This description page of Calabria, region of Italy, will guide you in planning your trip to Italy and help you to find useful travel information about this Italian Region.
Calabria is located in the centre of the Mediterranean, the region extends southwards from Basilicata and is shaped like a small peninsula surrounded by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas. It is separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina.
Calabria, the cradle of ancient civilizations, is the area that gave its name to the entire Italian peninsula. "Italia" was in fact the name that was first given to Calabria in honor of its king Italo.
All over the territory, the region shows plenty of evidence of ancient civilizations dating back to prehistoric times, to the settlements of the Bruzi and to the great era of Magna Graecia. The Romans, Normans, Swabians, Angevins, Aragonese, and Bourbons...innumerable are the cultures which have conquered, invaded, inhabited, and deeply marked their passage in this land and enriching the artistic heritage with buildings, churches, castles, archaeological areas, precious sculptures, bas-reliefs and paintings. Among these are the world famous bronze statues of Riace, collected at the National Museum of Reggio Calabria.
The artistic heritage of the region is closely bound to a strong handicraft tradition: from wood-carving to pottery, from gold-smiths to weavers, from wrought iron to stonework, the versatility of Calabrian craftsmen is amazing.
But the beauty of Calabria does not end here. Alongside this blend of history and tradition, the unsurpassable beauty of nature stands out not only in the almost 800 kilometers of coastline lined with beautiful beaches and clear blue sea, but also in the wilder mountainous areas and the plains with their citrus orchards and centuries-old olive groves.
Calabria is also a region of tradition and folklore. There are deeply-rooted religious traditions celebrating a form of Catholicism often reminiscent of paganism and magical medieval times with rituals, plays and performances which have been re-enacted for centuries and still have enormous popular following.
Deserving mentioning is its genuine and imaginative cuisine, the result of an unusual mixture of the culinary traditions of the peoples who have inhabited the region throughout the centuries.
It is for these reasons that Calabria is a unique land, a region of a thousand faces that thrills the visitor for its strong contrasts, its unusual scenery, its cultural intertwining, and its ancient history in which Mediterranean and European civilizations are so deeply rooted.