is the biggest city of Calabria
situated in the Southern Italy and located on the toe of the Italian peninsula, standing on the east coast of the Strait of Messina
and touching the western slopes of the Aspromonte.
Reggio Calabria is known for its thousands years of history, the old Aragonian Castle
, the myth of Fata Morgana
, the art nouveau buildings and its beautiful botanical gardens, among other things.
The city is the third largest economic center of Southern Italy with increasing prosperity and a center of science and art. Reggio Calabria houses the most important museum, the National Archaeological Museum of Magna Graecia
, preserving the prehistoric, Greek and roman eras. In the latest years some noticeable historic events took place and include the development of the city as an administrative center for the surrounding municipalities in 1927 under Fascism, and later on the destruction of the city by air invasion by the British in the World War II in 1943. The city started complete restoration and started thriving after the end of the World War II.
How to arrive
There are few ways you can travel to Reggio.
First of all the Ravagnese, the airport, operates a large number of flights from main European cities, such Malta and Barcelona.
If you are a more adventurous type of person and you would like to explore other areas while you are already in Italy then you can choose to take the Train. The Central Station which is located in Piazza Garibaldi make direct line connections with Milan, Naples and Rome.
If you rent a car you will need to take the A3 motorway from Salerno down to Reggio Calabria.
Reggio, like Catania has been affected and a large part has been destroyed during several earthquakes over time. But this didn’t stop the city from progressing. The city is gaining its main income from agriculture and exportation of products such as perfumes, cigarettes and fruits.
An impressive monument standing until today is the Castle
. It was originally built in the 540 AD, reconstructed by the Aragons in 1459, but unfortunately a large part broken down in the 19th century. Today the Castle houses a large number of art exhibitions each year.
Following the line of the monuments we will find the largest religious building in Calabria. This is the Cathedral of Reggio
. Walking down the Santo Spirito area we can see the Church of Saint Gaetano Catanoso
, the first Saint from Calabria. The sanctuary houses his tomb as well as some other museum exhibits.
Walking along the city’s streets we can observe the well preserved ancient walls, the remains and fine examples of the original Greek walls that date back to the 4th century BC and moving on to the other archeological sites we can explore the Necropolis and the Greek Mansion that will impress us for sure.
If the history and the art are not enough, then the exotic beaches and the mountains, accompanied by the excellent climate will offer several activities for any visitor, anytime of the year, summer or winter.
Explore the alleys and learn the history hidden behind the ancient walls, information that inspires only movies and fairytales and historic events and that only happen once in a lifetime and took place in this city.
Be sure to enter the small shops while walking down the streets and pickup any traditional handcrafts that you may find, valuable or not, as these will be something that will remind you the trip you had to this beautiful city of Reggio Calibria. Then, end the day and enjoy a relaxing conversation or plan the next day, while sitting at the outdoor local cafes or restaurants.
Finally Reggio Calabria promises to offer the best local cuisine, inspired by ancient recipes that took years to perfecto and genuine dishes that will satisfy even the strictest and demanding person. The main course dishes include meat, even though fish is also often used, and the chefs are focusing mainly on pork and lamb. Try the salami and the excellent meat dishes and then try out the perfect desserts with the sweet aroma and taste of the ice cream.
What to see:
Visit the Pinacoteca Comunale
, the Art gallery
with the works by Antonello da Messina, Mattia Preti, Luca Giordano and Giuseppe Benessai and then go to the Piccolo Museo San Paolo
, a museum rich from medieval Byzantine and Russian art.
Have a look at the Riace bronzes
, one of the most important museums and relax in the beautiful botanical gardens with their astonishing view of the sea.
Several archeological excavations can be notices within the city’s area and its surroundings and the Aspromonte National Park
is packed of great historical, artistic, and archaeological arts, a true sense of history.
Finally the Church of Jesus and Maria
, that was rebuilt after the earthquake in 1908 and the Church of S. Maria delle Grazie or also called Madonna delle Grazie o Nostra Signora delle Grazie, which houses a monument from the 17th century will need to be in your ‘religion monuments’ list.
The city park, also called La Villa Comunale that was served as a botanical garden should be some places for resting.
The tour should end with a walk at the Garibaldi Square, the Independence square with the artistic fountain and the Piazza Italia.
The local food and the traditional cuisine is one of the best in Italy. The local food focuses mainly on pork and lamb and you should try the excellent desserts that are made of ice cream.
If you go to the beach you will need a pass to use the showers and the change-rooms.
Use the bus to explore the city.
Every September the festival of the Madonna Della Consolazione takes place through the streets of Reggio.