Welcome to yet another blog. This time from the charming region of southern Italy, it’s the perfect escape from the unexpected.
1. Lamezia Terme Nicastro
A province, on the eastern edge of the coastal plain, commonly called Piana di SantÉufemia. It is within the region of Calabria, originally this place dates back to the 9th century Byzantine empire.
The Byzantine monks were the ones who helped the region to develop in agriculture and export of products, they created agreements in those times in the Byzantine cities (Taranto, Naples, Gaeta, Greece and Turkey) that was not the only thing, they also contributed great centers culture and numerous churches. Currently there are only 5 left.
The regional products are: olive groves, vineyards, chestnuts, wheat, oats, citrus fruits, lemon, bergamot, orange, tangerine, pomegranate and the famous clementine (a mix between tangerine and bitter orange)
It is a spectacular place with those typical narrow streets, full of balconies, small hills, a charming baroque style, it could be described as a morning and night city.
Keep in mind: there is no transport service, there is no Uber, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. they have their rest, practically everything is closed, but not everything is lost, since there are some vending machines that work 24 hours a day , there you can stock up on food, drinks, cigarettes,
How to get? If you are at the airport there is a bus stop outside, to the train station the price is 2.50 Euros, from there you can move to your destination. I recommend a one night stay, then transfer by train to other places that are nearby and approximately the cost of train transfers is between 10 to 20 Euros depending on the destination.
2. Reggio de Calabria
Let yourself be carried away by the beauty of this city, walk along the boardwalk, observing the charming panoramic views, especially those of the port are the best.
The gastronomy of Calabria is a mixture of several regions that have intertwined in a very rich, natural and original way. In the kitchen, the essential products of the coast are swordfish, anchovies, cuttlefish, sea bream, octopus, squid and prawns.
Swordfish, the oldest dish of Calabrian cuisine, the ingredients are cheese, ground bread in gratin tomato sauce, Pink octopus with pieces of bergamot peel, parsley and olive oil has a “refreshing spring” flavor, Vegetable risotto , is a dish that is served cold, it has zucchini, tomato, eggplant, corn and olive oil.
If you have a small budget, I recommend the “arancino” they are balls of fried rice, inside they have cheese and you can choose if you want them with meat, vegetables, or seafood, the price is from 1.50 to 3.50 Eur. an option to fit your budget.
Once being in this region Calabria. You cannot leave without trying at least one of the most traditional wines: Ciro Rosso, Zibibbo, Greco de Bianco, Esaro, Savuto, Melissa, Pollino and Donnici.
Such exquisite flavors for all palates. If you like chocolates, chestnuts, pistachios, almonds, creamy ones are definitely for you. But if you prefer fruit flavors more, I recommend the fruit sorbets, they will leave you wanting to eat more than one. My favorites were melon, lemon, bergamot and coconut.
The Riace Bronzes
The Riace Bronzes are the two most famous and mysterious characters for representing the human and the divine. The harmonic and exultant forms of strange beauty, each detail is combined as a whole and each part of the body creates joint movements. It is located in the National Museum of Magna Grecia. The price of the ticket is from 8 to 5 Euro depending on the day you attend. The green pass is requested at the entrance and the mask is mandatory. Archeological Museum
Diocesan Museum “Mons. Aurelius Sorrentino
It is a gallery inside the archiepiscopal palace. It documents the historical religious identity of the ancient episcopal sees of Reggio Calabria and Boa.
Collect some parts of the white marble sculpted fragments of the ancient churches that originally settled in this region from the 17th-19th century. Due to a hurricane demolished the city, these remains were what they were able to recover. This is just the beginning of the journey. Here you will find treasures of the cathedrals with valuable collections, works of art and devotion, furniture and liturgical clothes. It is worth paying attention to the pastoral staff of Antonio de Ricci. You will be surprised!
The ticket price is 3 Euros, hours from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. They have an application that you download from your cell phone, you scan the QR on each museum exhibit, you can listen to the recording in English or Italian. It is located next to the Cathedral of Santa Maria SS.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mary
Entering this church you are immediately attracted by the innumerable details. Placed strategically and at the same time randomly, the baroque style is at its best. Colorful stained glass windows illuminate the church, in subdued colors, blues, beige and white. In the apse of the church, what attracts is the mixture of different colors, creating a harmonious effect.
