Italy
Calabria

Here you’ll find travel reports about Calabria. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

27 travelers at this place:

  • Day428

    Castella

    June 17 in Italy

    Hello everyone, it’s been a few days I know so to help you catch up, after two nights anchored in Taormina bay we headed east across the Messina Straits to mainland Italy. The first few hours were lovely, by that obviously I mean calm, and with dolphins but then the wind picked up and for some reason decided to go against the tide making for a choppy/sloppy ride, also for a couple of hours before the calm turned not long before we anchored up offshore from a little town called Africa Nuovo. Sadly we didn’t realise just how sloppy the sea had been until I went into our cabin after we had anchored up to find that our bed and the clothes and books alongside it, were soaked! Everything up on deck to start the drying process but we knew that realistically we were going to have to rinse everything to try to get the salt out so that was the mornings first job. But before that we had to clear all the accumulated junk from the fore cabin so we had somewhere to sleep.
    So after the washing everything, including the mattress, Photo 1, we headed along the coast stopping off at Siderno to do some shopping at a hyper market as getting low on GF(gluten free) bread and hoped here would be big enough to have some, it did but only white much to John’s disappointment. Fortunately we had moved everything inside before setting off on our shopping expedition as the heavens opened, it was a lot more than the 3mm/3hr the forecast gave, more like 3mm/30mins if not more we were soaked. However once the sun came out it didn’t take long to dry ourselves off, my shoes took a little longer. Then towards Roccella Ionica but very little shelter so we go into the marina. At least this means we can charge everything up, do some washing, use the hoover and do some cooking which is exactly what I did the next day. I felt like a domestic goddess having produced GF rolls, GF loaf, GF carrot cake and Panna cotta. The good weather also meant the mattress dried out, thank goodness as this meant we could sleep under the mozzy net again.
    Today we headed to Castella again with the intention of anchoring, and we did try but the 25mph winds were making things a bit uncomfortable and aren’t supposed to ease till 2am so we headed into the marina, on a wing and a pray as no VHF or telephone number luckily there was a marinero there to help us in and we are settled. Took a quick walk round town so here is a photo of the Castle after which the town is named and the sunset. Other photos are of the coastline we have passed
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  • Day264

    Bagnara Calabra, Goodbye Sicily!

    March 17, 2017 in Italy

    We set off at 10am, picked up some replacement parts for our ageing tandem, some groceries and drove for several hours to get to Porto di Tremestieri, from where we would catch the ferry back to the Italian mainland.

    Arriving at the port we were separated from the lorries and told to wait in a corner with some other smaller vehicles. Three ferries departed, but we were still told to wait. We sat there frustrated while others that had been told to stay back sneeked on against the remonstrations of the official. Vicky eventually asked when we'd go on the ship and was told there were different companies operating. The fourth (Blu Line) ferry was ours, but when asked for our ticket we were told we should have had it stamped. Almost before we had time to think 'oh no', the officer whistled another employee over and instructed him to 'take this lady's ticket to the office and get it stamped!'. The employee zipped off on hos moped, beeping his horn to cries of 'veloce, veloce!' (fast, fast!). Sure enough, they got it sorted and we were juddering accross the Straits of Messina within 10 minutes, the boat hull flexing with the strain.

    Church bells rang out a tune as the sun set over the Sicilian mountains, including the still smouldering Mount Etna. We felt sad to be leaving this amazing island. It isn't perfect by a long way, but we'd been lucky enough to see so many amazing natural sights and meet some wonderfully warm and generous people, that it will be remembered fondly!

    As a final farewell, Sicily delivered a sensational treat, Will spotted some water exploding in the distance. We knew it was a tumultuous stretch of sea, so we thought it was waves crashing together until we looked closer and saw dolphins leaping high out of the sea before smashing back in with a splash! They played for a good ten minutes and may have continued for longer, but the ferry put distance between the group and us until we lost sight of them.

    There was still an hour's difficult drive to do when we got off the ferry and we were both tired when we pulled up at the Bagnara Calabra free stopover, a car park beside a seafront artifical football field. We were beginning to relax after tea when there was a knock on the door. The person knocking asked if we were planning to stay the night, then told us it would be €15! We showed him the book that said it was a free stopover, but he insisted it was €15. There was water and an emptying point that the book hadn't mentioned so we suppose the charge may have come about when they installed these facilities. We handed over the money and he promised that the boat currently blocking access to the emptying point would be moved by the morning, but surprise surprise it wasn't.

