39 Calabria, Italy Facts: History, Food, Culture And More | Kidadl


39 Calabria, Italy Facts: History, Food, Culture And More

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Calabria, Italy is a largely unexplored region that has lots to offer.

It is one of Western Europe's poorest regions and became a part of Italy in the year 1860. The region is known for its cuisine, peppers, and coastlines!

Calabria is one of the least visited parts of Southern Italy and hence, there is no reason why this place shouldn't be on your list if you have been looking for off-beat vacation destinations. This Italian region has not been commercialized to a great extent due to the fact that people don't visit Calabria as much as they do places like the Amalfi Coast. While we can hardly deny the fact that the Amalfi Coast and the other places like it have a lot to offer, the Calabria region will not disappoint you either. Whether we talk of the delicious pizzas that are cooked in a wood-fired oven or the coastal areas which are a sheer joy to spend an afternoon at, Calabria, Italy, truly is one of the places in the world wherein you will find something that your heart calls out to. There are several places where you can stay. If you want to take some time away from the busy world and spend some time in peace, you can stay in some of the small Calabrian towns where families run bed and breakfasts.

In addition to the region's proximity to the Ionian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea which undoubtedly gives so many possibilities to explore, this Italian region has some of the oldest records of human existence in Italy. This has also led to many Italian-Americans finding their roots in Calabria. If you are also an Italian-American, you may have to ask someone to do some footwork there in order to find your 'famiglia' as well! Keep reading to know more!

Facts About Calabria, Italy

Italy sure has a lot to offer and this is one of the reasons why people swarm all over Italy during the tourist seasons. However, there are some places in the Italian peninsula that remain largely unexplored. In essence, those are the places that you should explore first in order to experience the Italian way of life before it has been infiltrated with the need to cater to commercial needs. Calabria is one of those places which offer the authentic Italian experience, and if you happen to know a little Italian, people will be more than happy to open their hearts and homes to you. Why is that great you ask? Well, let's just say that the homemade wine in any Calabrian town will blow your mind!

  • Calabria is a very narrow peninsula that spans around 154 mi (248 km) from north to south.
  • There are coastal areas as well as mountain areas in this region which means that you can do as your heart desires.
  • You may just as well spend half of your vacations on the snowy mountain areas and the other half along the coasts of the Tyrrhenian sea.
  • The mountain ranges along the coastline inhibit the chances of Calabrians living on seafood to some extent.
  • However, this does not mean that you will not get some shrimps, or crabs on your plate during your stay at this glorious place.
  • In the province named Vibo Valentia, there is the Capo Vaticano beach which actually boasts of one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
  • To add to its charm, not many people visit Calabria during the months of April to May and even the weather is quite pleasant during this time.
  • Essentially, during these times of the year, you will have the beach all to yourself and will be able to have a drink in peace!
  • Calabria consists of the provinces of Catanzaro, Cosenza, Reggio di Calabria, Vibo Valentia and Crotone.
  • The capital province is Catanzaro.
 a very narrow peninsula

Calabria's History

Calabria, like all places on Earth which are known to have had human existence for a long time, is full of mysteries and possibilities!

  • Calabria has a rich history of being an important part of the Greek Empire.
  • Hence, this region has many sculptures, sites of archaeological importance as well artifacts that you can explore.
  • The National Archaeological Museum in Reggio Calabria hosts some of the most fascinating bronze, Greek sculptures which you can take a look at.
  • Calabria also boasts of having a sixth-century Byzantine manuscript.
  • In this manuscript, you will be able to see Greek letters printed on a purple-colored piece of parchment paper.
  • Calabria is also home to an authentic Greek community, which means that the cuisine is highly developed and has all the tastes that you would expect from a place that has connections with the Byzantine Greek Empire!
  • An ethnic community called Grecanici has even been able to keep some of their original Greek dialect and heritage alive through all these years, which is fascinating, to say the least!

Calabria's Food And Culture

Calabrian cuisine is something that keeps tourists coming back for more. The use of fresh ingredients and the fact that there are very few formal restaurant chains in the region is one of the factors which has made sure that the people do not alter their food according to the tourists' taste. As a result, you are sure to get an authentic Calabrian experience each time you eat at a joint!

  • Calabrian cuisine utilizes all the fresh fruits and vegetables that grow aplenty in the region.
  • This would include citrus fruits such as lemons and olives.
  • While the lemons that grow here wouldn't possibly match with the taste of the lemons from the Amalfi Coast, you will not be disappointed.
  • The horn-shaped Calabrian pepper named peperoncino is also very famous.
  • The fame of this pepper is such that people consider it to be the unofficial symbol of the region.
  • When in this region of Southern Italy, make sure to embrace the spice.
  • If you manage to push through the initial kick that the pepper has, you are sure to travel back home with jars full of dried peperoncino!
  • Italians are known for their pizza but do not be surprised if the pizza menu does not come through at eating joints when you want some lunch.
  • They tend to only fire up the ovens in the night so you might have to wait for a bit but that does not mean that the pizza will not be absolutely mouthwatering!
  • Calabrian culture upholds staying true to one's roots and hence, you may also see people who will not be willing to talk in English if they do not see you trying to learn or at least speak in broken bits of their own language!

Calabria's Facts For Tourists

If we have convinced you to visit this magical place in Southern Italy, let us also tell you what you can do in Calabria apart from eating pizza!

  • Sila, in Central Calabria, is great if you want to experience some Greek culture.
  • Catanzaro, which is the regional capital, is the place where most of the tourist activity is concentrated due to its central location.
  • Calabria is called the 'toe' of Italy's 'boot' since it separates the Ionian sea from the Tyrrhenian Sea.
  • The National Museum in Reggio Calabria is one of the places that you must visit.
  • The Sila National Park is also great if you want to see some stunning landscapes.
  • The Pollino National Park is also great to visit and in fact, it is the largest national park in the country!
  • Unlike places like Rome, Calabria will not allow you to get away with not carrying cash.
  • Most places are old-fashioned and won't accept cards so it's best to carry some cash!
  • In fact, if you happen to go to Calabria during the peak seasons such as July, August, and September, there are high chances that the ATMs will run out of cash!
  • It is also important to rent a car during your time in Calabria.
  • Public transport does not always work and they are limited to places such as Catanzaro.
  • If you want to visit the places that tourists hardly go to, you might need to rent a car.
  • Make sure to ask for a car with an automated gear shift if you are not comfortable with gear sticks!
Written By
Shirin Biswas

<p>With a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, Shirin has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing. She has a wealth of experience as an English teacher, editor, and writer, having previously worked at Quizzy and Big Books Publishing. Her expertise lies in editing study guides for children and creating engaging content.</p>

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