DISCOVERY OF SOUTHERN CALABRIA TOUR

10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS

Small group of up to 15 travelers.


Join us on an exploratory* in-depth Discovery of Southern Calabria Tour. This is the first Goinitaly small group tour to the undiscovered beautiful region of Calabria, the toe of Italy’s boot.

We will discover places that were once part of the Grand Tour from the 16th to 19th centuries. Artists, painters, musicians, writers, and aristocrats traveled on foot, horse, and carriage to explore the Calabrian region of Italy.

Calabria has an incredibly long coastline of beaches and rocky cliffs with access to the clear water of the Mediterranean, Tyrrhenian, and Ionian Seas. However, as magnificent as the Calabrian coast may be, the interior of the region is equally beautiful and wild, with mountains and hills rolling down right up to the sea. In just a few kilometers, the traveler can move from a hot and sunny seaside landscape to mountain scenery with beautiful forests and pastures.

The history of Calabria started eleven thousand years ago. The territory that now forms Calabria was inhabitated by a huge number of ancient people: Ausonians, Oenotrians, Lucanians, Bruzians, Greeks and Romans, Byzantines and Normans, followed by Angevins and Aragonese after the rise of the Kingdom of Naples.

*Please note, this is an exploratory tour. Although we have carried out research trips here, this is the first time we are taking a group here. Any feedback will be appreciated after this tour to help us decide whether it should be a tour we start to run regularly or if we need to make changes to it.

DAY 1: REGGIO CALABRIA

Benvenuti in Calabria! Welcome to Calabria!

Today at 6pm there will be a briefing at the lobby of our hotel in Reggio Calabria. Time to submit travel insurance details, introduce ourselves, and go through the itinerary.

Afterward, we meet for an included group dinner at a local restaurant and get acquainted with our fellow travelers.

Included Meal: Dinner

DAY 2: PENTEDATTILO - CASIGNANA - SIDERNO

After breakfast, we load our bags and board our minibus, Hekate.

On the way out from Reggio Calabria, we stop at a family farm where they specialize in the production of Bergamot: a fragrant citrus fruit almost as big as an orange but similar in color to a lime. Its essential oil is extracted from the rind and used in perfume, scented soaps, and herbal tea.

Drive to the ghost town of Pentedattilo, an abandoned ancient village perched on the cliffs of Mount Calvary, from where you can see Mount Etna and Sicily. Time to explore the village before having lunch at the home of Rossella, the only inhabitant of Pentedattilo.

After lunch, we drive to one of the most important and least known archaeological sites in Calabria, the Roman Villa of Casignana. Discovered in 1963, this is the largest complex of floor mosaics from the Roman period in Southern Italy after the Sicilian floor mosaics of Piazza Armerina.

We then reach Siderno where we will spend the night.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner

DAY 3: LOCRI - GERACE - MAMMOLA - R. JONICA

After breakfast, we check out of our hotel and drive to the Ancient Greek archaeological site of Locri. We then have a short drive to reach the incredibly well-preserved medieval town of Gerace, also known as the Town of 100 Churches! In Gerace we will admire 360° hilltop views of the surrounding countryside, explore its narrow streets, visit the main Norman Cathedral in the town square, discover smaller churches with detailed marble decorations, and walk in the shade of beautiful palaces.

Lunch at a trattoria before a short drive to Mammola where we visit the amazing open-air art museum of MUSABA, created by a local artist and his Dutch wife. Here you can admire the Sistine Chapel of Calabria, which occupies a former 10th-century Church of Santa Barbara.

Drive to Roccella Jonica for the night.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4: STILO - BADOLATO - V. VALENTIA - TROPEA

Today we have a full program. We leave Roccella Jonica after breakfast and in less than an hour we reach Stilo to visit the 9th-century Byzantine chapel, Cattolica of Stilo. Located at the foot of Mount Consolino overlooking the countryside, the chapel has the remains of ancient frescoes of the Madonna, Christ, and St. Nicholas.

We then drive along the coastal road on our way to the picturesque medieval village of Badolato. There we will explore its narrow alleyways, architecture, and meet locals in the square, before enjoying a lunch paired with wine at a nearby vineyard.

Afterward, we drive through the scenic Serre Mountains, reaching an altitude over 1100 meters (3600 feet) above sea level, to reach the town of Vibo Valentia in time to visit its 11th-century Norman-Swabian Castle and museum.

