It is a well-known fact that many people back home covet the expat life because, more often than not, that life is filled with exotic-sounding day trips and easy weekend excursions.
I know, I know … life is hard.
But here in Calabria you can’t hop on a train in the morning and be dining in the Piazza Navona by lunch. It just ain’t happenin’. In fact, there are few places you can get to easily and quickly and cheaply that your stateside friends have even seen on a map.
So what do we do here in Calabria when we are looking for an exciting expat excursion?
Well, like my childhood role model once said, “We don’t go farther than our own backyard.” So, click your heels together three times and come with me, through some of the best Calabrian expat excursions this side of the rainbow.
Photo: Chiesetta di Piedigrotta
1.Chiesetta di Piedigrotta (Pizzo)
Just 30 minutes from my adopted hometown, the Church of Piedigrotta is where a shipwrecked group of 15th century sailors vowed to construct a monument to the Madonna of Piedigrotta if she saved them from the imminent death they faced in a storm.
Today, the church is one of Calabria’s most visited tourist attractions and is the perfect place to visit after a tartufo-break in Pizzo’s piazza.
Photo: Diamond Residence
2. Diamante (Province of Cosenza)
While it is true that most of the Calabrian beach buzz goes to trendy Tropea, nothing compares to a day out in Diamante. This lively fishing village takes its name from the diamond-sparkles that reflect off the water, and a quick bounce around town reveals hand-painted murals, ancient stucco houses and Diamante’s passion … the chili pepper!
3. Aeolian Islands (Sicily)
Ok, so the Isoli Eolie aren’t located *in* Calabria, but they are still in our backyard … you know, if the Tyrrhenian Ocean counts as a backyard.
As I just learned last week, the Aeolian Islands are just a few hours from Vibo Marina-pretty close to Pizzo, actually-and are accessible through a one-day mini-cruise from Vibo to Stromboli and Lipari. But unlike the Chiesetta di Piedigrotta and Diamante, the mini-cruise is seasonal … which means, I better hurry. The last cruise sets sail September 15 each year.
So there you have it! Three must-see places on my list of expat excursions. But what about you? What places top your list?
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