Calabria is on the south-west of Italy (the toe of Italy’s boot) on the border with the Tyrrhenian and Ionic Sea, and its history and culture date back 3000 years. During your holiday in Calabria, you can enjoy the typical Calabrian ways and atmosphere. It will be a trip through history, where you will experience a different way of life and see breathtaking landscapes. Calabria is the region that has something new for everyone, even for the most well travelled tourist.
Due to its strategic position in the heart of the Mediterranean, it has been occupied by different people who have all left a still noticeable mark. Their influence can be found in Calabria’s culture, history, dialect, food, traditions, and habits.
Despite the countless raids that Calabria has endured, its people have always remained hospitable. Wherever you go, you run the risk of being dragged off the streets by strangers who want to offer you coffee, biscuits, wine and “friselle” (a type of flat bread sprinkled with paprika and olive oil) - yet another typical Calabrian dish. We suggest you take your time to get to know the food since many typical dishes are often spicy, a true feast. The food is varied and delicious - try the salami, fish dishes, and enjoy the Cirò wines.
The national parks of Monte Pollino, Sila and Aspromonte have spectacular and diverse landscapes, which nature lovers will want to see again and again. Along with mountains that reach up to 2,100 m, Calabria has a 780 km long coast to explore. The erosion caused by the sea, wind and time has created a diverse and beautiful coastline. The Tyrrhenian coast around Tropea and Capo Vaticano is characterised by steep cliffs with small idyllic sand beaches.
The Ionic coast too is beautiful with its charming coastal towns, beaches, and archaeological ruins dating back to the “Magna Graecia” era. A visit to Reggio Calabria to see Riace’s bronze statues cannot be missed.
When you are on holiday in Calabria, you will not only get to know its beautiful nature, art and culture, but also its people and customs. Italy has a different rhythm and lifestyle compared to northern Europe.
Certain parts of Italy aren’t very centred around tourism. In touristy areas, the summer months are considered high season. When travelling during low or mid-season, one can come across closed facilities. Shops are usually open from 09:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00. Museums and churches are often open from 08:00 to 12:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00. Many shops and museums are closed on Mondays. If a museum is closed, you can always ask the locals (for instance in a bar) for more information. Often a museum or church will open its doors especially for you. When visiting a museum or church, please remember to dress appropriately; shoulders and knees have to be covered.
Roads in Calabria are not always in good condition. The highways ('autostrada') and the large suburban roads ('superstrada') are good and the highway is toll free. Other roads are of lower quality. If you are travelling inland or through the mountains, you can also come across unpaved roads (‘strade bianche’). Italians mostly drive in a “sporty” way and many don’t follow the speed limit. On wider roads, cars often overtake each other and one is expected to drive close to the right side of the road to give the car that is overtaking more space.
Italians are very devoted to food. Breakfast is simple and often limited to a cappuccino and something sweet. At lunch and dinner, Italians eat a lot more. The Calabrian cuisine is typically Mediterranean with a lot of fresh, tasty products and simple dishes. Vegetarians can also choose from a delicious and varied range of dishes because vegetables are an important part of Calabria cuisine. During low and mid-season, some restaurants may be closed. You can, however, often have meals at smaller restaurants where locals eat. Sandwiches can also be bought in supermarkets or in “alimentaris” (small shops).
The swimming pools
Northern Europeans often love to swim during mid-season. Italians, however, only swim during the summer months. In southern Italy, swimming pools open from about the end of April and close at the end of October.
Italians, as we’ve already mentioned, give a lot of attention to food. In homes, the kitchen and dining table often have a dominant role. Spacious living rooms, like the ones found in northern Europe, are not very common. This is also due to the temperate Italian climate which allows people to spend a lot of time outside. Houses are often simply furnished and decorated, which is quite different from northern Europe.
These differences are also present between the north and south of Italy. In the south, houses are often even more focused on outdoor life and usually have air conditioning. In the north, they often have a living room, a fireplace and/or central heating.
Our personal visits & selection
All accommodations have been personally visited and selected by us and their quality is guaranteed. The houses in Capo Vaticano are managed by us. We offer a wide range of accommodations, from simple to extremely luxurious. We focus on special and unique locations with a typical Italian feel. Here is some of our selection criteria:
• price quality ratio
• a special atmosphere