I think it is difficult to find an Italian region that does not have a strong culinary tradition and Calabria is no exception. In fact, Calabria is a land of warmth and hospitality, with incomparable natural beauty, known not only for its beautiful coastline and crystalline waters, but also for its vast age-old enogastronomic culture. So, here’s our post of the day: enogastronomic, cultural, artistic and naturalistic itinerary in Calabria. Here at Traveling to Calabria you make the trip of your dreams!!! Are you staying in Calabria? Looking for a hotel? Click here and discover best accommodation options in Calabria!
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In this text we will observe a part of Calabria, opting to take a tour to discover the flavors of the southernmost part of Calabria, the route will start from the city of Crotone and then reach Isola di Capo Rizzuto; then, we will go to the village of Santa Severina and conclude our tour with Ciro Marina. At that point, we started the journey through the magical beauty of the Calabria region. Also read: WHAT ARE THE TEN MUST-SEE PLACES IN CALABRIA?
- The term “Enogastronomy” (you can also find it written as “enogastronomic”) means “gastronomy and wine tourism”. Essentially, it is an Italian word and, also, it is a “new” word and not very common “YET”! Shall We Take A Tour Of Enogastronomy In Calabria?
1) Enogastronomic, cultural, artistic and naturalistic itinerary in Calabria – FIRST DAY
First Day: from Lamezia Terme Airport, rent a car and go to the city of Crotone, where we will stay for two nights. Upon arriving in Crotone and accommodating the luggage at the inn, we will visit the wonderful Calabria: a land of natural beauty unmatched by other Italian regions. The first city that we will visit is Crotone, which has the legacy transmitted by the Greek people and is mixed with nature, creating a unique spectacle. Find out here: What Are The Best Cooking Schools In Calabria?
The Attractions in Crotone
The city of Crotone was founded in the 8th century BC by the Achei and its splendor started in the 5th century. A must see once you’re there, it’s the historic center, located on a hill surrounded by 16th century wall murals. Inside you can see monuments and buildings from around three centuries of history, of the Byzantine, medieval, Renaissance and Baroque types. You can admire, among other things, one of the most important squares in Crotone, as well as a meeting point for locals, the Pythagoras Square, surrounded by arcades and which rise above the Knight’s Hill. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Duomo Square, with the impressive 9th century Cathedral, which was built in stages using the material from the Temple of Hera Lacinia.
You can also visit to the National Museum of Archeology, one of the most important in Calabria for the large number of materials on display and for its historical and artistic value. After taking a break for a light lunch, we continue the visit, near Crotone, and go to the archeological site of Capo Colonna, where you will find the most beautiful and ancient sanctuaries in Ancient Greece.
Let’s visit Capo Colonna!
Capo Colonna is the promontory that determines the western edge of the Gulf of Taranto, where the temple dedicated to Hera Lacinia is located. Of the forty-eight columns, today there we can see only one on the left and is the symbol of the entire area of the city of Crotone. Next to the archaeological site, and directly over the sea, you can see the Church of the Madonna di Capo Colonna, which houses the image of the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus in her arms, a Byzantine representation, whose worship spread mainly from the 16th century. The church is small, bright, beautiful and very well preserved, yet regrettable that, for an archaeological site so rich in history, it is neglected and almost abandoned to itself: walkways that end in front of barricades and signs that should illustrate the characteristics and history of the place, but which are rusty or uprooted.
The place, on the other hand, really is the dream between the sky and the sea. At this point, after so many things seen, try to have a good dinner with typical Crotone cuisine products, simple, but characterized by strong flavors. Vegetables are often used, which grow spontaneously, such as chicory, wild onions, asparagus, and aromatic fennel.
Let’s visit Sardella!
Typical are the production of preserves used to enrich various dishes and then we find the famous Sardella, and the ‘mustica’ (prepared with anchovies and the Sardella is made with hot sauce), or the ‘cavatelli’ (orecchiette pasta with meat sauce and cheese). Among the desserts, however, the ‘pitta nchiusa’ needs special attention: made of puff pastry stuffed with nuts, raisins, candied fruits and cooked, or fried, in olive oil. Cheeses are also very good and appreciated, such as Crotonese (made from sheep and goat milk and characterized by a taste of black pepper) and ‘butirri’ (‘caciocavallo’ with cheese and butter); all this accompanied by a good wine from Ciro lands. After all that: nighty, nighty!
2) Enogastronomic, cultural, artistic and naturalistic itinerary in Calabria – SECOND DAY
After a good breakfast we follow to another wonderful place: Isola Capo Rizzuto and the return, at night, to Crotone. Isola Capo Rizzuto is located in the province of Crotone, and is a fascinating tourist destination not only for the beautiful and clean sea, but also because it is part of a protected marine reserve and has one of the most charming fortress castles, which is located by the sea, called Le Castella. The plural name ‘Le Castella’ (the castles) is due to the existence of some castles that have been mysteriously ‘drawn’ into the sea. This idea is validated by the presence of remains of ancient walls found near the Aragonese castle. Historical sources say Le Castella is an ancient village that dates back to the period of forced stay (204 B.C.) of the famous Carthaginian commander Hannibal.
