Calabria

Yes, you are in the South of Italy

 

The actual name, Italy, started here, as this was the name the ancient Greeks gave to the area. During the time of the Greeks, some of the important historic centres were in the area now known as Calabria. During the Roman times, the area was a regiionof Augustan Italy. The water off the coast are known for their clarity, and the land is sprinkled with ancient villages and old castles.

The landscape is listed as 42% mountains, 49% hilly and plains about 9%. Off the cost is Sicily with the narrowest point between Capo Peloro in Sicily and Puynta Pezzo in Calabria only 3.2 km. And that is how we were introduced to Calabria. On one of our visits we drove down to Villa San Giovanni to catch a ferry to Sicily. A experience and story we tell even today!

Catching a ferry in British Columbia, Canada to travel to Vancouver Island is a pat process. One set of gates to buy your tickets, one group of lines to park and wait. One ferry arrives, you get on and then get off when the ferry docs at Vancouver Island. In Italy, so quite so straight forward. You drive up to the docks, there are many of them, there are a number of ferry companies, it is no long getting a ferry to Sicily, but which ferry, to what location? Anyway we made it through the process, even after a very helpful person pointed a line to park the car, and then asked for a service fee. There was an argument about money. Karen, my wife arrive and grabbed back the money from his hand, only to find it was his money, I had not given any yet. In the end all was well. We were direct to a line. Later we found was for parking not to get on a ferry but we made it on the boat, which departed in minutes. The ferry ride is short, and getting off is quick. We were on our way.

But, let's talk about Calabria. On our first trip we under estimated the time it would take to drive from Rome down to the tip of Italy for the ferry to Sicily. It is a 7 hour drive on the Autostrada, and almost 9 hours if you drive the National Roads. But we did enjoy the endless views of the sea and we discovered Tropea. In those does we had no reservations other than a hotel after we landed in Italy, and a hotel reserved the night before we left. Things have changed since then!

Tropea

While the drive was tiring, once we arrived in Tropea all seemed wonderful. The historic centre of the town is high on the cliffs overlooking the beach and sea. If that view was not enough, there is an old church, Santa Maria dell'Isola that stands high on a rock outcrop just off the coast.

The drive into Tropea is deceiving. You don't see the historic centre until you are there. Then as you walk the strees toward the cliff, the incredible view of the sea, beach and the church all hit you.

In this area, some of the best red onions of Italy are grown. The onions of Tropea are particularly noted as being good. "Cipolla di Tropea" or Tropea's Onion are the specialty. Tonino in the Corso, one of the better ice cream stops (gelateria) in Tropea produces, of course, a red onion ice cream. Nope, did not try it.

 

Tropea

Historic town high on the cliffs over a large sandy beach

Laid back and relaxed Tropea

The beach scene blended with the town scene.
This is the land of hot spicy food! Famous for red onions.
Interesting sections of town to roam through and enjoy.
Santa Maria dell'Isola

 

photo: mytravellinglens.com