La Bella Calabria
Calabria is the most southern region of the Italian mainland with over 700 km of coastline. It is located between the Amalfi Coast, and Basilicata in the North, and Sicily in the South. Calabria is surrounded by two seas, the Tyrrhenian Sea in the West and the Ionian Sea in the East. One of the most picturesque part of it's coastline is called "Costa degli Dei", the "Coast of Gods", with some steep rocks, white sandy beaches and a crystal clear turquoise sea. This scenic area starts shortly after the international airport of Lamezia, and includes the towns of Pizzo Calabro, Tropea, and Capo Vaticano.
Calabria is rich in history dating back many thousands of years BC. There are traces of Greek, Arab, Roman, Goths, Norman, Swabian, French and Spanish cultural heritage, as well as culinary influences. There are beautiful churches, abandoned monasteries, pirate watch towers and castles to discover.
Despite Calabria having suffered under many different conquerors and exploiting feudal systems in the past, the young Calabrese today - who are not emigrating to the North or abroad in search for work - are optimistic and proud of their region.
The Ciro wines from the Ionian Coast, originating from Greek grapes, are well accompanying the authentic taste of the rustic and spicy cucina calabrese. Fruit and vegetables grown under the Calabrian sun are tasting just amazing. The region's olive oil, famous for its rich taste, is supplied all over Italy and abroad. In fact, Calabria is developing into a global player for export of agricultural products.
Calabria, still touristically undeveloped and undiscovered, seems now the fastest growing region for tourism in Italy.
Pizzo (VV) is the ideal base for day trips along the coast and into the hinterland.
How to reach Calabria:
BY AIR: Lamezia Terme (SUF) international airport is connected with around 40 destinations in 12 countries via various airlines, mainly from spring to autumn. (See list of international direct flights to Lamezia.) There are as well daily flights from Milan and Rome all year round. It is about one hour flight from Rome to Lamezia. Another airport in Calabria is at the tip of the toe in Reggio Calabria.
BY TRAIN: You can reach Calabria from Northern Italy and from Sicily by train. There are regional trains reaching passing the villages on the Tyrrhenian coast. And there is the newer "Tyrrhenian line" that is used by fast trains (Le Frecce) and Intercity trains from Naples, Rome, Florence, Turin, Milan, Venice and other Northern cities, as well as from towns in Calabria and Sicily. It is about a 2 1/2 h train ride from Salerno (Amalfi) to Pizzo - or 3 1/2 h from Catania in Sicily. In Messina the state run trains ship wagons by ferry to Villa San Giovanni in Calabria (no extra ticket needed). For more information, visit TrenItalia’s website and Straits of Messina.
BY CAR: From the North, take the highway A2 "Autostrada del Mediterraneo" in direction Reggio Calabria (until 2017 it was the autostrada A3 running between Salerno and Reggio Calabria). This highway is part of the European E45. Coming from Sicily by car you need to take the ferry boat between Messina in Sicily and Villa San Giovanni, in Calabria. It takes just 30 minutes by boat and ferries run about 18 times a day (see more info about the Strait of Messina).
More about Calabria
- Pizzo Calabro on youtube - Selected videos
- Introduction to Pizzo
- Things to do in Pizzo (a brief post)
- Visiting Tropea
- Le Castella and Ciro (KR)
- Day trip to Scilla
- Day trip to the Eolian Islands
- Day trip to Badolato
- A Fish from Seminara
- Arriving in Lamezia
- A Market Day
- Spring: Pizzo in April
- September: Summer is over for Italians
- Winter in Calabria
- Skiing in Calabria
- Ski Etna (Sicily)
- Best time to visit Calabria (to do)
Artists in Calabria:
- Ceramic art from Seminara
- Ceramic artist Antonio Montesanti
- Antonio La Gamba
- Visual artist and photographer Francesca Procopio
- Calabria through the eye of a photographer
- My Calabria Favorites on flickr
Distances between Pizzo Calabro (VV) in Calabria and :
- Lamezia International Airport (26 km, 30 min)
- Vibo Marina port (4 km, 7 min)
- Vibo Valentia (12 km, 20 min)
- Briatico, Punto Safo Beach (about 15 km, 20 min)
- Tropea (28 km, 32 min) - also by local train from Pizzo
- Capo Vaticano (about 40 km, 50 min)
- Serra San Bruno (42 km, 45 min)
- Catanzaro (via A3, SS280 60 km, 50 min)
- Seminara (via A3 65 km, 50 min)
- Scilla (via A3 83 km, 60 min) - also by train from "Vibo - Pizzo"
- Soverato (via SS182 65 km, 1h15)
- Reggio Calabria airport (via A3, 104 km, 1h15 or by train from "Vibo Valentia - Pizzo")
- Stilo (via SS110, 79 km, 1.5 h min)
- Gerace (SS18, SS11 90 km, 1.5 h)
- Le Castella (via Catanzaro, 104 km, 1.5 h)
- Badolato (via Catanzaro, Soverato, 99 km, 1.5 h)
- Gambarie, Aspromonte National Park (A3/E45, 96 km, 1.5 h) <-- skiing! *
- Camigliatello Silano, Sila National Park (A3/E45, 123 km, 1.5 h) <-- skiing!*
- Ciro (via Catanzaro, Le Castella, 164 km, 2.5 h)
- Messina, Sicily (via A3 and ferry 105 km, about 2h)
- Taormina and Etna, Sicily (via A3 and ferry about 155 km, 2.5 - 3 h)
- Catania, Sicily airport (via A3/E45, A18/E45, ferry, 196 km, about 3 - 3.5 h)
- Stromboli, Aeolian Islands, Sicily (40 nautical miles from Pizzo, up to 12h round-trip by ferry, see Day Trips)
- Amalfi, Positano (via A3 365 km, about 4h drive, or by fast train from/to Salerno 2.5 h only plus ferry)
- Napoli airport (via A3 405 km, about 4h by car)
- Roma airport (1h flight to "Lamezia SUF", 5h by fast train to "Vibo Valentia - Pizzo", 600 km or 6h drive by car to Pizzo)
Please note: There are no direct flights between Napoli and Lamezia and between Catania and Lamezia as these are short distances. Therefore you need to take a train or rent a car. Cars can be rented at the airports. Trains can be booked online. Also check the fast trains "Le Frecce" with www.trenitalia.com. Please also note that in 2018 the autostrada A3 "Salerno-Reggio Calabria" was renamed into A2 "Autostrada del Mediterraneo". This autostrada A2 remains part of the European E45.
- Direct flights to International Airport Lamezia Terme (SUF)
- Introduction to Calabrian History (compiled by Michele Fabio from the blog 'Bleeding Espresso')
- Cool travel guide writer Lara Dunston about Calabria
- Made in Calabria
- Discovering Calabria along the autostrada del mediterraneo A2
- About Pizzo - the best base to explore Calabria!
Weather in Calabria:
Calabria has a mild to a relatively cool (due to winds) and wet winter season - and sometime it snows in the mountains! There are two small ski resorts in the national parks where you could run down ski slopes with breathtaking sea views. Those who can afford central heating, chimneys or pellet ovens often still use them until mid April. Although we have already seen 15 degree Celsius on Christmas Day, please do not underestimate the temperature in Calabria between November and April. Calabria is cooler than Sicily and it might rain more during winter. But therefore it's greener! Of course March brings back sunny spring days and temperature reaches again over 20 degree Celsius which seduces brave locals along with some nordic tourists to take their first baths in the sea - but personally we prefer swimming between June and October.