Calabria Food Travel


Located in southern Italy in the ‘toe’ of Italy’s boot is Calabria, a sunny and mountainous region with great beaches dotting a coastline hundreds of miles long. Separated from Sicily by the narrow Strait of Messina and bounded by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas, the region enjoys beautiful blue waters and a love for water sports. Capo Vaticano is the most famous sandy beach in the region and considered one of the top one hundred beaches in the world.

On the west coast is Calabria’s largest city, Reggio Calabria. Directly across from Sicily and the port of Messina, the city features the Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia which holds the Riace Bronzes, an archaeological treasure of two full size bronze statues of Greek warriors found in the sea near Racia in 1972, which date to the 5th century BC.

Inland there are a number of national parks where ski resorts, some open year round with artificially produced snow, and other winter sports are enjoyed. In the summer hiking, rafting, and canoeing are popular activities.

The most famous food item identified with Calabria is the Calabrian hot red chili pepper or pepperoncino, which is celebrated every year at the Diamante Pepperoncino food festival. This strong and spicy flavored pepper is found in just about every typical regional dish including Nduja sausage dishes, pasta, and many fish dishes.

The pepper is used with the sweet red onions of Tropea for a tasty contrast of flavors. Calabria also produces olive oil, citron, honey, and the traditional pasta Fileja, a twisted hollow pasta that pairs well with the heavy and spicy sauces.

About ninety percent of the wine produced in Calabria is red. The best known red is Cirò which carries a DOC appellation. Greco di Bianco is a sweet white wine made by drying the grapes prior to pressing. The result of the process is a sweet and strong wine with an alcohol content of at least seventeen percent.

What to Eat in Calabria

Calabria Restaurants & Travel Tips