In the past most visitors tend to
pass through the region rather then actually stay
there. So if you have some time to spare take the
old coastal road SS18, south through Maratea and Paola.
The SS585 that connects with the A3 autostrada del
Sole, near Maratea, is a much more scenic route then
the autostrada. There are many stopovers along the
way such as; Maratea, Vibo Valentia or Gioia Tauro.
One nice stop-off is via Cosenza into the Sila highlands.
Itís about 90 km from the turnoff at Paola to San
Giovanni in Fiore in the heart of Sila. It may be
a tough ride but the views are impeccable. Before
making the cross over to Messina, take an hour or
two to visit the museum in Reggio; even if you donít
like archaeology, the collection contains some of
the finest pieces of art in southern Italy.
There are two major rail lines that
pass through these regions: the Rome-Naples-Villa
San Giovanni/Reggio di Calabria route along the west
coast, and the branch that runs from Battipaglia in
Campania through Potenza and Metaponte on its way
to Taranto. Rail connections inland are very scarce,
but a few trains go through Cosenza. There is always
the option of a bus, which goes from Paola to Cosenza.
Buses tend to run quite regularly so donít be afraid
to use them.
Airports in Calabria are at Lamezia-Terme
on the plain of Santa Eufemia. The airport has scheduled
flights to most major Italian cities. Also at Reggio
di Calabria they have an airport that travels solely
to Roma and Milan. As for ferries to Sicily they leave
from Villa San Giovanni, it is the quickest and most
used route. It should be quite easy to travel over
to Sicily from these locations.
The Sila is the best base to see
the rest of the region from. It is a nice peaceful
plateau between mountains that offers beautiful scenery
near the southern tip of Italy, it is an area full
of nature. It is also a place where artificial lakes
liven the scenic area. Two lakes, notably Lake Arvo
and Cecita, lie between Cosenza and the town of San
Giovanni in Fiore. Sila is by far the best place for
hiking in all of Calabria. Many maps can be attained
in the Cosenza tourist office, which will surely give
you an outdoor experience never forgotten.
Italyís Longest Beach: