A few months ago I wrote about three of my favorite mountain villages in Calabria, but now that the sun is starting to twinkle behind that wide Calabrian sky, it’s time to hit the beach.
With more than 500 miles of coastline, Calabria-bound travelers have plenty of options. Most of Calabria’s beaches are set with a mountainous backdrop of rugged cliffs or tree-lined slopes, but for the purpose of today’s feature, I’m going to stick to the west coast. Here are three of my favorite coastal towns on the Tyrrhenian Coast, so chosen not only for their sandy beaches, but for the energy, excitement and all-around zesty Calabrian spirit they offer visitors.
It’s been a long time since I’ve waxed poetic about Scalea, a fun little seaside town that is located in the province of Cosenza near the Calabria/Basilicata border. This town has everything you could want in a beach town … historic castles … intriguing views … hidden mosaics. They even have award-winning Sicilian granita and one of the best homemade liquor stores in the region.
Falerna is located in the province of Catanzaro between Lamezia Terme and Cosenza and was one of the first seaside towns I fell in love with. It lacks the glamor of Scalea and the popularity of Pizzo (see below) but the lungomare is one of the nicest on the coast, the people are some of the friendliest and most generous in the region and the sunsets rival anything you’ll see in the country.
Oh yes, loyal readers, you’ve heard of Pizzo and some of you might remember that I’m not the only one in love with this coastal town. While it’s true that boys can become men in a place like Pizzo, I love it because it has a nice tourist infrastructure in place, without trying too hard. Its Murat Castle, Chiesetta di Piedigrotta and world-famous gelato don’t hurt, either.
Are you heading to southern Italy or Calabria? If so, click here to see how I can help you plan your trip to any of these villages or you can see Pizzo with us in October during the Calabrian Table Tour.