"Calabrisella mia..." Reggio di Calabria by isolina_it

Reggio di Calabria Travel Guide: 48 reviews and 100 photos

If you're traveling to Sicily, try to schedule at least a day in Calabria on
your way to the ferry. The very tip of the mainland is enchanting territory, as
Homer knew. Although the A3 Autostrada makes driving here much easier than
elsewhere in Calabria, you might want to consider traveling by train so you can
fully enjoy the breathtaking seaside views. Stop for a while in Bagnara, a
quaint fishing village with some very interesting workshops that build and
repair boats. Bagnara is also famous for its fantastic pastries and its women,
who have been the breadwinners for centuries. Local folklore has it that long
ago, since it was illegal to sell salt privately, the women of Bagnara made
their own clandestine salt flats on the sandy coasts, then hid the contraband
merchandise in their voluminous black skirts and sold it to smugglers with whom
they rendezvoused on the beach on moonless nights. Salt is still sold by federal
monopoly in Italy, so you might want to think twice before taking a nocturnal
stroll on the beach in Bagnara!
Just down the road is Scilla, perhaps Calabria's most picturesque fishing
village. If you've read The Odyssey, you'll remember what a terrible time
Ulysses had getting past Scylla and Charybdis, which flank what is now known as
the Straits of Messina. When the atmospheric conditions are right, you can stand
in Marina Grande, gaze out towards Sicily and see the Fata Morgana, an eery
mirage that seems to be the city of Messina reflected (right-side up) in the sea
waters.
What definitely is not a mirage is the delightful neighborhood of Chianalea,
where a narrow row of pastel-hued houses are squeezed between the highway and
the beach. Scilla also has an elegant 17th-century downtown and an imposing
castle, whose ramparts offer a great vantage point for La Chianalea.
From here there are two ways to get to Sicily: by ferry from Villa San Giovanni
or, the longer route, from Reggio Calabria. The road is lined with lush orchards
and comfortable summer homes, and the air is filled with the perfumes of exotic
flowers, sea air and, in late summer, of ripening figs. After this kind of
sensational beauty, there's little reason to recommend a visit to Reggio
Calabria, the provincial capital. The 1908 earthquake Axel Munthe describes in
his Story of San Michele virtually leveled the city, leaving a modern urban
nightmare (complete with Calabrian-style traffic jams). If for some reason you
find yourself here, take a taxi to the Museo Nazionale, where you can view the
famed Bronzes of Riace and many other interesting archeological finds. If you
have an hour or two to spare, consider driving further south along the wonderful
coast, perhaps as far as Bova, where you can turn inland to visit Bova,
Condofuri, Roccaforte del Greco and Roghudi, an enclave of towns where the local
dialect stems directly from ancient Greek.

  • Intro Updated Apr 27, 2004
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