Good food, good wine and delicious surprises! Italy is known for its amazing enogastronomy and, today, we are going to learn a little bit more about the enogastronomic from Calabria. Let´s go? Enogastronomic Itinerary in Calabria. Stay with us and make the best of boot country! 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!
I think is hard to find an Italian region that does not have a strong culinary tradition and Calabria is not an 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 a vast wine-growing culture. The tables of Calabria are settled and there are vestiges of the passage of many people as the Greeks, Romans, Normans, Spaniards and French. This is witnessed by the various spices, aromas and herbs always used generously by Calabria. Even chili plays an important role in local cuisine.
Lets go to know our Calabria?
The climate in Calabria…
The mild climate (thanks to its geographical location in the center of the Mediterranean Sea) its fertile soil and all cultures that strictly follow the traditional methods of cultivation, increased the unique local products of superior quality, ensuring tastes and memorable 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 Calabrian crafts, food and wine production. Calabria, by the way, called ‘Enotria’ (land of wine), is particularly rich of typically southerly flavored wines.
In fact, there are available vineyards that refer back to antiquity when the Greek settlers brought vines from their country, beginning to produce the wine that still comes from this land. In this text we will examine a part of Calabria, choosing to take a tour to discover the flavors of the southern part of Calabria; the route will start from the city of Crotone and then will arrive to Isola di Capo Rizzuto, passing to the village Santa Severina and we will finish the tour with Ciro Marina. At that point, we began the journey through the magical beauty of the Calabrian region. Set, ready? Go!
- The term “Enogastronomic” (you can also find written as “enogastronomy”) it means ‘food and wine tourism’. Essentially, it’s an Italian word, enogastronomia and, also, it’s a “new” word and not very common… YET! 😉
1) Enogastronmic 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 two nights.) Arriving in Crotone and accommodating luggage at the hotel, we will visit this wonderful Calabria: a land of natural beauty unparalleled in other Italian regions. The first city we will visit is Crotone, which has the legacy transmitted by the Greek population and is mixed with nature, creating a unique spectacle.
The City of Crotone
The city of Crotone was founded in the 8th century BC by the Achei and its splendor was from the fifth century. Do not miss, when you visit Crotone, its old town, located on a hill surrounded by wall murals from the 16th century. Inside you can see monuments and buildings from about three centuries of history, from the Byzantine, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque styles. You can admire, among other things, one of Crotone’s most important Squares, used as well as a meeting place for citizens, Pythagoras Square, surrounded by arcades and rising above the height of Knight’s Hill. To see, we also have the Piazza del Duomo, with the impressive 9th century Cathedral, which was built in stages using the material of the Temple of Hera Lacinia. You can also visit the National Museum of Archeology, one of the most important in Calabria for the great number of exhibited materials and for its historical and artistic value. After pausing for a light snack, we continue our visit near Crotone and head for the archaeological site of Capo Colonna, one of the most beautiful and ancient sanctuaries of Ancient Greece.
Capo Colonna is the promontory that determines the western edge of the Gulf of Taranto, where is the place where there is temple dedicated to Hera Lacinia. Of the forty-eight columns today there is only one, to the left, and is the symbol of the whole area of the city of Crotone. Next to the archaeological site, and directly on the sea, stands 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 cult spread mainly from the sixteenth century. The church is small, bright, beautiful, and very well preserved, but it is unfortunate; 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 rusted or extirpated.
The place, on the other hand, is a real dream between the sky and the sea. At this point, after so many things, try to have a good dinner with typical Crotone cuisine products, simple but characterized by strong flavors. Frequent is the use of vegetables, which grow spontaneously, such as chicory, wild onions, asparagus and aromatic sweet herb. Typical are the canning production used to enrich various dishes and then there is the famous Sardella, and the ‘mustica’ (prepared with anchovies and Sardella with hot sauce), or the ‘cavatelli’ (Pasta ‘orecchiette’ – in a shape of small ears – with meat sauce and cheese). Among the desserts, however, deserves special attention, the ‘pitta nchiusa’, made of puff pastry stuffed with walnuts, raisins, candied fruits and cooked, or fried, in olive oil. Cheeses are also very good and appreciated, such as Crotonese (made from sheep’s milk and caprine’s milk and characterized by black pepper taste) and ‘butirri’ (the ‘caciocavallo’– stretched curd cheese – with butter); all combined with a good wine from the Cyrus lands. After all that, take a good rest!
