Reggio Calabria is located in Southern Italy, on the “toe” of this country’s boot. In this travel guide, we’ll talk about all the best cultural attractions in the area, as well as other things to do. Also, we’ll give you the lowdown on the best local food & drink in Reggio Calabria. Let’s get started.
Reggio Calabria Travel Guide
Start your time in Reggio Calabria by checking out the Reggio Archaeological Museum. In this institution, you’ll see artifacts from Reggio Calabria and area that date back to prehistory.
In particular, their collections from the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine periods are especially interesting. In these galleries, you’ll find prehistoric dioramas, pottery, weapons, and stunning bronze sculptures.
Also, be sure to check out the Pinacoteca Civica di Reggio Calabria. This attraction is an art gallery that boasts paintings by artists dating back to the 15th century. Some highlights include Antonello da Messina‘s masterpiece of Saint Jerome, depicting him serving his penance in the desert.
After that, you should definitely head to the Reggio Calabria Cathedral. First built in the 11th century, this structure embodies Reggio Calabria’s long history. Over a millennium, this holy place had been repeatedly destroyed.
The Turks demolished it twice in the 16th century, and earthquakes razed it in the 18th century and in 1908. The current structure dates from 1917 and looks much older than it is. With Romanesque and Gothic features, it is well worth your time.
Next, make time to visit Reggio Calabria’s Aragonese Castle. Even if you aren’t into castles, you should still drop by, as this massive structure affords amazing views over Reggio.
But if you are into castles, this is one with some serious history behind it. For starters, it was built by the Byzantines in the 6th century to protect Reggio from barbarians. From there, the castle passed from the Normans to the Spanish before playing a key role in the Italian Reunification in the 19th century.
If you have time, take a day trip to see Roghudi Vecchio. This place is a ghost town that was once home to was is now a rarity – a community of Greeks within Italy. Its setting is stunning, with peaks rising on all sides.
However, as amazing as its surroundings are, Roghudi Vecchio was abandoned around 1974, when a massive flood led to a mass relocation of this town’s citizens. You can visit its remains today, but be forewarned – the roads leading in are very rough. As such, we recommend hiring a guide in Reggio Calabria to not only show you around but to ensure that you tour the area safely.
Want to do some people-watching while in Reggio Calabria? Make your way down to the Lungomare Falcomatà. Stretching more than a mile along the waterfront of Reggio Calabria, it is said that this road is the most beautiful in all of Italy.
On a clear day, views of Sicily can be had, and with refreshing sea breezes, this seaside walkway offers a great place to cool down on hot days.
Reggio is home to several beaches, but Spiaggia Gallico Marina is known for its clear seas and beautiful golden sands. Be sure to arrive early in the day, as its narrow sands can only hold so many beach towels/sun loungers. If you do secure a place, you’re in luck – numerous restaurants and ice cream shops nearby offer meals and refreshments.
End your trip to Reggio Calabria by spending an evening on Corso Garibaldi. This street runs through Reggio’s downtown area and is lined with shops, restaurants, cafés, and pizza parlors. As such, it’ll provide a night of entertainment that’ll provide ample opportunity to interact with the locals.
What To Eat/Drink
When in Reggio Calabria, you won’t want to miss out on the local specialty: Parmigiana. This dish consists of two fried eggplants (aubergines) and a generous portion of Pecorino Crotonese or mozzarella cheese, cooked in olive oil and then topped with tomato sauce. Delicious!
As you eat dinner, have some Cirò Wine. This Calabrian specialty is a red wine that’s at its best once it’s aged for many months. As a red, it’ll balance well with tomato sauce coating your Parmigiana.
After that, Reggio Calabria has several options for dessert that you’ll want to try. First, give Torrone di Bagnara a shot. This nougat is made with toasted almonds, honey, egg whites, cocoa powder, and a lot of sugar.
But if you’d rather have a cold treat, opt for Torrone Gelato. This Italian specialty is similar to ice cream but flavored with bits of torrone, which is usually the nougat we described above.