April 18, 2014

Discover Italy’s boot toe: Calabria, a strip of nature between two seas

Tropea, Italy
When it’s time for summer holidays foreigners going to Italy prefer overbooked Amalfi coast, expensive Emerald coast or hot Sicily, but in our blog’s travel we planned a stop also in another destination: undervalued Calabria. Endless beaches of Tyrrhenian and Ionian sea surrounding wild nature, where locals preserve thier magnificent pearls like Tropea and Sila National Park.


Tropea, a puzzle of lanes and piazzas, is famed for its captivating prettiness, its scenic views and gardens, dramatic position and sunsets the colour of amethyst.
The town is defined the Pearl of Tyrrhenian sea, located on the Promontorio di Tropea, on a stretch of the Calabria coast called Coast of Gods, for its scenic wonders. The coast alternates between dramatic cliffs and icing-sugar-soft sandy beaches, all edged by translucent sea. Unsurprisingly, hundreds of Italian holidaymakers descend here in summer. If you hear English being spoken it is probably from Americans visiting relatives: enormous numbers left the region for America in the early 20th century.
Tropea, Italy

Despite the mooted theory that Hercules founded the town, it seems this area has been settled as far back as Neolithic times. Tropea has been occupied by the Arabs, Normans, Swabians, Anjous and Aragonese, as well as attacked by Turkish pirates. Perhaps they were after the town's famous sweet red onions.

Sila National Park

The Sila National Park, established in 1997, reuniting the two cores of the former Park of Calabria, occupies an area of ​​73 thousands hectares in the provinces of Catanzaro, Cosenza and Crotone, in the heart of Calabria. The park is a vast plateau formed by the Sila Grande (to the north, the highest peak is Mount Volpintesta 1,730 meters) and the Sila Piccola (to the south, the highest peak is Mount Gariglione 1,765 meters), covered by vast expanses of impenetrable forests.
Sila National Park, Italy
In the beautiful ancient forest of Fossiata (on the Sila Grande) there is the source of the major rivers of the Plateau: the Cecita, the Lese and the Neto. Many are the water basins in the Park, both natural and artificial: the Lake of Cecita (located at 1,280 meters above sea level is a basin of artificial origin rich in trouts), Ariamacina Lake, Votturino Lake, Arvo Lake, Ampollino Lake.
Here you can practice a multitude of sports: cycling, horse riding or skiing, walking with binoculars and maps in your pocket, with skates at the feet or with feet in the water, defy the thrill of flying or sail with sailing boats the lakes of Sila.

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