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Reggia di Calabria?

Travel Forums Europe Reggia di Calabria?

1. Posted by popolina (Budding Member 53 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Has anyone traveled or spent an extended amount of time in Calabria. I spent some time in Naples and really loved the energy of the south, I am wondering what the life is like further down south (with the possible intention of going to a language school there).

2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Italy south of Naples strongly resembles a third-world country. Reggio is less depressing than other cities in the region, but it's hardly a place you would go unless you have some business there. I passed through five years ago, and even though I speak decent Italian, I was never met with so much suspicion in my life.

3. Posted by popolina (Budding Member 53 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

So then the rest of Italy is very different from Naples? I found people there to be very warm ... what about Sicily? Of course I'm aware of the poverty and corruption in the Mezzogiorno but there's still got to be a fascinating culture/history....
Anyway, I don't know that I could go alone. On second thought, being the blond foreign girl can draw up too much attention.

4. Posted by NantesFC (Respected Member 531 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

There really isn't much to do in Calabria. The larger towns are as bentivogli described. I don't like to use this term to describe any town but depressing fits perfectly. My first taste of this was in Taranto (Puglia), I was leaving Lecce heading west across Basilicata and Calabria and I tried to 'explore' towns in these regions but they were all extremely bland. Lifeless and extremely hot! In my opinion if you wanted to do a little sightseeing there are plenty of small villages and towns along the A3. Of them, I've been to San Mango and Scilla to see the Castello Dei Ruffo. San Mango was ok but Scilla was worth the visit. It was a lovely little town, picturesque, great beach with mountains as a backdrop. It was the only place I really liked. I didn't bother with Reggia di Calabria as I went straight across to Messina. Poverty is rampant is the South as many already know and they are much less used to seeing foreigners. They didn't seem to bother me much even though I'm African-American. Maybe they were scared lol. Don't be surprised by this. If you're alone, as a blonde, in a small town, you will get extra attention even if it's unwanted.

Sicily is another story. The culture is one of a kind you can say. With so many different influences (Greeks, Moors, Spanish, etc) I knew I was in for a treat. Palermo is a must see of course. Taormina, Catania (Mt. Etna), Siracusa and Agrigento are all worth stops. They say Sicily has the best desserts in all Italy and is the birthplace of the cannoli. Yeah, I'll be back for more cannoli haha.

5. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Quoting popolina

So then the rest of Italy is very different from Naples?

Yes. The rest of the mezzogiorno isn't all that welcoming; people are very much oriented towards their families, and keep to themselves. The origins of this are partly cultural, but largely economical, and of course the continued presence of the Camorra and Ndrangheta (the 'crime syndicates' although their influence goes much much further than that) also has an influence. While it's not wholly impossible, you have to try hard to break through people's barriers in this region.

Quoting popolina

what about Sicily?

Different story. Socially, Palermo is more like Naples than the other cities in the Mezzogiorno. The hinterland, while still poor, is much richer than Calabria and Puglia, and the people are interested in foreigners that really want to know about them.

Quoting popolina

Anyway, I don't know that I could go alone. On second thought, being the blond foreign girl can draw up too much attention.

True, but you can be pretty sure than no harm will come to you. People (men) will probably try to get your attention, and you'll get a lot of comments, but that's where it ends. If you take the precautions common for all solo travellers and act streetwise, you should be fine.

6. Posted by dirty_zira (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I was to Reggio di Calabria 5 years ago, in that language school you've mentioned. Dante Alighieri, right? I have only praises for the school - as it is the cheapest and among the best in whole Italy (I've been to several different schools in different regions and towns). For example, the well-known and praised Peruggian school of Italian is the worst ever, made only for Italian students, pretty bureaucratic, lots of theory and stuff.

Accomodation is also extremely cheap, in appartments with other students, and by all means ask for the place in the city centre, otherwise they can put you MILES away, so you have to travel 30 minutes every day.
DO NOT accept accomodation near the airport, or staduim - remote from the town.

The town is pretty dull, people are polite and willing to help, but don't know any other language beside Italian, with the heavy accent. Architecture is somehow more Arabis then Italian, but not interesting whatsoever.

The only good thing about it are beaches and the sea. It enters to 2 different seas - and they're pretty different in color and other things, and everybody in Italy would tell you the same - Southern Italy is for swimming and sunbathing, Northern is FORBIDDEN for that kind of activities, because the sea is dirty, grey and brown, gruesome.

As smb already said Scilla is sth like smaller town on the one side of Reggio, and it has nice beach and beautiful old little town on some kinda a rock or sth, small houses with their own exits in the sea. Incedible picturesque.

On the other side of Reggio are numerous little villages, not that interesting apart from their desolated beaches and
clear, clean sea. I remeber San Lorenzo being pretty popular beach (in the village of San Lorenzo) with just a few beach bars and miles of gold sand.

There's another thing about Reggio - great shopping. Pretty big sales starting at the 2nd half of July.

I don't think you'll have any bad experience with natives, they're of course fascinated with blondes, and Reggio being famous resort they're pretty used to strangers. You'll receive numerous invitations for coffee and all kinds of other activities from Italians, and there's apsolutely no way you can avoid them, they're pretty stubborn. We were going out with the same group of Italians when we were there, and one of my girlfriends was contantly getting invitations from one guy, all 30 days! That culminated in a dinner on the 30th day, because the poor girl didn't know anymore what she wanted, and what she didn't, and why she didn't, or anything else.

Restaurants are as expensive as everywhere in Italy, food little less than in the North, the great pride of Reggio is their icecream - they claim it is the best in the whole Italy, and I give them that. The best place is so called Cesare, everybody can tell you where to find it. Also, a must is to try a dessert made od frozen fruit juice with crem on top of it, I can't remember the name now.
There's one more thing that made great impression on me at the time - a pizzeria in one of the villages in the direction of San Lorenzo, it's called "Il campione del mondo", allegedly, the chef is a world champion in making pizzas, and it has some of the best recipes I've ever tried. My favourite was with green apples (!!!) and mozzarella. It cannot ever be beaten.

Hope I've helped you