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.