    Driving out of town the following morning, the route took us up the hill into a narrow grid of streets. A car was parked very awkwardly at the entrance to the crossroads at the end of one street. Vicky was able to squeeze past it, but the road ahead was a 'no entry' and when she started to turn, she caught the front wing of the car with the side of the van! Will managed to get the van out of the street by doing a three point turn while Vicky passed her details to some residents who had seen it happen and were sympathetic. Suffice to say we were happy to get out of this particular town and on the road!
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  • Day265

    After 50km of tricky driving, Will pulled up at a
    car park at the cape of Vaticano on the Tropea Promontory, a bulge on Italy's west coast. We'd read it was a beautiful area and it didn't let us down. A pale sandy crescent cradled a bay of emerald and blue water as it curved round to a rocky cliff, covered in a smorgasbord of green vegetation. There was a campsite adjacent to the car park and as it had a view and access to the beach, we decided to stay. We needed to take the canoe off in order to fit under the frame covering the camping area that we presume is covered with shades in the summer.

    Vicky spent the afternoon chilling outside the van in the warm sunshine with Poppy while Will went snorkeling in the bay. By the time he'd finished his second session, the facilities, including a set of beautifully tiled clothes washing sinks, had been cleaned up for us and he was able to have a solar shower outdoors.

    We had decided to stay 3 nights but there were no shops nearby and we were running low on fruit. We needn't have worried because the next morning the campsite owner (who later wandered over in his dressing gown) had been picking and had left a dozen oranges and three lemons on our picnic table!

    We spent the next few days snorkeling and swimming in the exceptionally clear sea. Sunlight shone down through the water, the waves causing shadows to ripple over the sand, us and the rocks. Despite seeing an incredible number of fish, Will's efforts to catch them were, as ever, unsuccessful. He did however successfully replace the handlebars, brakes and gears on our ageing tandem. It had been getting difficult to ride and we had considered buying a new one, but the frame is still good and with the advantage of spare time we decided Will would have a go at renovating it instead. Vicky spent time cleaning and removing the scratches on the van's bumper from our two recent collisions.

    Poppy loved laying outside in the warmth of the sun, but at an elderly 14 years, even this tires her and needs to be done in moderation. She took a bad turn on our final evening, something went wrong with her back legs and they became shaky and weak, making it very difficult to stand or walk. By morning she was beginning to adapt to the change but was still falling frequently. We really hope she improves with rest.

    Quattro Scogli was the sort of place we could happily stay for weeks and we very much enjoyed our time there. The owner was nowhere to be seen on our last morning, so when we had packed up and done all we needed to, we left the €45 payment in a little handmade earthenware pot on the table outside his caravan.
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  • Day233

    Lago Passante, Sila Mountains

    February 14, 2017 in Italy

    It was Valentines Day and we were hoping for a nice place to stay. Given the difficulty we'd had finding an overnight spot the previous evening, we kept our fingers tightly crossed.

    It was overcast when we left Aprigliano and took the route through the Apennines towards the east coast of Italy's toe. We climbed into the clouds and as we wound back and forth around the sharp bends, we caught glimpses of picturesque valleys spread out far below us.

    We began to encounter snow laying at the sides of the road and it started to fall lightly. It was a captivating sight when we emerged above the cloud layer to a vibrant blue sky with glistening white snow coating the undulating landscape crisscrossed by animal tracks.

    Passing a frozen lake we rose to 1475m above sea level before we began descending. Luck was on our side regarding the overnight spot, as we came across a layby alongside a reservoir. The view through the pine trees was lovely and the spot was peaceful, if a little chilly at 2°C overnight.

    Will cooked us a nice meal and we had a film night with chocolates and bubbly- perfect!
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  • Day236

    Lido La Cabana

    February 17, 2017 in Italy

    Working our way further down the Ionian coast of Calabria, we drove down a cliffside road that looked on the map like one of those squiggles you make when trying to get a biro to work! At the bottom, we found a spot to park by the sea in Lido La Cabana. It was a sandy bay about 1km long and protected by an outcrop of rock to the southern side.