To one side, is the chapel of the sacrament. You will find the images of the saints, S. Mateo, S. Bonaventura, S. Lucas, S. Tomas, S. Marco, S. Giovanni and S. Pedro, and in the middle an oil painting by Estefana Verace. It is an artistic work of considerable value.
One of the details that caught my attention was that the map of Italy is marked on one of the main doors. Showing the most representative churches of each region of southern Italy. Admission to the church is free Location
Located in the homonymous square, the castle is one of the main historical symbols of the city. It currently houses the observatory of the National Institute of Geophysics. Hours from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. the ticket price is 2 Euros. Location.
It has many tourist attractions, one of the most emblematic streets of the city is Viale San Martino. This is where the shops, bars, restaurants are located.
Messina Cathedral has one of the most valuable art collections. One of the most representative is the “treasure of the Duomo”. The museum is divided into 4 rooms on two floors. Some 400 works are exhibited. They can be dated from the 10th to the 20th century. Open from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (hours may vary due to some planned events) entrance fee 4 Euros
The bell tower of the Messina Cathedral
Here you can admire the largest astronomical clock in the world. You can go up the tower by buying the ticket. You will admire the clockwork system and view of the entire city of Messina. Once you are here, it is worth buying the entrance to the two enclosures to the treasure and the bell tower for the price of 6 Eur.
San Salvatore’s Fortress
Surely you will locate this fort from where you are, this was the defense enclosure of the ancient city. To this day it is a symbol of strength.
Messina Botanical Garden
From the moment you arrive in this city, you will be able to admire the quantity, the exuberant vegetation that exists, the most peculiar are the exotic plants and the combination of tropical, subtropical origin. They represent an important point of reference for the territory, for the dissemination of botany and for the conservation of biodiversity. Admission is free, the hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. If you are interested in these topics, you will surely love it. Botanical Garden
To tour the city in an easy and economical way. You can buy directly on the bus a ticket that costs 2 Euros and lasts 100 minutes. With that you can go up to the highest part, you can I take bus number 28 and you walk all over the place, and you get off at the “museum” station and take the tram right there and enjoy the panorama during all the stops you enjoy from the central street. It’s an option if you don’t have much time. Please note that during the hours of 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. most shops, restaurants and cafes are closed.
How to go to Messina?
You have to take a ferry connection. In my case, I take it from Villa S. Giovanni, there are several maritime service providers, such as RFI, Blue Navy, and others. The price is approximately 2.50 Eur per person. Ferries leave every 25 minutes. The journey is 20 min. Hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. the last one leaves. You can buy the ticket directly at the box office.
4. Tropea, Italy
A picturesque town on the east coast of Calabria in southern Italy. The origin is very special, since it dates back more than three thousand years. It is a magical mixture of the Greek and Roman times, the moldings of the local stone is what makes it an original place and difficult to compare with other destinations. This region is known for its wonderful turquoise blue beaches.
You will not get tired of touring the historic center. It is full of medieval churches that are worth entering each of them, it is practically as if you were in a museum, admiring the art, sculptures and paintings. Let yourself go through the narrow streets of the center that look like labyrinths. Small squares decorated with flowers of many colors, shops, restaurants and viewpoints. This is one of the best panoramas I have had the pleasure of seeing. Everything as a whole has such a natural and harmonious atmosphere that it seems like a movie set.
Unmissable places in Tropea
Vescovado Beach, Isola Bella Marina, Lido di San Leonardo and Convento Beach
View of the Volcanic Archipelago
It is a small island called Estrómbolí that is exactly opposite Tropea. If what you want is to have a day of sun and snorkel, it is a good option. The cost is approximately between 50 and 60 Euros. The visit includes other islands Stromboli, Lipari and Vulcano. The duration of the tour is from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Church of Santa Maria dell’Isola
The view of this beautiful enclosure as a whole will leave you stunned for a few moments and it is the symbol of Tropea. Originally from the middle ages this location was the destination of the monks. There is not much concrete information about the construction, but the hypothesis is that the first settlements were from the Greek hermit monks. In the year 1066 the enclosure and other Norman territories were donated to the Abbey of Montecassino. Over the centuries the monastery was the victim of numerous earthquakes which over time deteriorated its original construction. Inside, only few original elements remain. At the entrance to the enclosure on the roof there are three circular images of the sanctuaries with the dates of the earthquakes that hit the city. Inside, in the part of the altar, is the Holy Family, a relic of the 18th century. At the back is a small garden where you can admire the scenic landscape. The entrance counts 3 Euro per person. Hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Holy Mary Cathedral of Romania Duomo di Tropea
This enclosure was built in the 12th century by the Normans. The building was transformed over time due to earthquakes, although it is still one of the admired historical monuments.
