This region is quite unknown to the big tourism. That’s why I’ve decided to use the amazing article written by Mary Novakovich few years ago on the Guardian. It does give a sense of what Calabria is about.
The Rocca della Sena Hotel, which is more like a villa overseeing one of the most beautiful Italian coasts, is definitely the one to book for your holiday here.
You’re the first British person I’ve spoken to on this beach in the 40 years I’ve been coming here. How did you find it?” It was a good question, given the huge number of beaches along Calabria’s 500-mile coastline. I was in tiny Caminia on the Ionian coast talking to Nuccio, a Briton whose Calabrian mother lives in nearby Catanzaro Lido. He confirmed what I had already discovered: that the elongated toe of southern Italy is one of the country’s least-known regions among British people.
Italians, on the other hand, spend August swarming around Calabria’s Tyrrhenian and Ionian coasts. Come September, even though schools wouldn’t be opening until the middle of the month, many sunloungers are packed away in defiance of the 28C heat and clear blue sea almost as warm as a bath. But despite the out-of-season atmosphere, late September and October is an excellent time to explore this underrated and often misunderstood region – and savour some of the spiciest cuisine in Italy, thanks to the ubiquitous red peperoncino (chilli).
History hasn’t been particularly kind to Calabria, which the ancient Greeks colonised in eighth century BC. Others followed – Romans, Saracens, Byzantines, Normans, Spanish and French among them – who were rather less benign than the Greeks. Feudalism was officially abolished in 1806, but a form of it lasted until well into the 20th century. Mass emigration has been a problem for generations, and the region is still among the very poorest in Italy.