If you are looking to pass by Calabria during your Italian experience,
do not expect much of an artistic flavor that has long been stereotyped
on Italian regions and cities. But it doesn't mean that there
isn't anything worth seeing in this mountainous region.
Calabria is a region situated in the southern
part of the Italian peninsula, forming the "toe" part
of the peninsula's boot-shaped geography. Formerly known as
Brutium, the region hosts a scarce population of around 2 million
in a total surface area of 15,080 square kilometers. Calabria is
composed of five provinces, namely Catanzaro, Cosenza, Crotone,
Reggio di Calabria, and Vibo Valentia.
Catanzaro has been the region's capital
since 1970, but the regional parliament is still located in the
former regional capital of Reggio di Calabria. The transfer of regional
capital was the riot-starter in Calabria during the 1970s.
Before going any further, you should be warned
first that the streets and roads of Calabria aren't exactly
the best in Italy and are occasionally plagued by police roadblocks.
Furthermore, the inland areas of Calabria are a breeding ground
for the local mafia called la ndrangheta, whose modus operandi
revolves around kidnapping children of rich locals for a hefty ransom
amount. Although tourists are not the target of this mafia and will
virtually be left unharmed during their stay, it is better to be
prepared for the worst.
If you decide to put Calabria on your adventure
map, some of the sights you will see include cathedrals, medieval
towns, castles, golden wheat fields, clear seas, and archaeological
ruins of the different eras enveloped in Calabrian history (Byzantine,
Greek, Norman, and Roman).
You can enjoy a bevy of food products with a touch
Calabrian cuisine such as cheese, sausage, salami, mushrooms, fish,
figs, and assorted vegetables. Calabria is also known to have a
year-round lineup of colorful festivities around the region, so
be sure not to miss out on at least one.
However, what could put some uniqueness
on your Calabrian experience will definitely be a visit to the local
santina, a psychic who can perform some interesting, and
rather entertaining functions.