calabria

Tropea, Calabria. The 780 km of coastline make Calabria a popular tourist destination in summer. Low industrial development and the lack of large cities mean that there’s only minimal marine pollution. The region is considered by many a natural paradise, which attracts tourists from all over Italy. Foreign tourism is still low, but it’s a growing market. The most popular seaside destinations are Tropea, Capo Vaticano, Pizzo, Scilla, Diamante, Amantea, and Soverato. The interior of Calabria is rich in history, traditions, art, and culture. Fortresses, castles, churches, historic centers, and cemeteries are common elements. Some mountain locations attract tourists even in winter. Sila and Aspromonte are 2 national parks that offer facilities for winter sports, especially in the towns of Camigliatello, Lorica, and Gambarie. 

The cuisine is a typical southern Italian Mediterranean cuisine with a balance between meat dishes (pork, lamb, goat), vegetables (esp eggplant), and fish. Pasta is also important. In contrast to most other Italian regions, Calabrians have traditionally placed an emphasis on the preservation of food, in part due to the climate and potential crop failures. As a result, there is a tradition of packing vegetables and meats in olive oil, making sausages and cold cuts (Sopressata, ‘Nduja), and curing fish, esp. swordfish, sardines and cod. Desserts are typically fried, honey-sweetened pastries or baked biscotti-type treats. Local specialties include Caciocavallo cheese, Cipolla rossa (red onion), Frìttuli and Curcùci (fried pork), Liquorice (liquirizia), Lagane e Cicciari (pasta with chickpeas), Pecorino Crotonese (sheep’s cheese), and Pignolata. Some vineyards have origins dating back to the ancient Greek colonists. Important grape varieties are red Gaglioppo and white Greco. Producers are resurrecting ancient grape varieties which have been around for as long as 3000 years.

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Arcomagno bay - San Nicola Arcella da Stefano Contin
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foto: Stefano Contin www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWfJTX7SHmk

Calabria in southern Italy is located at the “toe” of the boot that forms the Peninsula. Capital is Catanzaro; most populated city is Reggio. Although the official language has been Standard Italian since before unification in 1861, as a consequence of its deep and colorful history, Calabrian dialects have been spoken for centuries. Calabrian dialect is a direct derivative of the Latin language. Occitan, a Romance language spoken in southern France, Italy’s Occitan Valleys, Monaco, and Catalonia’s Val d'Aran, can also be found. French has had an influence on many words. And since Calabria was once ruled by the Spanish, some dialects here exhibit Spanish derivatives as well. 

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Soverato, estate da Maria Luisa
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Questo frammento di spiaggia in versione estiva è dedicato a dariohead83 e a tutti i ragazzi che sognano l'estate soveratese. Spero di non aver acuito troppo la vostra nostalgia. Non peroccupatevi…non manca poi molto.

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A Funny, Rare & Unusual Ancient Greek Coin, Near Mint State!

This silver nomos was struck circa 240-228 BC at Tarentum, Calabria. It shows a young horseman with his head thrown playfully back while riding a leaping horse.  ΖΩΠΥΡΙΩΝ is written below the horse along with a  ΣΩ above a bukranion. The reverse shows Taras astride a dolphin, holding a hippocamp in his extended right hand and a trident in his left. There is a mask of Silenos behind him with a monogram and TAPAΣ is written below.

This coin is very rare and in a near mint state. It is unusual in that the rider’s head is thrown so far back and facing the viewer of the coin. It is a unique, ancient numismatic treasure.

The pasture lands in the vicinity of Tarentum produced a fine breed of horses and the Tarentine were famous for their cavalry and horseback skills which is why horses and riders appear on the coins of Tarentum.

Ancient legends says that Taras, the founder of the first Iapygian settlement on at Tarentum, was miraculously saved from shipwreck by the intervention of his father Poseidon, who sent a dolphin, on whose back he was carried to the shore. This mythology found its way onto Tarentine coinage as well.