    The weather was warm and so Will took the canoe out for a fish in the evening. There were also two snorkelers who we realised, when they emerged from the water, had been 'fishing' with spear guns! They proceeded to casually clean their weapons standing on the pavement in front of the van.

    There weren't many people using the beach so we left the canoe out overnight and went out for an exploratory paddle the next day. A fisher had stationed himself where Will had launched the previous day and we didn't want to disturb him so we carried the canoe up the beach to a part that had a steeper shelf. Launching went ok and we paddled north to find some caves. Unfortunately the swell had got up and we'd come oit of the protected part of the bay into whitecaps so we didn't want to risk getting too close to the cave entrance and capsizing. Turning around we paddled round an outcrop of rock at the southern end of the bay, where cormorants had perched and left smelly white guano! Returning to shore we aligned ourselves and paddled hard for the beach. Unfortunately when the nose hit sand, a wave lifted the back up, leaving the middle hanging in thin air and inevitability tipping us in! The water was warm enough not to shock us but we had such trouble getting the water filled canoe out of the waves that the fisherman came over and helped us haul it up! He was really lovely, checking we were ok and saying that if we needed anything, he was there.

    Vicky is still needing to take Poppy out to the toilet at all hours but it had the advantage that she was treated to a stunning sunrise over the water the following morning.
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  • Day268

    Tropea & Pizzo

    March 21, 2017 in Italy

    After leaving Quattro Scogli (four rocks) campsite we travelled to the town of Tropea. Beautiful sandy beaches and the church of Santa Maria, perched on top of a tall, rocky island, defined the lower part of the settlement. We worked up an appetite climbing the steps to the upper town and found a small restaurant specialising in seafood for lunch.

    After a quick dip in the sea for Will, we attempted to leave the town via the one way system. It was quick to take us up the hill, but we were forced to change route due to a low bridge... only to find the secondary route had a bridge signed as only 2.8m. We drove towards the it, looking for a turning point and beginning to wonder how we were supposed to get out, when we realised it looked a lot higher than 2.8m. Vicky leapt out and stood in the middle of the road on the other side of the bridge to give advance warning if Will was going to hit the arch with our 3.6m van. Taking the centre path, no warning was necessary and we were free of the town!

    We tried to make some headway up north after this, having lingered longer than planned down south. It had been a hot day and by 5pm there was a strong haze of evaporation above the sea. The first stopover we tried had shut down and been fenced off, but luckily our book had details of a car park suitable for vans in a town called Pizzo, just 20km up the coast. We found a spot next to some grass between the car park for the supermarket and that of the bank. It wasn't the most picturesque or tranquil of locations but we were tired from the difficult drive and very glad to pull up, close the curtains and settle in for the evening.
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  • Day269

    Lido Alexander, Cirella

    March 22, 2017 in Italy

    Reaching the SS18 coast road we left behind most of the steep, narrow, winding country roads and the awkward town streets that didn't have enough room for a van and car to pass. Although the SS18 was still difficult at times, there were a succession of viaducts and tunnels making driving easier and we were able to keep up a decent speed and make good progress.

    We were glad of this because we didn't feel like hanging around, especially in the province of Catanzaro. A blue smog hung over the mountains and caused us to keep the air vents closed. Once again we saw prostitutes standing waiting for their next punter at the roadside, whoever they may be. We hadn't seen them in the previous province and we stopped seeing them when we passed into Consenza, although they still hung heavy on our minds. We kept thinking how much of it was down to politics and how the authorities allowed these women to be blatantly farmed for profit. Not only was it distressing for the prostitutes but it affected the way every woman walking on the road was viewed.

    Our stopover, a grass and gravel campsite with direct access to a shingle beach offered some reprieve when we arrived just after 1pm. It was one of many, clustered on the flat plain between the mountains and the Tyrrhenian sea, where the ground didn't look stable enough to support the low rise apartment blocks lining the other side of the road. With the element of competition, it only charged a very reasonable €8 per night. The day was overcast so we were able to sit out comfortably and admire the ruined stone settlement and castle on top of an inland hill. A sprinkler kept the plants, including palm and eucalyptus trees, healthy and these in turn supported a variety of small birds, whose chirping added to the relaxing ambience. In late afternoon a fruit and veg van pulled in and we bought a few small punnets of strawberries for desert. We watched a glorious sun set over the sea through the palm trees and felt very lucky to be there.

