Calabria, Italy: travel guide and places to visit

Photo of Calabria (Calabria region)

Calabria Hotels

Where
Arrive
Leave

Visit Calabria

Much of the centre of Calabria is a region of mountains, particularly towards the north around the Pollino mountains and the Aspromonte mountains to the south, separated by the extensive forested La Sila range that occupies much of central Calabria.

Calabria - a guide and places to visit

For a summary of the most popular sights in the region see also Calabria places to visit.

The Calabria region occupies the long peninsula that forms the southern tip of mainland Italy (the 'toe' on a map). Sicily is just a few kilometres to the west across the Strait of Messina and the Basilicata region is to the north.

The region consistes of five separate provinces: Catanzaro (central), Cosenza (north), Crotone (east), Reggio di Calabria (south-west) and Vibo Valentia (south).

Calabria - an overview

Village in Calabria

The Ionian Sea to the east and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west both have beautiful blue seas and combine sandy beaches with stretches of cliffs and rocky coastline.

It is these two characteristics - the coast and the mountain areas - that are the main attractions for tourists visiting Calabria.

Selected highlights

Not the most visited part of Italy, Calabria is in many places an undeveloped and unspoiled region that will appeal to those seaching for somewhere unspoiled and traditional to visit in in Italy. Note that although the largest town in Calabria is Reggio, the capital city of the region is Catanzaro.

There are a good number of places of interest to visit in Calabria. Start a visit perhaps at Reggio di Calabria which combines interesting architectural highlights with attractive beaches (be sure to visit the important Greek statues - the Riace Bronzes - at the national museum here in Reggio).

Cathedral in Reggio, Calabria

Scilla, Tropea and Nicotera are attractive towns and resorts on the Tyrrhenian coast to the north of Reggio with the resort of Tropea in particular dramatically located on cliffs above the sea and very popular with visitors. Also close to Tropea is the historical town at Vibo Valentia.

South of Tropea the coast towards Nicotera is very scenic, likewise heading north from here along the Tyrrhenian coastline towards Briatico. Other highlights on this section of coast include Capo Vaticano, Pizzo and (much further north) Paola.

To the east of this part of Calabria the pilgrimage centre of Stilo, nearby Stignano, and the quiet town of Gerace (along with the ancient Greek settlement at nearby Locri) should attract your attention.

Also on the Ionian coast visit Squillace which is both a resort and a historic town and the beaches and villages around Soverato.

The town of Nocera Terinese and the nearby archaeological site at Temesa are also worth the detour.

A little way further north we also recommend a visit to the large historic town of Cosenza, the hill town of Caccuri, the town of Castiglione Cosentino and the historic centre of Rende. Continuing further northwards visit the hill village at Rossano, then on the coast north of Rossano see the remains of the ancient city of Sybaris. Close to Sybaris you should also visit the village at Cassano allo Ionio.

Heading inland in northern Calabria the historic centres of Morano Calabro and Castrovillari merit a visit, as does the town and castle at Corigliano, the medieval centre of Cariati and the pretty village of Scala Coeli. Continue to the western side of the peninsula to the small town of Santa Maria del Cedro and the ancient city of Laos.

If you are exploring the east coast of Calabria we also suggest a visit to Crotone, ancient home to Pythagoras, which has several notable historic monuments and also the Archaeological Park and Museum of Capo Colonna

Calabria highlights - a photo gallery

  • calabria-beach-scilla
  • calabria-sunset-stromboli
  • gerace
  • morano-calabro
  • pentedattilo
  • san-donato-di-ninea
  • scilla
  • sila-natural-park
  • tropea

Most Beautiful Villages - Calabria

The following Italian towns and villages in Calabria are listed among the 'most beautiful villages in Italy': Altomonte, Bova, Chianalea, Fiumefreddo Bruzio, Gerace, Morano Calabro, Santa Severina, Stilo

Orange Flag Tourism towns in Calabria

The town of Morano Calabro in Calabria is listed among the 'Orange flag towns in Italy' (a national tourist award)

See also:

Map of Calabria and places to visit

Places to visit near Calabria

Cassano allo Ionio

Cassano allo Ionio

Best known as a seaside resort, Cassano allo Ionio also has an interesting historic centre to explore

Cassano allo Ionio

Castiglione Cosentino

Castiglione Cosentino

Despite several earthquakes the hill town of Castiglione Cosentino has several interesting churches to visit

Castiglione Cosentino

Castrovillari

Castrovillari

The Sanctuary and the Castle are among the sites of interest in Castrovillari, and the nearby Pollino National Park

Castrovillari

Crotone

Crotone

Both medieval Crotone and the ancient city of Kroton which stood here before it have left sites of interest

Crotone

Gerace

Gerace

Gerace is a very scenic village with a cathedral and castle close to the seaside resort of Locri

Gerace

Locri

Locri

Best known as a seaside resort Locri is also the location of an important archaeological site

Locri

Nocera Terinese

Nocera Terinese

As well as Nocera Terinese itself you can also visit the ancient site of the Archaeological Park of Temesa

Nocera Terinese

Reggio Calabria

Reggio Calabria

Reggio Calabria, in southern Italy, has a fascinating architectural heritage and Archaeological Museum to visit

Reggio Calabria

Rende

Rende

It is the castle and the medieval centre of Rende that attract visitors to this Calabrian town

Rende

Santa Maria del Cedro

Santa Maria del Cedro

Both the town itself and the Archaeological Park of Laos are highlights when you visit Santa Maria del Cedro

Santa Maria del Cedro

Sybaris

Sybaris

Enjoy the ancient ruins at Sybaris then explore the medieval town of Terranova di Sibari

Sybaris

Vibo Valentia

Vibo Valentia

The historical centre of Vibo Valentia is a popular trip with visitors to the resort of Tropea

Vibo Valentia