The most Southerly region in Italy, Calabria is the country at its grittiest and most unfiltered.
Discover – Southern Charm
The region instills a true sense of beauty and excitement that has slowly dissipated throughout the rest of the country. Encompassing the tip of the Italian boot, the region is surrounded by the Tyrrhenian sea and rugged, often remote mountainous geography. Its capital, Catanzaro, offers a heady mix of sand and culture, having many of the region’s best beaches within driving distance of the city. Cosenza, situated at the base of Sila National Park, gives visitors an ample dose of Italian chaos.
With miles of rural countryside, Calabria’s strengths lie in its coastal villages, showcasing centuries old history set to a backdrop of breathtaking scenery. The town of Tropea, situated on a cliffs edge, provides a dramatic outing for those looking for equal measure beach and culture. Further South, the ancient town of Scilla, with its old-fashioned buildings straddling the cliffs edge, allow revelers to imagine a time devoid of hotels and tourists, where a simpler pace of life held precedence.
Visit – Greek Roots
Often argued as the birthplace of viniculture within Italy, Calabria can lay claim to an incredibly storied and complex relationship with wine production. Introduced by the early Greek settlers, wine making has played a key role in the region’s economy, with the area slowly being introduced to a variety of appellations.
Gaglioppo is the main red wine grape cultivated at high altitudes in Cirò, producing soft full-bodied wines, high in alcohol and tannins, with berry flavors and spiced notes. This grape varietal grows perfectly in this area because of its ability to withstand high heat and drought. It has been used in this region for centuries and continues to be cultivated in Calabria’s twelve DOCs.
Taste – Humble Flavors
Much of Calabrese cuisine has evolved to compensate for the potential of drought or famine. This has resulted in the regional cuisine placing a strong emphasis on food preservation, with many of the local ingredients either being pickled or cured. Nduja, a Calabrese variation of Salumi, made from various meat trimmings, is a staple of this region. Hailing from the Calabrese town of Spilinga, the spreadable pork salumi is often used on bread or incorporated with pasta.
Stoccafisso or stock fish, a dish traditionally eaten throughout Calabria, involves the curing of fish in spring water, an ancient process that allows for much of the fish’s flavor to emerge while also acting as a means to preserve it. The town of Mammola has become synonymous with the dish, utilizing Stoccafisso to create one of Calabria’s most iconic meals. Usually served with an accompaniment of potatoes and with a glass of Cirò, the dish has provided sustenance for generations of Calabrese throughout the regions history.
Flagship wine grapes
- Greco Nero
- Greco bianco
- Magliocco Canino
- Nerello Cappuccio
Flagship wine appellations
- Cirò DOC
- IGT Calabria
- Scavigna DOC
- Terre di Cosenza DOC
Wine-related activities in the region
- Wine and food pairing
- Discovery ride
- Wine Tasting
Corigliano Calabro: Orange Festival and Procession (January).
San Basile: Albanian Folklore Festival (Tuesday after Pentecost).
Vibo Valentia (church of the Modonella): Pasta Festival (July).
Capo Vaticano (from Santa Maria to Santa Domenica): Procession of Boats and Swimmers (August).