Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

22 Things To Know Before You Go To Calabria


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Karia Furlong


Are you planning a trip to Calabria? This southern region of Italy is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. From its stunning coastline to its picturesque hilltop villages, Calabria offers a unique and authentic Italian experience. But before you pack your bags and head off to this beautiful destination, there are a few things you should know. In this article, we will explore 22 essential tips to help you make the most of your visit to Calabria. From understanding the local culture and cuisine to navigating transportation and exploring the must-visit attractions, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and uncover the secrets of Calabria together!

Immerse Yourself in Ancient History.

Calabria is home to a rich historical heritage, with archaeological sites like the ancient Greek city of Locri Epizephiri and the imposing castle of Cosenza that showcase the region’s fascinating past.

Explore the Stunning Coastline.

Calabria boasts over 500 miles of breathtaking coastline, dotted with pristine beaches, hidden coves, and crystal-clear waters. Don’t miss a visit to Tropea, known for its dramatic cliffs and turquoise sea.

Indulge in Authentic Calabrian Cuisine.

Calabria is a food lover’s paradise, famous for its rich flavors and traditional dishes. Sample regional specialties like ‘nduja, a spicy spreadable salami, and enjoy the fresh catch of the day at a local seafood restaurant.

Discover the Charm of Small Villages.

Calabria is dotted with charming villages that offer a glimpse into the region’s rural life. Explore towns like Pizzo Calabro, with its colorful narrow streets and gelato shops, or visit Gerace, known for its medieval architecture.

Don’t Miss the Sila National Park.

The Sila National Park is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, offering stunning landscapes, hiking trails, and opportunities for wildlife spotting. Experience the beauty of the preserved forest and the tranquility of its mountain lakes.

Attend Local Festivals.

Calabria is known for its vibrant festivals, where you can witness traditional music, dancing, and colorful processions. Don’t miss the Tarantella Festival in Caulonia or the Easter Processions in Reggio Calabria.

Visit the Ancient Riace Bronzes.

The Riace Bronzes, two ancient Greek statues discovered off the coast of Riace, are a must-see when visiting Calabria. Admire the remarkable craftsmanship and learn about their fascinating history.

Explore the Magnificent Aspromonte National Park.

Aspromonte National Park offers breathtaking landscapes, with its rugged mountains, dense forests, and cascading waterfalls. Embark on a hiking adventure or simply enjoy the tranquility of nature.

Sample Calabrian Wines.

Calabria is a wine region with a long history of winemaking. Visit local vineyards and taste the region’s unique varietals, such as Gaglioppo, a red wine known for its robust flavor.

Experience Calabrian Hospitality.

The people of Calabria are known for their warm hospitality and welcoming nature. Immerse yourself in the local culture, interact with the locals, and embrace the sense of community.

Learn Some Italian Phrases.

While English is widely spoken in tourist areas, learning a few basic Italian phrases will go a long way in connecting with the locals and experiencing the authentic charm of Calabria.

Explore the Magna Graecia Archaeological Park.

Located in Reggio Calabria, the Magna Graecia Archaeological Park is home to a collection of ancient Greek artifacts, including the acclaimed Bronzes of Riace. Step back in time and uncover the region’s Greek roots.

Take a Dip in the Ionian Sea.

The Ionian Sea bathes the eastern coast of Calabria, offering pristine waters and idyllic beaches. Spend a day basking in the sun and taking refreshing swims in the crystal-clear sea.

Discover the Legendary Swordfish of Reggio Calabria.

Reggio Calabria is renowned for its swordfish, a staple of the local cuisine. Indulge in a delicious swordfish dish and savor the flavors of the sea.

Explore the Charming Town of Stilo.

Stilo is a picturesque town nestled among the Calabrian hills, famous for its Byzantine church, La Cattolica. Marvel at the intricate architecture and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Visit the Castle of Santa Severina.

The Castle of Santa Severina, perched on a rocky hilltop, offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Explore its medieval walls, towers, and courtyards, and step back in time to the era of knights and princesses.

Sample the Delightful Tropea Red Onions.

Tropea is known for its sweet and flavorful red onions, which are a source of local pride. Try dishes featuring these unique onions, such as savory jams or caramelized onion tarts.

Don’t Forget to Try Traditional Pastries.

Calabria is famous for its mouthwatering pastries, such as cannoli, sfogliatelle, and pignolata. Treat yourself to these sweet delights and indulge in the region’s culinary traditions.

Visit the Iconic Pollino National Park.

As the largest national park in Italy, Pollino National Park offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities. Hike through its rugged mountains, admire its diverse flora and fauna, and be captivated by its beauty.

Discover the Mysteries of the Caves of Zungri.

The Caves of Zungri are an underground network of caverns carved by nature over centuries. Explore these fascinating caves and learn about the ancient civilization that once occupied them.

Experience the Calabrian Carnival.

The Carnival of Calabria is a colorful and lively event, filled with parades, masquerades, and traditional dances. Join in the festivities and immerse yourself in the joyous atmosphere.

Take a Boat Trip to the Aeolian Islands.

Located off the coast of Calabria, the Aeolian Islands are a volcanic archipelago renowned for their breathtaking beauty. Set sail for a day trip and explore the stunning landscapes and charming villages of these islands.


In conclusion, Calabria is a hidden gem in Italy that offers a unique and authentic travel experience. From its stunning beaches to its picturesque towns, this region has something for everyone. By keeping these 22 things in mind before you go, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your trip to Calabria. Whether you’re indulging in the local cuisine, exploring ancient ruins, or simply soaking in the breathtaking landscapes, you’re bound to create unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, venture off the beaten path, and prepare to be enchanted by the beauty and charm of Calabria. You won’t be disappointed!


1. What is the best time to visit Calabria?

The best time to visit Calabria is during the spring and early summer months (April to June) or the early autumn months (September to October). The weather is pleasant, and the crowds are thinner compared to the peak summer season.

2. Is it necessary to rent a car in Calabria?

While it is not necessary to rent a car, having one will give you greater flexibility and freedom to explore the region at your own pace. Public transportation options are limited in some areas, so having a car is recommended.

3. Are there any specific safety concerns in Calabria?

Calabria, like any other travel destination, has its own set of safety concerns. It is advisable to take precautions like avoiding isolated areas at night, keeping an eye on your belongings, and being aware of your surroundings.

4. What are some must-try dishes in Calabria?

Calabria is known for its delicious cuisine. Some must-try dishes include ‘nduja, a spicy spreadable salami, pasta with sardines, swordfish involtini, and gelato di bergamotto, a gelato made from the region’s famous bergamot fruit.

5. Are there any unique festivals or events in Calabria?

Calabria hosts a number of unique festivals and events throughout the year. The Tarantella Festival in August, the Procession of Good Friday in Tropea, and the Grape Festival in Cirò Marina are just a few examples of the vibrant cultural celebrations you can experience.

6. Can I visit the Aeolian Islands from Calabria?

Yes, you can easily visit the Aeolian Islands from Calabria. There are ferry services that operate from the ports of Reggio Calabria and Villa San Giovanni, taking you to beautiful islands like Stromboli, Lipari, and Vulcano.