Marasusa is the ideal base for exploring all that Calabria has to offer, some areas that may be of interest are:
Pizzo (30 km from Tropea) is in the northern part of the ‘Coast of the Gods’, together with Tropea, they are the most visited locations in Calabria. It is built on the ruins of Roman Napitia, where St Peter stopped on his journey to Rome. It is a thriving fishing port, with narrow medieval streets, ancient fountains, buildings and churches. Although steeped in history it is a well equipped modern resort, with restaurants, nightlife, watersports and golf. Pizzo is famous for its ‘Spaghetti al Nero’ – spaghetti with cuttlefish ink, also its Tartufo ice cream invented to honour Prince Umberto I visit in 1943, The town square is surrounded by about fifteen of the sixty ice cream shops in Pizzo.
Reggio is the oldest, largest and former capital city of Calabria. Reggio has it all, beautiful Italian architecture, art gallery’s and museums, a famous cathedral, and of course its spectacular shopping, centred around Garibaldi, the main pedestrian high street, showplace for designer Versace who was born here. Garibaldi runs parallel to the newly redesigned promenade which offers elegant seaside restaurants, ice-cream parlours and cafés with views across the bay to the Island of Sicily. It is possible to visit Reggio by train from the station at Parghelia or Tropea.
The Lipari Islands or Aeolian Islands
These seven islands, Lipari, Salina, Stromboli, Vulcano, Filicudi, Alicudi and Panarea are situated just a short boat ride away from the coast of Calabria in the Tyrrhenian sea. Each Island is steeped in history and culture, and mans presence on them dates back 5000 years. Film makers have been using their magnificent scenery since the 1940’s. Evidence of the volcanic history of the Islands can be seen in the hot springs and mud baths on Vulcano, just as in the colourful eruptions on Stromboli, one of the most active volcanos on the planet, which has erupted almost continuously for the last 2000 years, with the lava flowing directly into the sea. The islands can be reached by boat from several ports including Tropea.
Created in the 14th century set in the panoramic hills of Capo Vaticano, Zambrone has the church of San Carlo Borromeo, and in its historic centre there is a big amphitheatre which is used by various groups for local art exhibitions and events.
A small town and fishing centre,1km in land from the sea it is situated on the foot of ‘Monte Poro’ – Mount Poro. The old town was destroyed by an earthquake in 1783, but the ruins of the old village and castle of Ferdinando Bisbal are still visible, and easily accessible. Along the coast there are Imperial Greek and Roman cemeteries, so called the “Grotte delle Fate” Cave of Fairies. “Briatico Vecchia”– old Briatico, and il Mulino della “Rocchetta”– an old mill.
This breathtaking panoramic area of coast is full of small bays and sandy beaches with coves and creeks that are a paradise for sun bathing and snorkelling. The landscape is covered in heathers, wild flowers ,fig trees, rare palms, vineyards and olive trees (some a thousand years old) The prehistoric fern grows in the deep valleys, while goats climb the rocky slopes looking for fragrant herbs. Most beaches are bordered by a few restaurants, shops and hotels.
Serra San Bruno
This is an area situated in the mountain forests of Calabria. People visit the area for its natural beauty and sanctuary as it is considered to be a spiritual area. La Certosa is an area created in the forest on donated land for pilgamage and is the main tourist attraction in the area.
It is also an historic centre rich in local crafts, buildings and famous churches.
Catanzaro a mid-sized city was the capital of Calabria. It was founded by the Byzantines in the 9th Century to control the mountain pass between the Ionian sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea at Calabria’s narrowest point, Its economy is influenced by government employment and spending, and a university. For centuries , it was involved in sophisticated silkworm breeding, and was the lace and linen capital of the world, supplying the Vatican and many other royal courts around the world.
Catanzaro’s ancient centre sits on three hills (345 meters above sea level) divided by a deep valley (Valle Fiumarella) which is spanned by one of the highest steel bridges in Europe. Many wines are made from the grapes grown on the slopes near Catanzaro.
Catanzaro is not the prettiest of Calabrian towns as it was virtually wiped-out by an earthquake in 1783, and shaken badly all over again in 1832. Places to see are the cathedral, castle and many ancient temples of the roman gods.
It is possible to catch a train or drive to Sicily. In 1 1/2 hours you can drive to the coast and then take the short ferry crossing to Messina. From here it isn’t far to the famous town of Taormina and Mout Etna.