The AMAZING castle
This majestic castle, located on a small island and connected to the beach by a strip of land, is amazing because it recalls the history and the vicissitudes of conquests and wars that have occurred over the centuries. Isola Capo Rizzuto is a small town, but very beautiful and completely ‘transformed’ in a few hours, during a walking tour on the main street, Via Duomo, in the city center, where there is also a single small church that bears the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After visiting all this, we can stop at a typical restaurant, where we can taste some typical dishes, although it must be said that, being close to the city of Crotone, the dishes and products are almost identical, that is: sardella, preserves, cold cuts and cheeses. After dinner, we return to Crotone to stay overnight and rest.
3) Enogastronomic, cultural, artistic and naturalistic itinerary in Calabria – THIRD DAY
After a good breakfast, we will leave Crotone to visit another charming destination, in the village of Santa Severina and in the evening we will reach Ciro Marina, where you will spend the night in an inn. Then we arrive at this charming medieval village, located on a rocky outcrop in the middle of the valley of the Neto River, we will visit the old town, where you can see the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the majestic Byzantine Fortress Castle. SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE!
A little about Santa Severina
Santa Severina preserves features of its historical past, such as the district of Greece in the east, where the houses are all built on the rocky spur (those of the wealthiest families at the top of the hill, the others carved in the rock), where you can enjoy of the Marquis panorama. The neighborhood of Greece is close to the district of Ludea, inhabited by Jews until its expulsion in 1510. From the 9th century until the 11th century, the city experienced its greatest moment, the Baptistery, the old Cathedral, the Church of Santa Severina and other ruins throughout the area, are the most important examples of the Byzantine period.
The same castle, majestic and imposing, was built in 1076 by the Normans on the ruins of a Byzantine fort. The Cathedral, to the north and the Norman Castle, to the south, are the two most important architectural creations of the ‘Campo’, the name by which the people of Santa Severina call their streets to keep the old memory of its use as a military parade. Visiting these unique and characteristic places is essential, because in these places rich in history, culture, culinary traditions and preserving the intangible values that are necessary to enjoy and learn about all the local flavors and the knowledge that they were able to preserve and provide over time. In the late afternoon, we leave to go to Marina de Ciro, where we will have dinner and spend the night.
4) Enogastronomic, cultural, artistic and naturalistic itinerary in Calabria – FOURTH DAY
After breakfast, we will visit the city of Ciro and then in the afternoon, we will arrive at Lamezia Terme airport. Overlooking the Ionian Sea, it is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Calabria. The urban area of the city has no real historical nucleus, but there is a presence of significant architecture such as the remains of the Torre Nova in Lipuda, Casa Taverna, Palacio Portos, which is home to the Archaeological Museum, Casa Sculco, Casa Saverona and other rural residences surrounded by through vineyards, orchards and olive groves, they build the original characteristic of the Mediterranean garden landscape.
The Punta Alice region, however, is one of the best beaches on this stretch of coastline, with golden, fine sand and a great coastline sloping to the bottom of the sea. Its bay is equipped with a marina for tourism and local fishing. Near Punta Alice, with wide beaches and forests, there are the remains of the Sanctuary of Apollo Aleo in S. Petroso, place of worship of the ancient Greek colony, identified by the archaeologist Paolo Orsi, in 1921. The economy of Marina de Ciro is related, mainly to tourism and agriculture and with the production of DOC Ciro wines, successfully exported to the whole world. A visit to Ciro’s cantinas would be interesting.
The Grapes of the Region
The grapes of the region are the Gaglioppo, the white Greek, Magliocco with characteristics of winemakers, which are expressed in wines of the past, with agricultural methods that harbor a tradition that refers to the Greek colonization of more than two and a half millennial ago. For more than forty years, this wine has become an excellence in all of Calabria worldwide. By jeep or on foot, you can admire the spectacular beauty, whose lines unfold between rural and natural landscapes.
In addition, from August to October, guests can actively participate in the harvest during the visit. In addition to wine you can enjoy along with the cuisine of Ciro, which serves vegetable jams in olive oil, fish, and there are also excellent meats and great local cheeses. It only remains to us to enjoy these flavors with a good lunch, accompanied by a good Ciro wine. At this point, it is late and then we take the car to come back to Lamezia Terme airport, where you will restart your daily life.
A little more about Calabria
The Calabrian foods are sediments and there are traces of the passage of many peoples, such as the Greeks, Romans, Normans, Spanish and French. This is witnessed by the diverse spices, aromas and herbs that have always been generously used by Calabria. Even chili plays an important role in the local cuisine.
The mild climate (thanks to its geographical location in the center of the Mediterranean Sea), its fertile soil and all the crops that strictly follow traditional methods give rise to unique local products of superior quality, guaranteeing memorable tastes and flavors. This territory has several routes available in many parts of Calabria, in particular cultural and gastronomic routes, roads of history and untouched nature, the discovery of ancient, excellent and valuable Calabria handicrafts, food and wine production. Calabria, by the way, called ‘Enotria’ (land of wine), is particularly rich in wines with a typically southern flavor. In fact, there are vineyards that date back to antiquity, when Greek colonists brought vines from their country, starting to produce wine that still comes from that land.
Watch this vídeo and learn more about Calabria’s beauty!
Enogastronomic, Cultural, Artistic And Naturalistic Itinerary In Calabria. Calabria is a wonderful land, discovering it means immersing yourself in its ancient history, made up of illustrious characters, refined culture, folk, religious and gastronomic traditions.
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