2) Enogastronomic Itinerary in Calabria – SECOND DAY
Second Day: (after a good breakfast we head to another wonderful place, the Isola Capo Rizzuto and return at night to Crotone.) Isola Capo Rizzuto is located in the province of Crotone and is a fascinating tourist destination, not just because of 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 were mysteriously “immersed” into the sea. This idea is authenticated by the presence of remains of ancient walls found near the Aragonese Castle. Historical sources say that Le Castella is an ancient village that refers to the period of forced stay (204 BC) of the famous Carthaginian commander Hannibal.
The Majestic Castle
This majestic castle located on a small island and connected to the beach by a strip of land, is shocking because it recalls the history and vicissitudes of conquests and wars that have occurred over the centuries. Isola Capo Rizzuto is a small, but very beautiful town, and completely transformed in a few hours during a walking tour on the main street, the Via Duomo, downtown, where there is also a unique and small church that bears the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After visiting all this, we stop at a typical restaurant where we can taste some typical dishes, although it should be said that, being close to the city of Crotone, the dishes and the products are almost identical, i.e.: sardella, preserves, cold cuts and cheeses. After dinner, we returne to Crotone to sleep.
3) Enogastronomic Itinerary in Calabria – THIRD DAY
Third Day: (After a good breakfast, we leave Crotone to visit another charming destination in the village of Santa Severina and, at night, we will arrive at Ciro Marina, where you will spend the night in a hotel.) Then we arrived at this charming medieval village, nestled in a rocky outcrop in the middle of the Neto River valley, we will visit the ancient city, where you can see the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the majestic Byzantine Fortress Castle.
Santa Severina preserves characteristics 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 richest families on top of the hill, others carved into the rock) where you can enjoy of the panorama of the Marquis. The Greek quarter is close to the Jewish district of Iudea until its expulsion, in 1510. From the 9th to 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 raised 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 maintain the ancient memory of its use as a military parade. Visiting these unique and characteristic places is essential because in those places, rich in history, culture, and culinary traditions, we preserve the intangible values that are required to enjoy and learn about all the local flavors and the knowledge that they have been able to preserve and provide over time.
At the end of the afternoon, we set out to go to the Marina of Ciro, where we will have dinner and spend the night.
4) Enogastronomic Itinerary in Calabria – FOURTH DAY
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 town has no real historical core, but there is significant architecture such as the remains of the new tower in Lipuda, Casa Taverna, Portos’ Palace, which houses the Archaeological Museum, Casa Sculco, Casa Saverona among other rural residences and surrounded by vineyards, orchards and olive groves, build the original landscape of the Mediterranean garden.
The Region of Punta Alice and Sanctuary of Apollo Aleo
The region of Punta Alice, however, is one of the best beaches on this stretch of coastline, with fine golden sand and a large coast sloping to the bottom of the sea. Its bay is equipped with a marina for tourism and for local fishing. Near Punta Alice, with wide beaches and woods, 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 Ciro Marina is related, mainly, to tourism and agriculture and to the production of Ciro DOC wines, successfully exported to the whole world. It would be interesting to visit the Ciro canteens.
The Grapes of the Region
The grapes of the region are the Gaglioppo, the Greek white wine; the Magliocco, with characteristics of viticulture, are expressed in wines of the past, with agricultural methods that harbor a tradition that refers to the Greek colonization of more than two millennia and means ago. For more than forty years, this wine has become an excellence of all Calabria worldwide. By jeep or walking, 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 indulge along with the gastronomy of Ciro, which serves vegetable jams in olive oil, fish and there are still excellent meats and great local cheeses. All you can do is enjoy these flavors with a good lunch, complemented by a good Ciro wine. At this point it is late and then we take the car and we will go to the airport of Lamezia Terme, where you will resume daily life.
A Little more of the Beauties of Calabria
How to get there?
1) How to get in Calabria? BY PLANE
Calabria has four airports: Reggio Calabria Airport, Lamezia Terme Airport, Vibo Valentia Airport (military airport) and Sant’Anna di Crotone Airport.
2) How to get in Calabria? BY TRAIN
The railway infrastructure of Calabria extends for about 850 km of lines and approximately 115 stations.
3) How to get in Calabria? BY CAR
Calabria is accessible by car from any part of Italy, due to the highway network and, specifically, the A3 Salerno – Reggio Calabria motorway, that ends exactly in Calabria.
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Enogastronomic Itinerary in Calabria! Calabria is a wonderful land, discovering it means immersing in its ancient history, made of illustrious characters, refined culture, folk, religious and gastronomic traditions. Just visit it and you will know how fascinating it is.
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