Calabria is one of the most stunning places in Italy. This is a unique world of its own, filled with ancient castles, unforgettable landscapes, and beaches that are among the best in the entire Mediterranean. Surprisingly, it hasn't yet been discovered by the international tourism market and remains almost entirely unspoiled as a result.
Silvana, from Australia but of Italian origin, who is one of our little community on Facebook (click here to visit and join) has just returned from Calabria. She sent us some photos of what awaits the lucky visitor. I'll let her explain a little about the photos first...
"If I can begin with a few shots of a beach located in Calabria called Scilla, that my husband and I just adored whilst travelling through Italy in July/August of this year.
This was my first trip to Italy (second for my husband who backpacked there as a single man) and it was instant love at first sight.
Walking the back streets - view looking towards that beautiful blue water.
Scilla Beach - The clarity of the water is amazing.As you lounge under the warmth of the southern Italian sun, the view of the Ruffo Castle (more on that further down the page) perched on the cliffs creates a picturesque backdrop that's nothing short of cinematic.
Beyond the natural beauty, Scilla's beaches also offer a taste of local life. Lined with charming seafood restaurants and gelaterias, the beachfront promenades become vibrant hubs as the sun sets. Indulge in fresh seafood caught that morning or savor a scoop of traditional Italian gelato while enjoying the sea breeze and the rhythmic melody of the waves.
Watch out for the very large pebbles - our Aussie thongs come in handy here.
I stood on the cliffs of Scilla, Calabria, with the salty sea breeze tousling my hair and the mighty Castello Ruffo unfolding its stories right before my eyes. That castle, let me tell you, wasn't just a piece of history; it was a living, breathing testament to the rugged beauty of Calabria.
As I approached Castello Ruffo, the massive stone walls welcomed me, echoing stories of centuries past. The entrance, that grand arched gateway, beckoned me into a courtyard that seemed to hold secrets whispered by the winds. I wandered through passages and chambers, each bearing witness to the strategic importance and resilience of this fortress. The artifacts and exhibits brought the past to life, letting me imagine the lives of those who called Castello Ruffo home.
But it wasn't just a relic of the past; that castle is alive with the spirit of Calabria. It hosts events, art exhibitions, and performances that make the ancient stones resonate with contemporary energy. It was like stepping into a time capsule that effortlessly blended history and modern vibrancy.
And oh, the views from those turrets! I felt like a medieval guardian, gazing out over the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was a sight that etched itself into my memory, a scene I replayed in my mind long after I left.
Chianalea is a continuation of Scilla; you get there by simply walking around the cliff, upon which stands Castello Ruffo, passing by the little fishing harbor, and then, all of a sudden, you'll find yourself in a maze of tiny streets that all lead down to the sea.
They call Chianalea the Venice of the South, and it is like a mini-Venice in a way. Except that there are far fewer tourists here, the often dirty-looking canals of Venice are replaced with the crystal-clear,cerulean blue seas of the Mediterranean, and to enjoy a delicious seafood lunch won't require a bank loan. It's like a breath of fresh air and a balm for the soul, all in one.
Chianalea is one of those tiny towns in Italy you'll forever carry in your heart. It's the sort of place that you would be crazy not to visit.