People say that Italy looks like a high-heel boot. If this is so, then Calabria is its tip - to be used to kick someone. Maybe that's why the people of Calabria are as tough as they are! Yes, that's the stereotype: Calabrians are said to be as cool and macho as they are warm and charming.
This Southern Italian region has a population of two million, and it is almost as big as Sicily. The ancient city of Catanzaro is its capital. It was founded by Greek colonists more than two millennia ago - and all that long history can still be felt. People often call it the city of the three V's, which breaks down like this: One is for San Vitaliano, the patron saint, one means velvet (which has been produced in Catanzaro for eternities), and the third one stands for vento - which is Italian for "wind". In Catanzaro, which lies right on the coast, you can indeed count on a permanent sea breeze of a certain strength - in that hot weather, that is just what you need!
Due to its shape, Calabria has a very long coastline - but what really makes this region are its numerous mountains. It is perhaps surprising that a region blessed with such an abundance of natural beauty has not yet turned into a touristic hot spot of world proportions. But this could still happen. Certainly, this region holds a lot of promise and potential. Its natural beauty is only one of its sides - then there is also man-made beauty: In the field of culture, Calabria is among the finest that Italy has to offer. That's no wonder in a region with such an old civilization, so there is a multitude of ancient and not-so ancient monuments, from Greek ones, over buildings left by the Romans, then a huge variety of Catholic sites. What's so good about Calabria is that all this aesthetic attraction is mostly unspoilt by modern-age tastelessness.