Traveling through the top of Italy is worth it. On the one hand, you will avoid the large number of tourists who do not particularly explore the eastern part of Calabria, but you will also be charmed by the ancient stone towns on every corner.
The best starting point to rent a car and travel the whole area is definitely at Lamezia Terme airport. Apart from the airport, you won't find anything interesting in Lamezia Terme. Although there is a direct connection from Prague to the city (year 2021), I strongly recommend avoiding the city. It is definitely worth renting a smaller car. The whole of Calabria is quite mountainous with narrow streets and the Italian driving style could sometimes be compared directly to the Indian one. However, once you rent a car (it's not worth renting a car without air conditioning), you're in for a nice adventure.
Pizzo & Tropea
The first town called Pizzo, which will completely absorb you, is located just a few kilometers from the airport. First impressions will be clear. You will be delighted by the stone to slightly neglected town on the hill. However, the biggest problem is the place to park. Not only are the parking spaces always fully occupied, but be prepared to park here millimeter by millimeter. I definitely recommend handing over the driving to an experienced driver who doesn't have claustrophobic thoughts when parking cars here packed together like sardines. The central square in Pizzo is a great place to sit with a small coffee and especially to taste the local sweet specialty - Tartuffo.
This is a very high-calorie bomb in the form of chocolate-hazelnut ice cream, which has a liquid chocolate cream inside and everything is sprinkled with cocoa on the surface. Apart from the main square, there are a few interesting churches in the town, but if you get too hot, just walk down to the harbor where there is a nice local beach to cool off. If you continue further south, you will surely spot several outdoor vendors selling red onions. This is typical for the local region. I don't know what Calabria would be without Tropea, a port town perched on a rock. The view of Tropea itself from below is just as beautiful as the view of Tropea from the medieval church of Santa Maria dell'Issola. , which is perched on the opposite rock directly above the pleasant town beach. There are several sights in the city, but Tropea will enchant you the most during dusk and after dark, when the night life in the city full of restaurants is definitely very charming.
The town of Scilla in the south of Italy is located just a short distance from the island of Sicily itself. Its temperament is very reminiscent of Tropea, but with fewer foreign tourists. Nevertheless, it is a very popular destination for local Italians, who obviously like to go here to relax on the beach, which is very well maintained with clean and clear sea. A short distance from the beach there is a picturesque fishing port, which is definitely worth taking a picture of. Reggio di Calabria is a really big city with almost 185,000 inhabitants. There are not many tourists here, the city is interesting primarily for its long promenade, which turns into a lighted market place in the evening, and its large port, which connects, for example, Sicily, which is not far away. Pentedattilo is a small village in the middle of deep nature in the south of Calabria. It's not difficult to get there by car, but you'll definitely feel like you're entering the deserted mountains. The village itself seems very deserted and it is not for nothing that it is called a ghost town. Many local towns were destroyed by the earthquake, but Pentedattilo, with its rock-like appearance, remains to this day. Gerace is certainly worth a walk, as it is one of the most beautiful old Italian towns. You won't find any modern buildings here, on the contrary, history breathes on you. The town itself stands on the ruins of the original Norman castle from the 10th century. and the view of the Aspromonte mountains there will surely enchant you as well.
The eastern coast of Calabria could be called very calm. Driving in this area will not be as attractive as it is on the west coast. Along the roads you will find lots of unfinished houses. As if the local part of Italy was completely depopulated. With the garbage, stray animals and dry vegetation, this part may seem very dull to you. However, for loners and fans of quiet places, you will also find kilometers of beaches here, where you will be literally alone.
In Calabria you will find both a tourist area (around the city of Tropea) and a less touristy one (the eastern coast of Calabria), one could say literally deserted, where you will not meet anyone. You need to get used to local drivers who, when they meet a familiar person on the road, are able to stop the car completely, block traffic and talk until their mutual conversation ends. Italians are rarely considerate of others on the roads. However, if you like a combination of exploring and relaxing on a sunny beach, then exploring Calabria is the ideal choice.
I hope you like my photos from Calabria.