If geography isn't exactly your strong suit, think of the country's classic boot shape and focus in on the arch of the foot. The region of Sibari bathes in the Gulf of Taranto. A narrow coastal plain separates the mountains from the water and plays host to a rich agricultural zone with plenty of hotels scattered in the pine forest that borders the huge beaches. The ancient inhabitants of this town were noted for their love of luxury. In the 6th century BC, Sybaris was one of the most powerful and populated cities of Great Greece and was known for its luxury, its opulence, and its indolent population. The current town of Sibari no longer holds this prestige and is now home to only 5,000 inhabitants. However, life is still very pleasant in this peaceful setting.
The closest international airport, Lamezia Terme, is located a two hours' drive further south. The closest international airport, Liberia, is 45 miles away, or an hour away by car.
The region of Sibari and its rich ancient past can be discovered by visiting the Archaeological Park of Sibarite. This park brings together the remains of the three sites that were built one after the other: the wealthy Achaean settlement (Sybaris), Thurii, built by Athenians, and Copia, the Latin colony.
The Pollino National Park between Calabria and Basilicata is perfect for hikers of all abilities. It is Italy's largest national park and one of the most beautiful in southern Italy. Things to see: beech trees, huge flower-filled prairies, and a small mountain landscape.
In summer, temperatures inland can climb up to 35°C or 40°C. Try to avoid visiting in July or August; spring, September, or early October are the best times to go. The sea is still warm enough to swim in but the days are no longer as stifling.
Avoid making inappropriate comments concerning religion, as Italians are devout believers. Moreover, do not talk about the Mafia (Ndrangheta in Calabrian), as it is still a sensitive subject.
Surrounded by the sea and covered by mountains, Calabria has developed a great local cuisine; simple but generous and tasty, it is based on both meat and fish. Among the local products are the unbeatable pancetta, excellent olives, cheeses, and good wine, such as Greco di Bianco. There's also 'pitta mpigliata', a shortcrust pastry filled with dried fruit. Something to remember when it comes to sweets: the region is a large producer of bergamot.
To bring back
Calabria is a destination for those who love food: fine white wine and liqueurs, liquorice, bergamot, olives... numerous local products are sure to catch your eye. Exactly what you need to continue your holiday at home!
Italy : Discover the cities