    After buying some bread buns from the delivery van that dropped by the next morning, we continued on our course. The tourist season is picking up now and this, combined with the fact we are heading north, may mean more on-site sellers.
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  • Day232

    Aprigliano

    February 13, 2017 in Italy

    It was a long drive down the toe of Italy's boot today. Much of it was a slow and the narrow winding mountain roads made it nessesary to be very careful. We left the region of Basilicata and entered Calabria, one of the poorest Italian areas. We'd been looking for a place to stay for a while but the towns we passed through were filthy with rubbish and broken glass. People seemed in a big rush and we didn't feel we'd rest easily in any of the possible spots we saw. Outside the towns the countryside was hilly and the few laybys we found were too narrow and close to the road.

    We were feeling a bit desperate when we pulled into Aprigliano after the sun had set. We initially spotted some on-street parking but when we got out to investigate we found a large flat car park next to some allotments just down the hill. At this point we were greeted with a 'bonsoir, ca va?' from a friendly Frenchman out for the evening passegiata. Vicky and he spoke in a mixture of French and Italian which left her very confused, but he assured us that we'd have a very tranquil night in the car park before pointing out where we could find all the different shops. We parked up and breathed a sigh of relief before getting out and stretching our legs for the last bit of the evening's passegiata after being cooped up in the cab all day.

    It is one of the best feelings to drive without knowing where you are going to stay and come accross an amazing place by chance. However, if you are goind to experience these highs you've got to accept the lows of spending hours desperately searching for any place to stay while you get more and more tired. We were lucky today with Aprigliano, its peaceful site, friendly locals and view over the hills.
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  • Day234

    Sena Park, Cropani Marina

    February 15, 2017 in Italy

    From the mountain reservoir we descended to the sea at Cropani Marina. The journey took us past precipices and yielded views of wide V shaped valleys falling far below, their sides covered in leafless beech forests. The destination brought very different surroundings with an long sandy beach over which little lizards scuttled and sunbathed. It was a warm day and really pleasant to stroll past the upturned rowing boats and pink, purple and orange flowers that covered the sand close to the car park. Will even enjoyed a quick dip in the sea!

    We needed services and so stayed at a caravan site a few hundred meters away from the beach (still close enough to hear the constant background noise of waves hitting the shore). There were about 10 resident cats sunning themselves on the grass and we followed their lead for a while with Poppy. However, much of the evening was taken up replacing a side indicator and swapping some of our things from broken boxes to new ones. We would previously have left these jobs for when we returned home but this is our everyday life now and it was as good an opportunity as we'd had in a while.
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  • Day13

    An out of season resort hotel for £35 a night including breakfast.

    We had a lovely drive down from the Naples area and will continue down the coast tomorrow morning to Reggio Calabria where we get the ferry to Sicily.

    The people from last night's hotel insisted on giving us a bottle of wine and a fellow guest at the hotel wanted to swap his 51 year old Fiat 500 for the MG.

    Tonight we are having an early night as tomorrow could be a long day. It usually takes us an hour to get packed, the car checked over and the route planned for the day. So we've been setting off at around 10.30 to 11.00
    The pictures are from the journey down and around this beach side hotel.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Calabria, Kalabrien, Kalabrië, قلورية, Калабрыя, Калабрия, Kalabrija, Calàbria, Калабри, Kalábrie, Калабриа, Calabrien, Καλαβρία, Kalabrio, کالابریا, Calabre, Calabrie, Kalaabrje, Khà-là-pu-lî-â, קלבריה, कालाब्रिया, Կալաբրիա, Kalabria, Kalabría, カラブリア州, კალაბრია, 칼라브리아 주, Kalabri, Bruttium, Calabbria, Калабрија, Calavria, Calabrië, ਕਾਲਾਬਰੀਆ, صوبہ کالابریا, Calábria, Kalábria, கலபிரியா, แคว้นกาลาเบรีย, Kalabriya, Калабрія, کلابریا, Całabria, 卡拉布利亞, 卡拉布里亚

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