Calabria is a beautiful and historical land full of warmth and hospitality for all tourists, guests, and visitors. The Ionian coast, famous for its gorgeous coastline and crystal blue sea, has a deep history background with an immense cultural and artistic heritage; beautiful medieval villages, built around castles, estates, churches, and monasteries; and simple, genuine, natural culinary traditions of farmers and seafarers.
The “Riviera e Borghi degli Angeli” is the area that offers all of this, located in the section on the Ionian Coast from the tail of the Gulf of Squillace, starting within the province of Catanzaro and ending into first towns in province of Reggio Calabria. It is characterized by its “four dimensions”: sea and beaches; mountains with natural parks, lakes, and rivers; rolling hills with medieval villages; and ancient olive groves . . . a multifaceted territory that offers tourists the chance to see and experience its natural beauty and landscape, a richness that extends beyond the beautiful Ionian Sea, capped off by its mountains, the Calabrian Serre, with its nature trails and hiking, waterfalls, and breathtaking views; Regional Natural Park of Serre; Carthusian monastery of Serra San Bruno; several archaeological sites; and adventure and recreational parks for children and families alike. The area also offers the opportunity to enjoy a holiday with fun thanks to a rich calendar of musical, sporting, cultural, and religious events located in the various villages.
THE COAST of the “Riviera and Borghi degli Angeli” is characterized by many kilometers of white, sandy, pebbly, free beaches, where even in August you can easily find a space to set up your umbrella. At the same time, the coast is served by many full-service beach resorts along with restaurants on the beach for all tastes: a perfect spot, far from the bustle of mass tourism typical of other areas, to enjoy the sun and sea with the option of entertainment, sports, fun, and festivals.
The beaches are a part of Calabria’s beautiful coastline, which measures over 150 kilometers from the promontory of Copanello-Caminia (Catanzaro) and extends, starting from the Gulf of Squillace and including the renowned Soverato, up to Cape Spartivento (in the province of Reggio Calabria) at the extreme southern tip of the peninsula.
The “Riviera e Borghi degli Angeli” is also the site of several nature studies by researchers studying the nesting habits of the sea turtle “caretta-caretta,” which still finds plenty of spots to grow and develop, given their historical nesting along the sandy shores. In addition, every year, we also see dozens of small groups of dolphins, turtles, and various fish and seahorses (ippocampi), a testament to the pristine beauty of the coast and its fantastic sea.
The INLAND of the “Riviera e Borghi degli Angeli” extends to the Serre and Aspromonte Mountains and is characterized by various settlements, towns, and villages often dating back to the Middle Ages, or arising from the various groups (Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Normans, Arabs, Angevins, Spanish, French), who have lived in this area of southern Italy as a result of various rulers over the centuries. All have left their cultural heritage and history, visible in the architecture, Mediterranean traditions of Calabria, peasant rituals, and religious holidays, and also in the products and dishes that retain qualities from past times.
Each group has left, in a different way, an indelible mark on the cousine and Calabrian food, which today is valued all over the world. As evidence of this, there are various spices and many flavors present in Calabrian food: oregano, wild fennel, mint, peperoncino (hot pepper), cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc.
Calabria’s food heritage, therefore, is a trip across centuries, with clear examples that explain how to enhance the many culinary traditions and use the various food resources produced from the land to satisfy, above all, family and personal needs. Calabrian cuisine is a multifaceted culinary tradition—with a particularly impressive collection of desserts—with rituals for dish preparation and conservation of local products, in most cases related to ancient religious, rural, and sea cultures.
THE TOURISTIC SEASON of “Riviera e Borghi degli Angeli” presents many festivals, cultural and musical events, recalling folk traditions. In particular, in all the towns in the area you can enjoy magical moments of extraordinary religious celebrations. It all begins in spring with Easter Holy Week and continues with the sweet and slow summer events that are able to offer tourists and visitors an opportunity to experience life and knowledge of the area with its customs and traditions while participating in celebrations that appeal to all tastes: from gastronomic events for the most discerning, to the nightlife on the Ionian coast for young people; form the opportunity to slowly immerse oneself in nature for those seeking relaxation and idleness and finally to the wide range of sporting activities along the coast and the sea.. there are many options:
- Kite surfing between Badolato and Santa Caterina Ionio, thanks to the “hot wind” that goes from 12 to 19 knots and a flat sea, which is safe for beginners or experts;
- Sport fishing or boating on the Ionian Sea; diving among shipwrecks that date back to before World War II (thanks to diving center equipped with experts);
- Cycling and biking trails along the coast; group and individual sports in appropriate, fully equipped centers;
- Hiking among the hills and river banks;
- Enjoying the opportunity to take part in unique experiences like harvesting olives and grapes.