So after a long day of driving we arrived in the evening at Reggio Calabria – the deep deep south of Italy, and what an amazing city with incredible history it is. We’re so glad we stopped by here – our friend Lou’s family is from Reggio and she had always raved about it!
Reggio is opposite Sicily on the strait of Messina – it looks like you could swim across to Sicily, it’s very close. It’s the toes of the boot of Italy, so to speak. The area was settled by ancient peoples a long time ago, before being conquered by the Greeks, also a long time ago. After the Greeks came the Romans of course and then we slowly come upon modern history. There is an archaeological museum in Reggio that is very much worth checking out – with ancient greek and roman artefacts spanning thousands of years of Reggio’s history. There are also two huge bronze greek statues that were uncovered in the strait of Messina in 1973 – they are at least 2000 years old and they are absolute works of art. Unfortunately a lot of the architectural history of Reggio disappeared in a huge earthquake about two hundred years ago, so the city was rebuilt after that in a grand european style which is quite beautiful – wide boulevards, huge stone buildings and a spectacular promenade along the ocean, where the Italians do their nightly walk to show off (passeggiata).
There is plenty of beach space along the coast at Reggio with beds that you can rent out for about 5 euro a day and soak up the sun. It’s a very hot place! Whilst we were here we indulged in yet more gelato – from two notable spots; Sotto Zero (amazing) and Italy’s #1 voted gelateria, Cesare. Both are highly recommended.
Reggio is definitely a highlight of the south, and if you’re looking to go down that way you should stop by for a few days. Whilst we were here we checked out a few spots close by; Tropea and Scilla, which we’ll get to next. When we left, we took the ferry over to Sicily to begin out Sicilian adventure!