Food and drink

Food is the cornerstone of Calabrese culture and social life. Italian cuisine is considered the best in the world. Italians eat out on virtually a daily basis and, in this sunny climate, prefer to dine al fresco. Streets are rich with delicious aromas and restaurants, bodegas and street cafes are alive with talk as families relax together over slowly appreciated courses. The ambience is sociable and informal, and the food is universally fresh and enticing.  Calabria is full of restaurants, many of which are family run.  Restaurants can be found in the back streets and alleyways of the villages and towns like Tropea

Southern Italy has a strong regional culinary tradition, quintessentially Italian but with unique influences from its contacts with Africa, Greece and Byzantium. This creates a wide variety of innovative dishes, some simple and wholesome, some spicy and exotic.

The freshest possible ingredients are used and everyone makes their own pasta fresh. The sunshine and fine climate are responsible for cultivation of superb produce like olives, (the brand Bertolli comes from here) citrus fruits, peaches, hazelnuts and of course the famous red onion with each year in August the ’Tropea Red Onion Festival’ is held.  Calabria is famed for having the spiciest food in Italy, the most famous being nduja, a spreadable salami made from sausage meat, salt and lots of red pepper.  Sagna Chine is a delicious lasagne made from artichoke and meatballs and Zuppa di Cipolle is an onion soup with Italian brandy. They also have sun dried vegetables, which can be purchased at very reasonable prices in the local shops.  And no one should miss sampling Pizzo’s famous Tartufo ice cream: chocolate ice cream with a zabaglione centre dusted with cocoa powder – it’s absolutely amazing!

Eating out is so universal, and the region is so affordable, that food of the finest quality is available everywhere in beautiful surroundings at prices that will surprise and delight Northern Europeans.

Very little Calabrian wine ever leaves the region with about sixty thousand acres devoted to grapevines, and Calabria is ranked highly as one of the world’s most famous wine regions The vinestock dates back to ancient Greek times and the varieties Gaglioppo and Greco still dominate. The wineries are small and local. Described since ancient times as “purest nectar” the wines of ciro are justifiably revered. The Rosso Reserva is known worldwide and the rare Greco di Bianco is one of Italy’s finest sweet whites.

It is possible to purchase the local wine at very reasonable prices, both in restaurants and shops.

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What a truly fantastic place. I’d always recommend Marasusa Holiday Village.

Miss J - Edinburgh