italy

Italy

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The Calabria Region of Italy can be described as the toe on the boot that is mainland Italy – it is a region of contrasts with breathtaking mountainous peaks giving way to immaculate and untouched sandy beaches, with temperatures dropping below freezing in the winter and regularly topping 40 degrees centigrade in the summer, and where the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west mirrors the Ionian Sea that lies to the east of the region.

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Lesser explored by large numbers of international tourists, Calabria has managed to maintain its Italian charm fully intact and it is the untouched feel of the region that is drawing an increasing number of expatriates to consider living in Calabria in Italy and getting to the heart of all that is best about Italian life.

The relatively fine peninsula that is the Calabria region seems dominated by dramatic and beautiful coastline; the sea that frames much of the region supplies it with the fish for which its cuisine is well renowned and it provides homes for resort towns for the moderate tourism levels that the region welcomes annually – but to focus solely on the seaside and beaches of Calabria would be to miss the diverse charm of Calabria entirely.

As mentioned Calabria is mountainous – there are three distinct ranges which all demonstrate different faces of Italy and which are home to a diverse array of wildlife and flora.
You have the Pollino Mountains in the north of Calabria which act as a natural barrier separating Calabria from the rest of Italy; you have the Sila which is actually a plateau which at its highest point reaches almost 2,000 meters above sea level, here you will find lakes, forests and incredible hiking opportunities.  Finally you have Aspromonte which is framed by the sea on three sides and which protects Calabria to the south and which upon its lower slopes is home to groves, orchards and vineyards.
So as you can tell the natural scenery in Calabria is dramatic and stunning and because there is such a vast choice when it comes to views and elevations, temperatures and natural landscapes it makes deciding where to live in Calabria very difficult!  If you’re thinking of living in Calabria you have to spend significant time exploring the region and finding the location that best fulfils your expectations of a home in Italy.

Tropea

Recently voted Europe’s most beautiful beach location by the Times and the Telegraph the town is famous for its dramatic seaside location, situated on a reef in the Gulf of St. Euphemia.

Legend has it that this town was founded by the Roman god Hercules and is easily one of the prettiest towns in Calabria. One of the many highlights is Santa Maria dell’ Isola a monastic sanctuary surrounded by beautiful gardens, built on rock, offering amazing views surrounded by shimmering turquoise waters and linked only to the mainland by a strip of beautiful white sandy beach.

The town itself displays ancient roots with its exquisite Cathedral in the town centre. Wander through the winding, narrow streets and join the locals for supper in the Piazza. For the adventurous, Tonino’s gelateria serves some intriguing ice-cream varieties including Tropeas infamous red onion or even squid ink.

With a wealth of historic and cultural attractions and an array of some of the finest beaches Italy has to offer. Tropea is waiting to be discovered.

Tropea offers a variety of local bars and restaurants serving exquisite local cuisine. There is also a post office and bank and a good range of local shops to cater for your every requirement.

Tropea is well served by local train and bus links with bus and train stations just 1 mile from the town centre.
Lamezia Terme International Airport is a short 40 minute drive from Tropea.

Vibo Valentia
On a good day from the highest point of Vibo Valentia it is possible to see the Sila Mountains to the north and the summit of Mount Etna on Sicily to the south. Today, it is the provincial capital and full of imposing official buildings, from the Norman castle to numerous renaissance and baroque churches. Its name is a corruption of ‘Veip’, ‘Hipponion’ and ‘Valentia’, all identities given to the area at different times in its history. In the old town which sprawls down the hill you will find Roman ruins and thermal baths. The Norman castle has four towers each built at different times by different rulers. The castle is noted for being the spot where 7 martyrs were slain for having defended the town from the impending take over by the Pignatelli and the Archaeological Museum is housed inside. Not just an important historical and cultural centre, Vibo Valentia has a substantial pretty marina with berths for yachts and tourist trips to the Aeloian Islands. The harbour is a bursting with vibrant cafes, bars and restaurants offering the fabulous local cuisine.

Amantea
Amantea ranks high on the list of Calabria’s prettiest towns. It is also one of the region’s most historically fascinating and unique. Long before the Romans and even the Greeks, Amantea has served as an important historical area. Dozens of Bronze and Iron age artifacts have been discovered in and around the mouth of the river Savuto which opens to the sea, near to Amantea’s port.  In modern day Amantea the city is essentially divided into two sections, the historical center (Paese) of Amantea is located on the hill above the “new “ Marina town where shops, restaurants and piazzas line the main boulevard, with beautiful sandy beaches in front. Amantea is easily accessed from Lamezia Therme International Airport, and has a journey time of approximately 45 minutes, making it ideal for a weekend break.

Cosenza
Cosenza is the largest of Calabria’s provinces with deserted beaches set on a backdrop of the Sila Massif mountain range. Cosenza is often nicknamed ‘Little Switzerland’ its alpine climate creates a playground for camping, hiking, fishing and sailing. Climb up Moutn Botte Donato through Europe’s greatest forest wonderland for epic views of both the Tyrrhenian and Ionian sea’s or visit the church of San Domenco in the Sila mountain’s which has paintings by Calabria’s most famous impressionist artist Umberto Bocciono.

The provincial capital is the city of Cosenza, the largest as you head through northern Calabria. Approaching from the south gives you the most romantic view of the city dominated by the Norman Hohenstaufen castle perched high on the hill. Having been conquered and invaded by Normans, Romans, Greeks and the Spanish its a wonder this historic city still presents some of the most beautiful baroque architecture, as English author George Gissing commented ‘to call it picturesque is to use an inadequate word’. Now, Cosenza has become the most important commercial and agricultural centres of Calabria with the seat of the regions newest university on the outskirts of the city.

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