The interior houses the icon of the patron saint of the city, the Virgin of Romania. Different real events have occurred throughout history, one of them was when in 1638 a dream about the earthquake that would hit the city appeared to the bishop. Thanks to that the population was saved. Later, almost a century later, the same thing happened for the second time and the third time was that he saved them from the plague. The day of the procession of the virgin is on September 9, one of the festivities, expected by the locals.
Legend has it that her painting reached the Calabrian coast from an oriental ship that could not leave the port. Until the icon was on solid ground. Pay attention to the wooden crucifix from the middle of the year 400.
Surely your eyes will focus all their attention on the main altar, baroque style, it is from the year 600. It represents the circumcision, another detail of the G. Grimaldi manger. located on the upper part of the main door. It would be impossible to mention all the churches and the details in each of them.
So that your trips are even more enriching. These are the churches, enclosures and museums that you can visit on your visit to Tropea. Chapel of the Nobles, Church of San Francisco de Paola, Church of the Gesu, Villetta del Cannone Square, San Leonardo Cave, Vittorio Veneto Square, Largo Galluppi Viewpoint, Tourist Port Church of Santa Maria de las Nieves known as “la Michelizia”, Former portercole seat, Santa Chiara Palace, Diocesan Museum, Cathedral Church of Maria Santissima of Romania, Church of the Annunciation.
It may not be the richest and most exclusive region. But if what you are looking for is to find a quiet place to disconnect from the world that has good food, a warm climate and a beach. This is your place to visit, just let yourself be carried away by this wonderful region. In general, meal costs are cheap. In terms of accommodation, do not expect hotel chains in this region. The most you will find are some apartments, chalets or houses, families that are rented in arb&b or something very homemade. If it is about museums, the entrances are accessible, I recommend traveling by train, it is very practical and above all the panoramic views leave you speechless. People are super friendly even though they don’t speak other languages. I always find a very good reason to improvise in other languages and why not? Even learn a little Italian. After a few days here, believe me you will improvise more and more.
If you have already been to these cities, let me know, and tell me what was your favorite place?
What’s Green Pass?
It is a certification that you are free of covid. To be able to access all activities or transfers within Italy. This green pass is a requirement. if you are traveling they will ask you for it at the airport.
If you are not a citizen or resident of the European Union and you travel to Italy?
The green pass is proof of vaccination or recovery from your country of origin. In Italy, a basic green pass is a negative result in the last 48 hours.
Complete vaccination against COVID-19 at least 14 days before with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (Pfizer/Comirnaty, Moderna/Spikevax, AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson)
Recovery from COVID-19 and completion of medical isolation in the last 180 days (recovery certificate accompanied by a sworn translation in Italian)
Negative result of a rapid molecular or antigen test performed in the last 48 hours
It is accepted on paper with the QR code, digital or PDF file. Be sure to check all your doubts before traveling on the official page of the Italian government, embassy or consulate in your country of origin, on the page of the Ministry of Health
In which places can you ask for the “gree pass”?
When traveling on long-distance trains, domestic flights, interregional buses, ferries. When entering museums, cultural venues, theaters, cinemas, concerts, stadiums, sporting events, swimming pools, gyms, wellness/spa centers, festivals, conventions, theme parks, cultural centers, bars, restaurants. I should mention that there may be some places where they may not ask for it. I recommend having it is always better. So you can enjoy your stay without any inconvenience.
If you are European or have European residence “the green pass”
It is the equivalent of the “European certificate” EU Certificate
Issued to EU citizens and residents as digital proof that a person has:
COVID-19 vaccine, recovery from COVID-19 and have a negative test result.