Although most people consider Calabria a warm-weather destination, the lakes, mountains, ruins and medieval villages are actually year-round attractions. In fact, many people travel to Calabria in the winter months to meet their long-lost relatives or to save money on low-season flights and accommodations.
While it is true you won’t need to pack your summer trunks and tiny two-piece the following five things could make the difference between your trip-of-a-lifetime and that miserably cold Calabrian vacation you took one year.
Remember, layering is the key to successful winter dressing in Calabria-think long-sleeve t-shirts, sweaters and vests. And just to get you started on your list, here are five things you should always pack for a Calabria vacation in the winter.
1. Good, warm boots
Despite what you’ll read in some guide books, Calabria is down-right cold in the winter, and you will need a good pair of warm boots. It is likely your journey will entail walking through cobble-stone streets, trekking up steep hills and sloshing through muddy, wet ground.
Carry (or wear) a good pair of warm boots. Your feet will be grateful.
2. Wool socks
Speaking of thankful tootsies, wrap those bad boys up in some wool socks. Be sure to carry an extra pair (or some furry warm slippers) to wear at night. There isn’t a lot of carpet in Calabria and the marble floors are C-O-L-D. If you are planning an extended stay in Calabria, plan to hand-wash your socks every few days and hang them to dry.
Sadly, sunny Calabria turns wet in the winter, so be sure to pack a small umbrella or raincoat you can carry with you on your excursions. This is especially important if you are traveling to less-touristy destinations where shop-keepers won’t run outside to sell umbrellas at the first site of rain.
Contradictory to #3?
You might think so, but the sun often precedes (or follows) the rain in Calabria, so make like a Boy Scout and be prepared.
5. Scarves, hats, gloves
These accessories will diversify your winter wardrobe and keep you warm as you scout out family ancestors and explore Calabria’s castles. Additionally, Catanzaro, Calabria’s capital city, is known for its fierce wind. These accessories will protect you for the elements.
What else do you suggest people pack for winter vacations to southern Italy?
Until next time … Buon Viaggio!