After our visit, we have another beautiful drive descending down to the sea resort town of Tropea where we will spend the next three nights.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine

DAY 5: AEOLIAN ISLANDS BOAT TOUR

Tropea is located just in front of the Aeolian Islands with a view of the active volcano of Stromboli. Today we’re going on a boat tour to spot the islands of Stromboli, Lipari and Vulcano.

Stromboli is known as the lighthouse of the Mediterranean, due to its perpetual activity. Discover Lipari, the largest island with its historical port district and the 16th-century castle complex towering over the main town. Vulcano is the natural spa island, with bubbling mud pits and fizzy waters where you have time to relax and swim.

This is a full-day tour and you can have lunch at a cafe or restaurant on one of the islands.

Included Meal: Breakfast

DAY 6: TROPEA - FREE DAY

Today is a free day for optional activities.

You can chill out on the beach, visit the Sanctuary of Saint Mary dell’ Isola, shop for souvenirs, or choose from a number of optional acitivities:

  • Wine tasting
  • Cooking class
  • Visit an ancient olive mill in a nearby village
  • Visit a modern olive mill in Mafrica
  • Visit the village of Zungri and its stone houses

Your tour leader will provide details and can assist you with booking your optional activities.

Included Meal: Breakfast

DAY 7: PIZZO - LE CASTELLA - CROTONE

After breakfast, we say arrivederci to Tropea and continue our exploration of Calabria.

Short drive to the enchanting seaside town of Pizzo. According to legend, Pizzo was built on the ruins of the ancient town of Napitia founded by Phoenicians who had escaped the destruction of Troy and settled here. Pizzo is famous in the area for its Tartufo, a large ball of ice cream filled with molten chocolate. We can choose one of the cafes in the square to try this local delicacy.

We then drive for 90 minutes to reach the touristy coastal town of Le Castella. We visit a 15th-century Aragonese castle built on an island linked to the coast only by a small sandy strip of land.

In the late afternoon we arrive in Crotone, one of the most important centers of Magna Graecia. We check in to our hotel where we will stay for the next two nights.

Group dinner.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8: CAPO COLONNA - WINE TASTING

In the morning we have a short drive to Capo Colonna. We visit the Archaeological Museum and the sacred ruins of the Sanctuary dedicated to the goddesses Hera and Persephone.

Lunch at a vineyard to enjoy a local meal paired with wines.

Free afternoon and evening to furthur explore the old town of Crotone. The old town features a maze of narrow streets, massive noble palaces, the cathedral, as well as the central Pythagoras square, the contact point between the “old” and “new” town.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine

DAY 9: SANTA SEVERINA - SAN GIOVANNI IN FIORE

After breakfast, we drive for less than an hour to reach the village of Santa Severina, one of the most beautiful ancient villages of Italy.

We start with a guided visit to the impressive 11th-century Carafa Castle and its Torture Museum. We then visit the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, the Cathedral and its Byzantine Baptistery.

Lunch at an osteria before a scenic drive through the Sila Mountain range to reach our accommodation in San Giovanni in Fiore.

Group dinner.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner 

DAY 10: GIANTS OF SILA - COSENZA

After breakfast, we leave San Giovanni in Fiore to reach the hamlet of Croce di Magara. This ancient woodland features more than 60 Calabrian pine trees and sycamore trees planted in the 17th century by the Mollo family. The highlight of this area are the “Giants of Sila”: 350-year-old trees that are 45 meters (148 feet) in height with trunks 2 meters (over 6 feet) wide.

Scenic short drive to reach the city of Cosenza and check in to our hotel. After settling in, we walk to the city center for a cooking class to give you a real taste of Calabrian food. We then feast on the fruits of our labor in an included lunch.

Free afternoon and evening to relax or further explore Cosenza on your own.

People who are finishing today can book the room for the night and in the morning transfer to the airport of Lamezia Terme.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • LUXURY MINI-COACH TRANSPORTATION

  • EXPERIENCED GOINITALY DRIVER / TOUR LEADER

  • 9 NIGHTS ACCOMMODATION IN 4-STAR HOTELS

  • 9 BREAKFASTS, 6 LUNCHES, 4 DINNERS

  • ENTRANCE FEES TO INCLUDED SITES

  • WINE TASTING

  • Cooking Class

Tour price

2,200

Per Person (Minimum 6 People)

150

Single Supplement

Dates 2020

November

3

Available

COPYRIGHT © 2019 - GO IN ITALY LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED