels) .
At the entrance to the park there is the Roccelletta di Borgia, a basilica dedicated to Santa Maria della Roccella that mixes Romanesque, Byzantine and Arabic styles. 20 minutes away, to spend the whole day, we also point out Soverato, the main tourist center of the Ionian coastwhere to spend time between beaches, markets, rides, a walk along the seafront and an aperitif in the seaside resorts.

7 – Reggio Calabria
Photo by Cristina Alberto. Reggio Calabria is a city of immense charm with its mix of history and worldliness and the scenic beauty given by the view on the Sicilian coasts. Undisputed attraction are the two statues of the Riace Bronzes to be admired in the National Archaeological Museum together with numerous other finds related to the ancient history of the entire Reggio area.
Another pride of Reggio Calabria is the extended stretch of beach surrounded by the Lungomare Falcomata, also known as the most beautiful kilometer in Italy, a title assigned to it by the succession of palm trees, statues and palaces including the statue of winged victory, the colorful sculptures of Rabarama, Villa Zerbi, Palazzo Zani and the Arena dello Stretto where the statue of the fighting goddess Athena. Another symbol and unmissable attraction of Reggio Calabria is the Aragonese Castle built in the year 536.

8 – Gerace
Photo by [raven. Gerace is a small village perched on a cliff that enjoys a wonderful position, which makes it free on all sides giving it a 360 ° panoramic view, with the Ionian coast in front and the Aspromonte park behind. To enjoy this fantastic view, you absolutely have to go and walk around the former convent!
But Gerace is not a simple village, but a medieval village among the most beautiful in Calabria and in the ranking of the most beautiful in Italy. Its historic center is in fact developed between the surrounding walls and is accessed through “doors”. Walking through its narrow streets takes you back in time with narrow and cobbled alleys, ancient shops and inns, and a succession of churches, from the main cathedral to smaller churches. In this regard, we mention its title of Country of 100 Churches!

9 – Dino Island and Arcomagno Beach
Photo by Cristina Alberto. In the north of the Calabrian Tyrrhenian coast, a succession of cliffs leads from Praia a Mare to San Nicola Arcella, creating a rather jagged and somewhat scenic stretch of coastline , on which a series of corners of paradise alternate between rocky and sandy beaches. In front of Praia a Mare emerges the small and natural Dino Island, covered by luxuriant nature , characterized by underwater caves and surrounded by crystal clear waters. It can also be reached by swimming without any difficulty, but many group boat excursions depart daily to take visitors snorkeling.
Not far away, in the municipality of San Nicola Arcella, between imposing cliffs overlooking the sea, the tiny but enchanting beach of Arcomagno opens up. A small strip of sand bathed by crystalline waters with a Caribbean color , reachable via a steep and panoramic path between the cliffs. Its particularity is being dominated by a natural arch created between the rocks that lets a beam of light pass through, illuminating it and creating a real spectacle for the eyes! Our advice is to visit it before noon in order to fully enjoy the sun.

10 – Pollino National Park
Photo by Brunofrancesco. Although the Sila is the best known mountainous area in Calabria, we cannot fail to mention the Pollino National Park, among other things the largest in Italy, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015 . It is located between Basilicata and Calabria and touches the provinces of Cosenza, Potenza and Matera, with 192,565 total hectares, of which 103,915 in the Calabrian territory.
Its name is due to the homonymous mountain massif that occupies it , but the park consists of many spectacular natural beauties such as the Lao River Valley Reserve (Papasidero), the Raganello Gorges (San Lorenzo Bellizzi) and the River Valley Argentino (Orsomarso). Needless to say, therefore,! In summer, for example, you can take long hiking trails, on foot, trekking or mountain biking. Rafting along the various waterways is also very popular. In winter, however, when the whole environment is tinged with white, it attracts lovers of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the snow.

11 – Crotone
Photo of AlMare. Crotone is one of the five Calabrian capitals, a city of ancient origins that still preserves important sites throughout the provincial territory. Founded by the Greek colonists, it later became a renowned center of Magna Graecia, and was later chosen by the philosopher Pythagoras as his residence, contributing to cultural growth with his school of thought.
The city todayit is divided into old and new and the two areas join in Piazza Pitagora. From here starts a labyrinth of narrow alleys including the Cathedral, better known as the Basilica-Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the National Archaeological Museum to discover the history of the Crotone area, the Pythagoras Gardens to relax in the midst of greenery , and finally the Castle of Charles V, the medieval fortress symbol of the city. Don’t miss a stroll along the lively promenade with its wide choice of places to have fun all night long.

12 – The Castella and the Red Beaches, Capo Rizzuto Island
Photo by Caterina Mirabelli. Le Castella is a famous tourist resortin the province of Crotone, known for its Aragonese fortress erected in the middle of the sea, on a platform that can be reached via a narrow path . The castle has ancient origins and was built for defensive purposes. It was in fact used as a shelter for soldiers committed to protecting the territory from attacks by sea. Today inside you can admire photographs, armor and tools of the past, while from the top of the narrow control tower you can enjoy a beautiful view of the coast .
At the end of the visit of the castle, a long walk on the colorful and characteristic course awaits yousurrounded by restaurants, ice cream parlors, souvenir shops and shops selling local products. We recommend visiting Le Castella between late afternoon and evening. Not far from there, to also engage the daytime hours if you go in summer, we recommend the Red Beaches, an expanse of golden sand embellished with red rocks, blue waters and Mediterranean vegetation . Here, excursions by glass-bottomed boats are very popular to admire the underwater fauna of the Capo Rizzuto Marine Reserve.

13 – Pentedattilo
Photo by Salvatore Migliari. It is a small village nestled in the Aspromonte mountains, fraction of Melito Porto Salvo in the province of Reggio Calabria. Pentedattilo extends at the foot of a rock and its name means five fingers, referring to the particular shape of this rock that resembles a hand .
The village has ancient Greek-Roman origins and its other characteristic is that of being, since 1971, a ghost town. Pentedattilo has in fact been declared uninhabitable, consequently abandoned by the population which has moved slightly further downstream forming a new small center from which the old can be admired. However, in recent years, thanks to the contribution and work of various bodies and associations, small local craft businesses are reviving that revive the village. So in Pentedattilo the main attraction to visit is the town itself!

14 – Ski slopes in Gambarie
Photo by Domecost80. If you think that Calabria is only heat, sea and sun, you have probably never heard of places like Gambarie! In the province of Reggio Calabria, there is a true ski paradise that every winter is tinged with white and offers wonderful sceneries and landscapes.
Gambarie is located in the heart of the Aspromonte National Park , at 1,400 meters above sea level, and is the largest Calabrian mountain tourist resort , with 4 ski lifts and 11 km of slopes. The ideal place for those who love skiing or snowboarding in winter and want to discover new locations rather than the more famous ones in Northern Italy. The real attraction of Gambarie is however its 360 ° panoramic view of the Strait of Messina, Mount Etna and the Aeolian Islands.

15 – Scilla e Chianalea
Photo by Cristina Alberto. Scilla is a small town in the province of Reggio Calabria, one of the most beautiful Calabrian seaside resorts. Arriving, its view of the sea will welcome you and from there you can walk through the characteristic alleys of the town to reach the beautiful beach. At the bottom you can enjoy a blue and clear water like few dominated on the right side by an imposing cliff overlooking the sea which on its top houses the Ruffo Castle.
A walkway runs along the cliff leading to Chianalea, the historic center of Scilla , one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Chianalea is a long cobbled street, surrounded by ancient and local houses to have an aperitif or stop for dinner, to be traveled in complete tranquility while enjoying the views from the alleys overlooking the sea.

Plan your trip: how to get there and where to sleep
To arrive in Calabria there are two reference airports: Lamezia Terme and Reggio Calabria . Both overlook the Tyrrhenian coast, but Lamezia Airport is close to the area where the region “thins”, therefore strategic to reach the Ionian coast. Flights from € 49.00 – look at the offers
It is essential to rent a car as soon as you land , Calabria is a region to visit on the road. If you choose the Tyrrhenian Coast itinerary, base yourself in Reggio Calabria, Tropea and Amantea . Accommodations from € 50.00 per night.
If you prefer to visit the Ionian Coast, base yourself in Catanzaro Lido to visit the central part of the coast, then Soverato for the south, finallyCrotone for the north area. Accommodations from € 55.00 per night.
Alternatively, you can plan a mixed itinerary between the sea and villages , visiting the best of both coasts. In this case, land in Lamezia Terme and stop in Pizzo, Tropea, Capo Vaticano, Scilla / Chianalea and Reggio Calabria, Pentedattilo, Gerace, Roccella Ionica, Stilo, Soverato, Parco di Scolacium; staying in cities such as Tropea, Reggio, Roccella Ionica, Catanzaro . Accommodations from € 59.00 per night.

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